Exclusive Interview with Christina Aristodimou, Director at Aristo Developers featured in Cyprus in Style Magazine…


BELIEVE IN YOURSELF TO GET AHEAD

MEET CHRISTINA ARISTODIMOU

Director, Aristo Developers

Christina Aristodimou was born in Paphos but raised in Nicosia. Today, she works as one of the Directors of Aristo Developers, focusing on Business Development and Marketing. When Christina first joined the company, she started working in the Customer Service Department, which she developed, and then joined the Marketing Department at their Head Office in Paphos. She was later appointed as Nicosia Regional Manager. She studied a branch of science, Pharmacy/Toxicology at Athens University, and, after she graduated and completed her MBA, she joined Aristo Developers, a company her father founded in the 1980s. Today, she lives in Nicosia with her family. 


HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD AN INTEREST IN PROPERTY OR HAS THIS DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS?

I do not think I ever had a choice. When you have a father, like mine, with such a great passion and vision for the Land Developing Sector, it is ‘transmitted’ to you. I love my job. I love meeting new people and learning about new cultures.

AS A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WOMAN IN CYPRUS, WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO OTHER WOMEN, LOOKING TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS?

Globally, entrepreneurship rates among women, increased by 15% versus 5% for men, according to the GEM, which monitors 40 economies from around the world. Moreover, it has been estimated that if more gender parity existed in entrepreneurship, and women started businesses at the same rate as men, global GDP might increase by $28 trillion by 2025. 

  • BELIEVE IN YOURSELF TO GET AHEAD

Embrace your disappointments and allow yourself to fail. These are all opportunities to learn. 

  • FORGET THE TRADITIONAL 8-5

Those days are gone. Be prepared to put in long and unusual hours, especially if you are dealing with business partners in other parts of the world.

  • MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE 

It is essential to have a personal life, which nourishes your spirit. Otherwise, you will become unhappy and unpleasant. Find ways to fuel yourself up. Breaks are significant. 

  • LEARN TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT 

Each moment is an opportunity to engage your best self in the process of learning, growing and moving closer to reaching your goals. Give it all you have got. 

  • TAKE THINGS ONE DAY AT A TIME 

Doing this requires a tremendous amount of patience, as well as confidence in your vision and the ability to reach your long-term goals.

You will need to remember on some days you are taking a step or two backwards, but that is natural. If you can remain patient with the stop-and-start nature of the process, you will see yourself starting to move forward again.

  • ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE A WORK IN PROGRESS 

Nobody enters this game as a fully formed expert. Do not let your perfectionism hold you back from trying new things.

  • LEARN BY DOING 

You are continually evolving and, as we know, the world is continuously changing, so you had better be ready to change with it.

  • CULTIVATE STRONG RELATIONSHIPS 

Relationships are based on mutual trust and respect. The ability to create this kind of openness, where people can deliver their best is, in my opinion, the essence of strong leadership.

  • BECOME PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOURSELF 

Giving is quite inspiring, on many levels. If more people concentrated on what they have to offer, rather than on what they are trying to get, the world would be a better place.

  • ALIGN YOURSELF WITH A BIGGER ECOSYSTEM 

Your brand is your calling card. The best relationships come about between associates, whose messaging, core values and objectives, are all in alignment with one another. If you can tap into the potential of these types of alliances, you will find yourself creating a robust business network, which is capable of exciting, mutually beneficial collaborations.

WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOU MOST IN YOUR LIFE?

Personality-wise, it is the women who have raised me. It is particularly true of my grandmothers. From my mother’s side, because of her loving, giving, empathetic nature. She always cared for everyone. My grandmother from my father’s side because of her dynamic, progressive, assertive personality. She was a true businesswoman of her era. She raised 14 children, ran the house and family businesses, all at the same time. She always has this spark for new adventures and enjoying life to the full. 

ARISTO DEVELOPERS STARTED IN CYPRUS – YOU NOW HAVE OFFICES IN GREECE, CHINA, VIETNAM, RUSSIA, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AND A NEW OFFICE IN EGYPT. HOW HAS THIS BEEN ACHIEVED?

Through very hard work in delivering Island-wide, high-quality developments to a worldwide spread clientele. We always strive for nothing less than excellence, at all levels. At Aristo Developers, we consider our clients to be our best advertisement and marketing tool. We give a promise and assurance that we will always deliver. It is derived by the professionalism and hard work of our whole team, who will do their very best to deliver what we have promised. 

Therefore, we considered the idea of establishing offices in the countries, mentioned above, as necessary for providing an unparalleled level of quality service to our associates and clients, in these regions. We see our customers as members of our family and treat them in the same way. Here, I would like to emphasise the pivotal role of Aristo Developer’s founder, and CEO, Mr Theodoros Aristodemou, who, by his leading example, paves the way for the rest of us.

CAN YOU SHARE DETAILS ABOUT SOME OF YOUR CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS?

