16 March 2008

Nicos Nicolaou - toy vending in Cyprus

Entrepreneurs have always fascinated me and I am intrigued with the reasons and factors that made them become "the big Boss" rather than work under other people. What is it that makes them tick?

This is the first of my "Entrepreneur Series" where I will interview entrepreneurs from different countries around the World. My interviews are quite short but they should give us a glimpse at the lives of these entrepreneurs.

Nicos Nicolaou is involved in the toy vending business (amongst other ventures) in Cyprus. Read on ...

Q1. Can you tell us a bit about your personal background? Where you grew up and live now, education, jobs, etc.

A: I was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (Africa) and stayed in Bulawayo with my family until the age of 7. However, due to political problems in the country we had to move to Maun, Botswana (Africa). We later moved permanently to Pafos, Cyprus where I presently reside.

I went to an English speaking high school where I studied for 6 O'levels and 1 A'level. Afterwards, I went to college in the capital of Cyprus (Nicosia) where I successfully obtained my Bachelors degree in Hospitality management (in collaboration with Bournemouth University, UK). This is also where I met my wife. From 1998 to 1999, we both studied for our Masters degrees at the University of Warwick (MA in Organisation studies). I later obtained my MBA from the University of Cardiff, Wales in 2000, After graduation, I returned to Cyprus and got a job as a lecturer in a local college.

I later decided to open up my own small business of collectable capsule toys through special vending machines located in playgrounds, luna parks, cinemas and restaurants and started my business in May 2007.

Q2. Why did you decide to open your own business?

Since I was a kid, I liked to use my initiative to create things. For example, I liked to build toy cars or helicopters. I would save up money in order to buy things I really liked. So I guess I was always business oriented.

I decided to open up a toy vending machine business because I felt that there was a great opportunity for success. I believed I had the unique selling proposition of selling "collectable toys". This includes different toy figures (including action figures like Spiderman, Batman, etc). Also, I liked the fact that this business does not take up a lot of time and leaves me free to carry out other ventures. I have to drive around Cyprus only twice a month to refill the machines with toys as well as count the monthly earnings.

Q3. Can you tell us a bit about your company and your future plans?

My company's name is NSN Intelligence. NSN stands for Nicos Spyrou Nicolaou (my initials). The word intelligence was used in order to emphasize the element of "knowledge" behind the company. I am a person who strongly believes in the concept of know-how and how you can use it to maximize your potential. My other business ventures include real estate, educational and gardening services. For more information do visit my website: www.nsnintelligence.com.

My future goals are to futher expand my business by placing more vending machines in ideal locations and also to differentiate by moving into the kiddie ride business. My vision is to see the company grow and develop financially in order to build a company where my children can take over when I retire.

Thanks a lot for your time Nicos.

1 comment:

HI.. said...

hey this is swami...gimme a link bak to ma pr 4 blog...have added you


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