We are happy to present to our readers an interview with Dimitris Kavakas, CEO of Redia IVF. Please get to know Dimitris about his professional and personal life.
For this interview, we have asked him questions about his beginnings, the evolution of the company and a bit of his personal life.
Without further ado, we present the interview
Experience in relation to the project
Before starting the Redia IVF project, I had the privilege to work in a fertility clinic for several years. I worked as an international business developer to open up a number of global markets for a Greek fertility clinic. During that time, I had extensive training in IVF processes, protocols, methods, etc. That proved valuable and significant for the work I eventually got into. I do think that without this experience and know-how, I wouldn’t be able to do what I have done.
In a short phrase, I can say that I did it all! Most of my university education took place in the UK, where I did my undergraduate degree in International Relations and the PhD degree that gave me my Dr status. The latter had to do with EU politics and specifically researched Spanish and Greek foreign policy. Then, I developed an academic career in University teaching and management for several years. I also did an Executive MBA in Greece, which gave me the tools to start my own company.
How did the idea for the creation of this project come about?
During my time as an international business developer for the fertility clinic, I came across the worlds of both the fertility clinic and the fertility patient. I realized that fertility patients need a baby, not just a successful treatment like any other medical sector. In IVF, you can have a successful treatment but no baby at the end. On the other hand, the fertility clinic needs satisfied patients and high success rates. So the idea was to offer a package that could somehow guarantee that patients would either get their baby home or their money back. I observed that there were already some similar products offered in the US and some parts of Europe. However, they missed the most crucial element, which is the ability of the patient to choose a clinic not according to the location they live but according to where it is best for them. In addition, they missed flexibility as patients were bound by a specific clinic and could not change within cycles if for any reason that was necessary to do.
Beginnings and evolution of the company
Back in 2016, from a small office in Watford, UK, Redia IVF started to offer some multi-cycle IVF programmes with a full money-back guarantee. I remember I wanted to be personally involved and assist every patient in their journeys. So I worked day and night doing patient care assistance, clinic network building, financials, strategy development etc. Everything that could be done was done through me. Redia IVF slowly developed a team, and the company grew in size and reputation. Today, Redia offers more than 10 destination countries and more than 30 destination cities from a couple of destination countries. In addition, we have been serving hundreds of fertility patients from more than 20 nationalities. Moreover, Redia IVF is currently a group of companies since the main UK Redia Ltd has 5 subsidiary companies in Spain, Ireland, Greece, India and the USA.
What are your objectives?
I would like to see the Redia IVF project grow more and partner with the best clinics in the major international IVF destinations to serve the global fertility patient. Furthermore, I want to see Redia IVF as the leading international refund guarantee programme provider. In addition, I would like to see Redia IVF taking advantage of technological advances and developing further in artificial intelligence solutions.
How do you see your project in 5 years?
I see Redia having operations with four main headquarters in the next five years. A base in Europe for all European operations, a US centre for North American and Latin American operations, a base in India for Asian and Middle Eastern operations, and a site in Australia.
Sources of inspiration, including people
My biggest source of inspiration is my faith in God. I spend a significant part of my life as an associate pastor of a Christian Church (a voluntary activity). I do find prayer to be my driving force and source of inspiration and guidance for business decisions I have to make.
It is understood that you are a very busy person running a company; how do you balance your personal and professional life?
To be honest, this was a big struggle for years as I found myself working 24/7. Eventually, finding competent and trustworthy team members to whom I can totally delegate authority and tasks was the key to free time and dedicate that to my personal life. Most entrepreneurs have to learn how to delegate responsibilities and avoid having absolute control. It is natural to see one’s project like a baby trying to ensure everything is under control; however, this is a recipe for burnout and failure.
The only routine that I stick with is my morning coffee time and reading my Bible. After that, my daily schedule looks different, depending on the task I need to complete. Perhaps another moment that I enjoy is ending my day often with a glass of red wine.
What is your favourite book?
I guess that would sound obvious from my previous replies, so yes, correct, my favourite book is the Bible!
What is your favourite film?
I don’t think that I have one. I enjoy watching movies from time to time, but I like easy going action movies and comedies, not necessarily quality ones, just fun! I have lately become obsessed with a new series called ‘The Chosen’. It inspired me that an independent production outside the mainstream channels has managed to grow globally and generate funding from crowdfunding techniques. It really demonstrates the power of visionary leadership with passion and determination that can flourish against all odds.
How do you spend your free time hobbies?
That is if and when I have free time. I am mostly spending time with my family and my three kids, helping them with their homework or playing a video game with them. I enjoy dining out with friends or having friends at home for dinner and wine. I also love travelling, and although I mostly travel for business, I do enjoy it when I get the time to travel with my family for leisure.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, my older daughter will be finishing high school, and hopefully, she will be starting university at that point. My two boys will be high school kids, so I hope to have more time to travel with my wife and not only for business. It will also be the time that Redia IVF would have grown to the size and operation expected, and I would have a much bigger team of managers to work with and achieve all the desired goals.
Advice for people who want to start a business about things they are passionate about.
I would say two things. Firstly, do your study before starting. It would help if you had a sound business plan and strategic plan before committing to the investment. Secondly, don’t give up! However good your idea is, and no matter how passionate you are, there will be severe setbacks, problems and deadends where your first thought will be to give up. Don’t hear this voice. If you persist, eventually, success will come.