As you are well aware, Aristo Developers is a leading developing company in Cyprus. We offer the most diversified property portfolio and a wide range of services. We are developing projects all around Cyprus in the most sought-after locations. The company’s land bank is extensive, which allows us to plan and implement new projects according to market demand.

Currently, there are 36 projects under development. These range from city centre, state of the art apartments and townhouses, like Pearl Park and Paradise Gardens in Paphos, Unico in Limassol, more traditional design countryside villas in Souni, Golf Resort residences, like Venus Rock Imperial, Royal and Premier residences, to luxurious modern design seafront villas like Pelagos Residences and Aquamarine Residences and many others. All tastes and budgets are catered for. Last, but not least, the Hillcrest and Bellair Exclusive Residences in Limassol. 

PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT THE ARISTO EAGLE PINE GOLF RESORT COULD BE THE NEXT GLENEAGLES – PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECT.

The name of Gleneagles and its history in the golfing world is a weighty one and comparisons at this stage, cannot be made. However, we are confident that the Eagle Pine Golf Resort will be a jewel and a considerable enhancement of Cyprus’ overall tourist, golfing experience, as well as a genuinely unique property development.

The Eagle Pine Golf Resort is designed to become a centrepiece for golfing excellence. Our vision is to create an architecturally stunning resort, incorporating a 18 hole Championship Golf Course, a Boutique Hotel and Spa, a Retail Centre and opulent residences – to build a diverse and vibrant community, in one of Limassol’s most charming locations, in collaboration with an esteemed group of renowned consultants and designers.

YOUR WORK INVOLVES A LOT OF TRAVELLING – WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DESTINATION?

A challenging yet easy question to answer. Indeed, in my line of work, and with my role in Aristo Developers, travelling is a must, and it goes without saying, it is part of the job description. I treat all my business travels with the utmost respect, no matter where I am heading. I make it a habit to study the history and current state of affairs of each country, before a visit.  It would be unfair of me to pinpoint a destination as a favourite. Each place has its own unique merits and attributes, enhancing my business travel experience.

WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY FOREIGN NATIONALS RELOCATE TO CYPRUS? WHAT ATTRACTS THEM HERE?

The list of benefits to foreign nationals is endless. Cyprus provides easy access to worldwide markets, being a member of the European Union and all that this entails. We have an attractive and transparent tax regime, with a low cost of doing business, which is strongly supported by our service sector. Cyprus has a positive economic outlook and prides itself on its high quality of life, with one of the best climates worldwide and high personal safety levels. It is also one of the top four retirement destinations.  

It is also the culture, food, nature, the overall lifestyle and the Cypriot people. The Island’s excellent regulatory structure, its great access to local talent and the Cyprus Investment Programme are also significant contributing factors to the overall attraction of our country. As I said at the beginning, the list is endless, and I could go on forever.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PARTS OF CYPRUS?

Having visited many countries, and met with people from so many different cultures, I always like to visit places where I find genuine people, with whom I can learn from, share experiences with and relax in the natural environment. Scenery wise, I prefer the mountains and the forests. 

This is something I think; I carry from my childhood. I always remember spending much of our summertime vacations in the mountains of Paphos, with my cousins and family friends. I remember exploring nature and hearing the gentle sound of summer breezes blowing through the pine leaves. I now always avoid crowded places.

AS YOU HAVE SUCH A HIGH-PRESSURE JOB, HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?

I am not sure if I ever relax. I am always thinking of something. My mind is always alert. I try to spend as much time as I possibly can with my two children. Stefania, now 15, a strong personality teenager, and Nicholas now 9, a very active boy, particularly with his art classes and music. The age difference between them does not help us to combine their interests, but we try!

What relaxes me the most is spending time with good friends. Either by way of a nice cosy get-together dinner, a concert or a short trip away. If I’m by myself, I usually like to read or listen to my favourite music. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER PLANS FOR COMMERCIAL PROJECTS SIMILAR TO THE KINGS AVENUE MALL?

THE KINGS AVENUE MALL in Paphos was one of the pioneering projects of our Group, after VENUS ROCK GOLF RESORT and THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF PAPHOS. It was developed during difficult times because of the economic and banking crisis in Cyprus. It did, however, prove to be an innovative and successful project, which undoubtedly upgraded the Paphos commercial ecosystem. 

For the moment, we do not have further plans for commercial projects of this size. However, smaller-scale commercial projects, integrated to the Golf Resorts, similar to our new flagship project, EAGLE PINE GOLF RESORT IN LIMASSOL, will be developed. 

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARISTO BRAND?

We are optimistic about the future. During the first half of 2019, property sales rose by 24.4%, corresponding to 5,500 units from one year earlier, based on the figures of the Department of Lands and Surveys. The housing market improvement is partly driven by Cyprus’ robust economic growth over the past three years. In 2018, the economy expanded by 3.9%, according to the Statistical Service of Cyprus.

The housing market is expected to continue to improve in the coming months, thanks to strong demand and improvements in the banking system. However, we are far below the peak levels of 2006. There is still room to achieve better results. 

By Sarah Coyne