Bastien, Up's Managing Director, speaks to Marketing Week

25 October 2021What they say about us

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Innovative solutions with people at the center

They never rest, are characterized by passion and new ideas for innovative services, provide excellent experiences to their customers and act as a "beacon" for the wider group. This is Up Hellas!
Bastien Agnes, Managing Director of Up Hellas, shares with us the company culture while announcing for the very first time the launch of their new solution; Up Scores.

MW: Tell us about Up Hellas and what do you bring to the Greek market?

Bastien Agnes: We design and deliver digital-first employee benefits that transform the workplace experience. Our goal is to help companies make their people happy and healthy. We bring an unmatched, proven customer experience. People are always at the center of everything we do – employers, employees and the Up team. We achieve this making their lives easier, more fun and more vibrant… Let’s take our GoForEat meal card as an example. We released the most simplified customer journey ever design: all we need is a name – that’s to make our customers life much easier. For our cardholders, we don’t believe in closed models, so we provide them with the best network of merchants possible without blocking any of them! Then, we just add a bit of fun with our app and its notification system and various features. That was our starting base – and by making everything about People – just like that we had the best meal card on the market.

For the next 2 years – it was all about creating more fun and rolling out new ideas:

  • Creating the first direct cashback solution in Europe (HeroCorp)
  • Enabling peer to peer transfer (Feed a Friend)
  • Launching GooglePay
  • Releasing our customer online portal where each of our customers are able to manage, load, order whatever solutions we offer, and of course download all sorts of reports.
  • That wasn’t even enough for us – in those same 2 years, we have rolled out our git card, our holiday card and managed to launch one of my favorite benefit: UpFit – the only company sponsored multi gym sports and wellness membership in Greece!

Energy, new unheard services with a twist of insanity with People at the center: that’s what we bring!

This year you are celebrating 5 years in the Greek market and you have already left your mark. What do you think brought such a positive response from Greek companies?

I believe our insanity and first-in-class customer experience is what makes us stand out – and people are noticing it more and more. The last two years have been pretty amazing for us.

I see Greece as the Group’s laboratory for the craziest ideas. We implemented the first meal-card cashback solution in Europe just over 2 years ago now. Since then, it has been rolled out in the Czech Republic and France, with more countries to come. If I take the peer-to-peer service that we just launched this month – you would be surprised at how many people have reached out to get more technical information. It’s crazy, but Up in Greece – and its 20 employees has become a beacon for how to do things. We are inspiring!

Behind every success story there is a great team - tell us about the Up team

Nothing beats passion – and that is the first word I would use to describe each team member. We may have disagreements sometimes on how we should be doing things – and that only adds value to what we do and how we do it. The moment everyone thinks the same, you stop adding value or even worse: people stop caring.

The second aspect that comes to mind is how the team is willing to help each other out. How we are able to go the extra mile for one another. I can give one example that makes me so proud of the team: a while ago, we had a young intern who was calling some companies. Unfortunately – the company in question wasn’t extremely polite to our intern and from what I understand used some colorful words. Imagine my pride – when one of our more senior employee called back that company to tell him to behave a bit better. We are where we are today thanks to each decision we took together. The discussions we have on a daily basis between and with our stakeholders fuel our capacity to enhance our solutions and roll-out new ones. In the end – to the Up team… I say a big thank you – and I love you!

Which products or solutions stand out?

Each of our solution stands out! I have an ongoing love affair with UpFit of course for many, many reasons… It is our company sponsored multi gym sports and wellness membership. In a nutshell, the UpFit membership gives employees access to hundreds of gyms and other sports related activities across Greece.

Due to the pandemic, the solution has been on hold for the last year – but the sheer interest we are receiving is insane. It’s the biggest cause of frustration right now for us – knowing you have something life-changing and truly powerful – but having to keep it under wraps… I give it 3 years and it will be the most sought out benefit in Greece!

Anything new that you are planning for the rest of 2021?

Yes! We are always buzzing with new ideas. I will reveal one here and now, exclusively for you: Up Scores is coming this month! We decided that we wanted to help HR engage more with their employees by providing a simple solution that can be implemented in an instant around a theme that brings us together: sports. Up Scores is a sports predictor platform that allows colleagues to compete with one another other (with possibilities of creating teams of course) to stir some friendly rivalry.

We start with the European Championship this summer – and we will extend it to various competitions – including basketball of course – and who knows maybe the new Super League as well. Apart from that, we are always looking forward to enhancing the customer experience – which today depends mostly on the mobile app for our cardholders and the customer portal for our corporate clients.

Ask the team - we never rest!

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