London-based Cypriot retail magnate and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis is totaly disappointed with the British government’s way of negotiating Brexit.
In an exclusive interview with Forbes Cyprus magazine, Paphitis said that even though he still believes that the European Union is a failed experiment, nonetheless the issue was handled in a very bad way and is difficult now for anything to change.
“Whoever is the new prime minister, he/she won’t start from the beginning because we have already activated article 50. We have put ourselves under pressure. The way we negotiate is naïve, the whole procedure should have been totally different,” he added.
The wrong handling of Brexit has also had repercussions on the country’s overall business environment. “We knew that it would ‘hurt’ but, unfortunately, it hurts more than we had anticipated,” he said.
In addition, he added, the government has focused so much on Brexit that domestic issues are paralysed and legislation is not updated so as to affect the behaviour of consumers.
Paphitis also talked about his involvement and investment in start-ups and noted that what makes him decide on a particular investment is more the personality and quality of the people behind a new idea rather than its prospects. “A good person with an average idea is a better investment than a bad person with a brilliant idea”.
Paphitis also referred to the rising popularity of halloumi in the UK and sent the message that Cyprus should do its best to exploit this trend.
On a personal level, he said that dyslexia helped him develop a business sense and even though he is no holder of either a graduate or post-graduate degree he has managed to build an empire. And to be a consultant at a number of universities today.
Being for almost eight years at the helm of Millwall football club, Paphitis was also asked about the popular sport’s administration. His response was that for someone to make a small fortune from football he has to start with a big one.