Theo Efkarpidis is from one of Canberra’s great business families.But his life journey so far hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Halfway through year 12 at Daramalan College, Theo was politely asked to leave the school. In Theo’s own words he wasn’t exactly an ‘A grade student with the best attendance record’. This happened at a difficult time in Theo’s life. “Around this time I lost two important people in my life. My Papou (Grandfather) and Nonna (Grandmother)on either side of the family,” Theo reflected. Theo was named after his Papou and they were very close, going on fishing trips together and both had a great love for soccer. “I had a really strong bond with my Papou.He was very close because he really understood me and would listen to me. He could calm me down and help me make sense of things,” Theo explained. Theo’s parents were upset and disappointed that he was expelled from school, “Mum freaked out. Dad was a little more understanding.” Theo took the remainder of the year off and worked casually,cooking, serving and waiting, at the Karabar Takeaway. “This really improved my people skills. I learnt how to start a conversation and make people feel comfortable.
I also learnt how to deal with good and bad feedback, and how to read people.”
In 2009, aged 17 and still working part time,Theo got a full-time job as a labourer in the construction industry. Six months later he started working full-time at Chris’ Café in Belconnen.
“I really wasn’t enjoying the labouring.At Chris’ I did a couple of barista courses and was the main barista there. I was there for two years and really enjoyed it,” Theo reminisced, “I can see myself doing something in hospitality in the future – but as an owner not a worker.”
Another important thing happed in 2011 – Theo enrolled at the CIT to complete his Year 12 Certificate. “Working at Chris’ Café for 70 hours per week I realised that there were probably better opportunities out there for me,” Theo laughed.
“I was very excited to go back to study and really wanted to knuckle down and get it done and show myself and others that I could do it.” After completing his Year 12 Certificate, Theo enrolled for university in a Bachelor Degree in Building Construction Management.“In the back of my mind I knew the family business is in the building industry and my father always thought it would be good to have a qualified builder in the family and in the office,” Theo said.
Whilst still at CIT Theo had also prepared a business plan, presented it to his father, and started a business called Eurotag, an electrical testing and tagging business.“I set up and built Eurotag from scratch. As a sole trader I was able to live a comfortable life from my business. I also expanded into office and commercial cleaning and building maintenance,” Theo said proudly.Theo said that he wanted to prove to himself, and those around him, that he could start a business and create his own path without relying on the family. Now in his final year at university,Theo has cut back to a few select clients. “I really have enjoyed university. After a couple of years, I thought I needed to have some hands-on experience in the building industry,so I approached Capcorp Group and applied for a position,” Theo Explained. He started with Capcorp as building cadet. Then after 12 months he was promoted to the position of project administrator, running his own projects. Theo will complete his degree at the end of the year and would like to stay with Capcorp for next 3 – 5 years. “Capcorp is going through some exciting times and is picking up some great jobs. I enjoy the people that I am working with. They put a lot of time into teaching us about the industry,” Theo said.
So what does the future hold for Theo Efkarpidis?
“Long term, I am looking to join the family business. I want to bring new, perspective, experience and knowledge, into the business.I want to continue to improve, and grow, the business – I also see, as part of the future, that the business could expand into building and construction. As an adult, I can really appreciate the work my family have put into building their business, and hope that the skills that I am developing, through my university education and work at Capcorp, can contribute to the business in coming years,” Theo concluded.
Theo Efkarpidis has found his passion and is focused on the future.