This time we are interviewing one of the latest interns to join the Agro-Know team through our internship program; Thanos Psichalas joined the team quite recently and he has been already a part of the Agro-Know Business Development team, helping us out with his experience in the Lean approach and business-oriented ideas. Thanos was kind enough to provide us with his responses to our questions so keep reading if you are interested in learning more about Thanos and his work in Agro-Know!
1. You are one of newest members of the Agro-Know team. Would you like to share some info on how you found us and what drew your attention in the AK job opening ?
I first came across Agro-Know’s job opening in a group for startup jobs and immediately drew my attention as I realized I would have the chance to join a very talented team of domain experts and deal with the whole innovation process within a growing company.
2. What is your educational background and which is your current role in the AK team?
I have a Business background, being a holder of a BSc in Business Administration from University of Piraeus in Greece and of an MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from ESADE Business School of Barcelona, Spain. During my MSc I had the chance to understand concepts of Innovation Management, entrepreneurial ecosystems and high growth ventures and also participate in several projects both with early stage companies and big corporations.
My mission in Agro-Know is to introduce and apply innovation methodologies and practices in order to help the company innovate, develop new products and ultimately grow.
3. What do you find interesting in your work with AK so far? Do you see any challenges in your daily routine at the office?
As I already mentioned the main challenge and also the most fascinating aspect in my work is that I have the chance to be involved in various stages of the product development process and also other relevant activities such as the training and professional development of Agro-Know family. I think the most difficult part is to shift between very different activities, keep up with some necessary daily tasks and in the same time maintain the mental clarity to think of the big picture to design and refine the innovation process.
4. You have previous experience in the Lean approach that we been applying lately in Agro-Know; would you like to share some info on this experience andhow it applies in the case of Agro-Know?
The lean approach is actually relevant to almost every production process as the its goal is to minimize waste and risk. What I have experience in is Innovation, Entrepreneurship and New Product Development and of course Lean is quite relevant in these processes since, by default, they all contain high risk. Agro-Know is quite innovative as a company, always trying to explore new opportunities and build sophisticated products and the Lean approach helps the company innovate in a meaningful and optimal way.
5. What are your hobbies / How do you spend your free time?
I like mainly going out with friends, trying new restaurants – preferably with “weird” flavors to taste (I am one of the few who tasted Mexican mole, beef with chocolate sauce, and actually liked it!). I also play football once a week and take Spanish lessons.
6. Where can we find you online?
7. Favorite kind of music?
This is probably one of the worst questions one can ask me! I am really bad when it comes to names, titles, etc of songs, artists, genres and so on (also movies, actors, etc)! I think the last playlist I liked consisted of “indie pop” kind of songs.
8. Which was the last book you read / movie you watched?
The last book I read was “The Andalucian friend”, a crime novel, one of the many that became popular the last couple of years. In general, I use to stick to a book genre for some time, this period I am a fan of Swedish crime novels.
9. What was the last gadget you bought and why you bought it?
The last gadget I bought was my Nokia Lumia 820. It was the time when Windows Phone 8 first came out and I really wanted to try the platform. Accompanied with the Finnish design and excellent quality of Nokia devices, my Lumia was the perfect combination of OS and device. Next one? A Windows tablet, hopefully Nokia will launch one with full Windows OS soon!
(Comment from Vassilis: I am happy to see another Windows Phone user in the office;as for the tablet, it is already here: Nokia Lumia 2520!)
10. Anything else to share with us?
I am also participating in a failed-travel-startup-turned-into-a-travel-blog called Diskaverins!
We would like to thank Thanos for taking the time to respond to our questions and hope that we will have the opportunity to work with him for the next years!