The Greek software that trains 11.000.000 employees worldwide
By Endeavor Greece Mar 29, 2021
Our societies and our economies are based on knowledge. Education is probably the most valuable asset for our future. This is common knowledge for Epignosis, a Greek company that provides e-learning solutions for more than 9.000 companies and 11.000.000 employees worldwide, with most of its clients being located in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Thanos Papangelis, the CEO of the company, talked to Outliers, Endeavor Greece’s podcast series, whose media partner is MoneyReview, about the way the company was born, the services it offers and about its future objectives.
Mr. Papangelis was born in Edessa, in a family that had absolutely nothing to do with entrepreneurship or technology. His mother was a bank employee and his father an accountant. He first used a computer when he was in high school and was immediately fascinated. A family friend explained to his father that information technology was the future and that’s how he got his own PC.
He studied at the department of Computer Engineering and Informatics at the University of Patras, and the idea to found Epignosis came in 2001, when he graduated and received an email from Dimitris Tsiggos, who was looking for associates for a new project. The initial idea was quite different from what the company has to offer today. In the beginning, it aimed to produce a software that would help high school students to prepare for the Greek University Admission Exams.
The year 2007 proved to be a decisive one for the company. After performing his military obligations, he decided to dedicate himself 100% to this venture. “We realized that in Greece the market was very limited for what we did and we decided to turn to foreign markets completely changing our product model. We switched to open source,” he says.
In 2012 they took the next decisive step. The company was no longer based in Greece, and efront was released, the first out of their three products. It is aimed at large companies that have specific configuration and security requirements.
Its most popular product is the TalentLMS, an easy-to-use flexible platform that helps companies to train their employees. It is mainly destined for companies with personnel ranging from 100 to 1.000 employees. However, Epignosis serves big clients, such as Zoom, Schneider Electric and certain Vodafone offices.
Talent Cards, its third product, is a mobile learning app aiming primarily at young people. “There is a large number of employees that are not working in offices; they are employed in stores or they offer technical services. For example, one of our clients is a company that repairs elevators,” Mr. Papangelis says.
Mr. Papangelis estimates that they will be hiring 30-50 people every year, so that the company expands and is structured in a way that ensures its operation even when they walk out of it. “We would like it to reach its full potential. It is our aim that it becomes the first company that comes to mind with regard to e-learning in five years’ time,” he says.
What kind of advice would he give to anyone who wanted to enter the business world? In what way can anyone stand out? “To think out of the box. An entrepreneur listens to every single opinion given to them, but in the end they make the decisions on their own. It is as if our consultants give us the winning Lotto numbers. However, each of us has to delve into their experience and find their own path to success.”
The article was originally published at moneyreview.gr