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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 November 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2018 23 FEATURE The Papadopoulos family on their way to Greece for the baptism of young George, seen here holding his mother’s hand. “Surround yourself with good people,” says George Papadopoulos, when asked about the secret to success. home entertainment retailer, JB Hi-Fi where he spent five-and-a-half years building their digital media platform. All this accumulated experience led to the former WIN and Pacific Star Networks chief executive officer creating a new online ad marketplace, Adfomo, which he launched recently, with plans to raise $5 million from investors. The platform took two years to build and it's a two-sided marketplace for media companies and buyers with an engine that delivers media viable for any business, whether it's a big corporation or a smaller company, allowing marketers to purchase advertising space quickly and transparently. "We love media, therefore, we decided to create a marketplace for people to buy all the products in one location at one time and we are very happy that we have now built an incredible company with incredible investors and incredible staff and hope to make a difference, without compromising our beliefs and values." Adfomo currently boasts inventory from 60 mainstream media brands worth over $40 million with partners including Fairfax Media, Tonic Media and Civic Media with several other media organisations also in the wings. "MY FATHER IS MY TRUE HERO" Despite his expressed love for the industry, Papadopoulos admits that media is not for the lighthearted and attributes his personal success back to the people he worked with. "I was blessed with the best teachers in the world who supported and guided me through the good and the hard times, but ultimately the most influential person in my life, my inspiration and my true hero, is my father, who despite coming from humble beginnings and losing his mother at the age of three, remained focused, strong and determined, withstanding the hardships of migration and choosing to live life on his own terms," says George. As a 12-year-old boy, his father, Dimitri (Takis) Papadopoulos worked hard at the local bakery in Katerini and grew up to be a very well-liked and Takis and Sofia Papadopoulos in Thessaloniki in 1953. respected member of the community. After a night out at the movies, he met a young Greek girl named Sofia and instantly fell in love with her. The very next day he found himself at her doorstep and not long after that night asked her to be his wife. Sofia and Dimitri were only 19 years old when they decided to embark on their journey to Australia. Despite Sophia being heavily pregnant with their first child, the couple still managed to disguise the pregnancy under a long, oversized coat and fly to Australia. They settled in Wollongong, in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, where Dimitri would seek employment at a bakery and the various steelwork operation facilities which operated in the little seaside community. The ambitious young man started working as a crane driver but progressively moved into other roles in the booming building industry. It wasn't long before he managed to set up his own construction company in the 1960s, always managing to send money back home to his father. Sophia and Dimitri eventually had three children which they raised in a happy, positive and traditional Greek environment. "I have so much respect and admiration for all migrants of that era," says George. "Our parents were the real heroes. They didn't speak a word of English, they worked hard, they received no support, they had no family, nor money, yet they made a life in a foreign country, and instilled in us some incredible family values and work ethic that is permanently embedded in our DNA." Although George lost his hero in 2011, it appears that his father's outlook in life and business is forever etched in his mind. "My father taught me to be humble and kind, to seek knowledge through new experiences and to always surround myself with good people. "There is no secret to success. Just believe in yourself, work hard, go with your gut feeling and success will follow," he concludes.
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