Τhe founders: Dimitris, Frank, Aggela & Kostas
Dimitris was studying Management in a business school but was always deeply interested in computers and internet. While working as an intern in Leeds Metropolitan University, he got a job in McDonalds where he was amazed by the good organisation of such a huge company and its policy towards the workers.
After following a Network Administration seminar organised by Microsoft, an idea got stuck in Dimitris’ mind: internet access in communal spaces. In 1998, he designed and created the first Internet kiosks that functioned with coins and were placed in big hotels! Back in the times, the idea was great. However, his start up didn’t get the expected success. Dimitris didn’t lose his courage: the experiment opened a new door in his career and he started working for the Foundation for Research & Technology Hellas (FORTH). Parallely, he took his first steps in website building and hosting for businesses. At 28 years old, Dimitris felt like he was lacking the academic background on computer science. So -after 4 years in FORTH- he travelled to Edinburgh in order to obtain a Msc in Interactive Multimedia. On his return, he continued working for FORTH as a developer in research projects.
Frank was studying electrical engineering and in the same time, he was working as a DJ. However, he spent all his free time ‘playing around’ with technology. From a young age he was into computers and the rise of the web showed him the way to innovation. He was always keen on creative brainstorming and entrepreneurship.
In 1999, while studying, he got a job as a technician in the Research & Development department of Forthnet (FORTH). Two and a half years later, as soon as he had obtained his first degree, he decided to go for one more: he also went in Edinburgh for a MSc in Distributed and Multimedia Information Systems. Following his master, he returned to Forthnet’s R&D, this time as a developer. There, he had the chance to collaborate in many interesting research projects and technologies. In 2004, he was part of the team that created a communication platform which could have been today’s twitter! The web applications’ magic enchanted Frank and new ideas started growing in his head. In the meantime, he was foreseeing the internet’s evolution and he obtained one more master title, an MBA in business management.
Dimitris and Frank met in FORTH and shared their passion for the web. They talked for hours about amazing ideas that could happen online! That is why, in 2000, they joined forces and created one of the biggest online tourist guides which saw success in the local community.
Aggela, while studying Management in the American College, she was working as an admin for the college and the American Embassy. In 2004, she was ready to dive in the job market when her brother, Dimitris, asked her to work with him. She was young, full of positive energy and dreams. Even though she didn’t have experience in computer science, Dimitris saw in her the ability to organise and financially administrate the new company.
Kostas studied to become an electrical engineer and worked as a network administrator in the same team with Dimitris. In FORTH, he was in charge of monitoring networks with more than 2.500 connected computers. Soon, the two of them started collaborating and exchanging ideas on new technologies. At 4 years old Kostas dismantled his first transistor and at 14 he created a pirate radio transmitter. He used to program using a Spectrum48k+ and later a Commodore 64. In 1994, he was sharing a 19.2kbps common line with 20 more users. At that time, the web didn’t exist -there was gopher, irc & ftp. Kostas made it: he managed to get connected by installing Mosaic! The first “http” page he saw was an article with a picture of the acclaimed basketball player Nikos Galis! In 1996, he installed his first Linux edition. In his free time he likes playing around: with firewalls, routers, switches and, of course, servers.
Papaki.gr, 2004: where it all begins
Dimitris, Frank and Aggela decided to connect their knowledge and open a company. Their first office was a tiny room of 9 square meters! They started building websites -the idea for domain names was not in the early business plan. They came up with a schedule so that everyone would fit in the tiny space: in the mornings, Aggela, a full time developer and a student were working and in the afternoons, Dimitris and Frank would replace them.
In 2004, the .GR extensions became available for registration and papaki.gr got belatedly classified as the 85th registrar. The domain papaki.gr was registered on 19.05.2014 but the truth is that it was nearly called tzitziki.gr!
Their true love for the internet and countless hours of dedicated work fruited: within a year they had moved in bigger offices. The need for reliable hosting led to the creation of TopHost where Kostas took over as a Technical manager. In 2005, Frank decided to quit Forthnet, besides his family and friends not understanding the decision to leave such a good company. Right away, Dimitris did the same and in 2006 the Papaki family was officially united under the same roof!
The team kept investing in new services and people, hiring new programmers and support heroes. Papaki started standing out from other domain name registrars. In 2007 the Marketing department of the company was created.
2008: the critical decision
Papaki started blocking its own development: the website building service -which was the company’s main income- was putting a brake on the implementation and expansion of new services. That is when the team came across the biggest strategical decision of its journey. It was when hundreds of website building companies popped up earning money, that Papaki chose to change direction, freezing dozens of projects. Besides the financial insecurity and the sudden drop of income, the announcement of the decision was full of positive energy: the 100% of the company’s resources would be invested in the domain name registration service.
The result of this strategic shift was, within a year -by 2009- Papaki had become the No1 registrar in Greece for .GR domain names, surpassing much bigger companies!
Today: the development and ‘Happy.People.Online’
Currently, 1 out of 2 domain registrations in Greece is being made through Papaki. Since 2009, it has been the No1 registrar for .GR domains and since 2011 it has also been No1 for the .EU extensions. The team keeps growing and it now counts more than 20 people!
In 2014, Papaki changed offices. We moved in a spacious and cosy building that we customised according to our needs and wishes! The space is designed to maintain a no-door-policy, so nothing separates us!
Papaki offers online services such as domain name registration, shared hosting, dedicated servers, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, SSL certificate, Website and eShop building tools and more… Our current moto is “Happy.People.Online.” expressing our vision for online, feel good, “human connection”! Our people play the most important role in the company’s strategic decision-making. Papaki shows its clients gratitude by investing in amazing Customer Support and free services. It also reciprocates its team with a great working environment, free meals and even relaxing massage sessions :)
Papaki: the future
Internet’s power makes everything possible and it all starts with a domain name. Papaki’s vision is to create a Happy.People.Online community: problem solving replaces grumpiness, team spirit takes the place of competition and encouragement kills tiredeness.
The Papaki team will continue to work hard and be up-to-date so that its clients will be able to create, share their thoughts and make their dreams come true. All together, you and us, we are a big family! Join us.