One of the greatest and most successful Greek American businessmen, the Chicago-based Greek wine importer, Ted Diamantis spoke to IBNA and Spiros Sideris, shortly after his (and other business people’s) meeting with Greece’s PM, Alexis Tsipras.
Thanks to years of hard work and the belief that Greek products can and should excel abroad, Diamantis has managed to become the number one Greek-wine-importer in the United States, making Greek labels known and loved across the U.S.
Diamantis told IBNA that the meeting with Tsipras was “a great first step” and “a great opportunity to have an exchange of ideas”. Nevertheless, he underlined that “the brand of Greece has to be built and be consistent, with everybody working together in a cohesive way.”
How was your meeting today with the Prime Minister?
The meeting with the Prime Minister and his staff was productive, I believe. It was informational, it was a great opportunity to have an exchange of ideas. It was an opportunity that has taken too long. If we need to have a direct path to help Greece in investment opportunities, we need to have this dialogue and I believe it is a great first step.
You have established a company that promotes Greek wine in the US. From your experience, can you tell us which steps must be made to promote Greek products that are remarkable?
Absolutely. Great question. What we have achieved over twenty-five (25) years is to try to build a story. We were lucky enough to represent high quality products and that is what Greece has to focus on: high quality products, not commodity products. And we need to tell the story, because we have the greatest untold story when it comes to all our products, because of the longest and deepest history of production, and, or the way we produce today in mostly natural cultivations and organic cultivations. We need to understand our consumer. We need to understand who these products are going to and we have to understand what they want to hear about these products. Building that narrative is very important. The overriding arch of branding for Greece is very important. Tying in all the sectors, whether it’s agriculture and tourism as well as other opportunities, whether it’ll be in energy and in healthcare, this is an important thing, that the brand of Greece has to be built and be consistent, with everybody working together in a cohesive way.
Is this the path the government should follow in other sectors beyond the economy?
Absolutely. It needs to work with its overall brand of Greece in every aspect of governance. In foreign relations, in giving a broader and positive perception to the Greek culture, which will help everything. I believe that the products that Greece produces, that are high quality products, can also be a vehicle for perception in terms of foreign relations, in bringing people closer to us culturally, they can also bring us closer, as far as other issues and needs of ours are concerned, and to what is required for us to move forward in this difficult environment.
Are you optimistic?
Yes. Very much so. I am very positive. I have been very optimistic about Greece forever because I believe in the Greek people, I believe in the Greek culture and I believe in what we have as a piece of land, our geography and geology and where we are situated in the world gives us ample opportunities to excel…/IBNA