As CEO of telecoms giant GO since 2018, Nikhil Patil brings to the role nearly two decades of experience in strategy, operations, mergers, and acquisitions, helping the company to diversify its business in both Malta and Cyprus.
Why did you choose to become resident in Malta?
The question is more: why not Malta? For starters, from a business perspective, it is an impressively well-connected business hub. As a member of the EU, it also has direct access to the Single Market and has well-established capital markets. Then, from a cultural perspective, people are warm, friendly, and welcoming. The climate is also extremely attractive, with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year – one of the highest in Europe.
How easy was it to settle in Malta and set up in business?
Settling in and setting up a business is very easy in Malta. People living locally are all eager to help, the business community is hugely supportive, and the relevant structures are all in place to facilitate the process.
What have been your top moments of living and working in the country, so far?
It is hard to single out just one moment in all the years I have been in Malta. Certainly, any time that we successfully concluded an IPO or an acquisition has been a milestone moment. I am also particularly proud of the way we responded to the pandemic, ensuring that neither our customers nor our employees were left behind. We did everything in our power to guarantee that our employees were safe and that our customers could stay connected throughout.
How have you found doing business in Malta?
Malta’s legal framework provides the necessary clarity on how to do business here. Of course, actively engaging as part of the business community and building a good network of people always helps. Also, the fact that you can access international talent relatively easily means that you can serve markets beyond Malta. There is huge scope for growth.
What sets Malta apart from other countries or regions, both personally and professionally?
From my experience, the overall service culture and ‘can do’ attitude in Malta is hard to beat. The open and embracing culture means that expats feel welcomed, celebrated, and totally at home.
How open and welcoming was Malta’s business community when you first arrived – and how has your relationship with the community developed since?
As I said, Malta has a very open culture. Access to the business community is easy and the support system is strong. Malta’s size also facilitates growing those business connections, especially those that are critical in the first few years. There are also many fora that you can join to exchange ideas and experiences, and to grow your network. I feel I have a good relationship with the business community, as well as with Malta’s government.
What would you say are the top pros and cons of investing in Malta?
Malta’s great culture and awesome connectivity to Europe are top pros for investment. Of course, when you combine the island’s culture with its climate, every working day in Malta feels like a holiday. What better place to work? On the downside, however – and much like in many other countries – prices and wage inflation are also on the rise.
If you could go back in time, with the experience you have now: would you choose Malta again, and why? Absolutely. I have lived in many countries, but Malta feels like home to me. The country has developed significantly over the years, evolving beyond recognition and keeping up with developments across the globe. Yet, remarkably, it has also retained its historical charm, character, and warmth.
This feature was first carried in the Malta Invest 2023 edition. Malta Invest is the first-ever comprehensive international investment guide focusing on Malta as a destination. It is produced by Content House Group.
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