Chances are you’ve spotted one of the VBL Group’s projects if you’ve taken a walk through Valletta recently.
Set up nine years ago, the VBL Group – short for Valletta Boutique Living – started with a mission to transform the capital city’s real estate sector into one which reflects its rich heritage.
A quick look at their projects on their website will tell you that they’re well on their way to achieving their goal.
Now their co-founder and executive chairman Andrei Imbroll has given us an insight into what he believes are the keys to success on Lovin Malta’s video series Meet The Boss.
Here are five things we’ve learned about him.
1. He used to be a fully-fledged doctor
Becoming a doctor is tough and leaving the profession is probably even tougher. In fact, Andrei describes his decision to leave medicine as the hardest decision he’s ever had to make so far.
“My parents were proud to have a doctor in the family but I had to find my way and find what I really enjoy doing in life,” he explains.
His passion for business actually originated from his first taste of work – summer jobs back when he was a student.
“It was fun and nice at the time but it was hard work and I quickly realised that I didn’t want to work for others,” he frankly admits. “So it was either becoming a professional or starting my own business.’
2. His business advice? Always identify the risks before signing a deal
Looking back at his successes and failures, Andrei’s one main piece of advice for aspiring businesspeople would be to identify the risks of a deal or transaction before putting your name to it.
“If you can live with the downside of that risk, then go for it. If the upside looks really good but you can’t really identify the risk, then don’t go for it,” he argues.
He also urges people not to add layers of complexity to deals just to save some money, pointing out that “simplicity is absolutely beautiful and will pay you back multiple times”.
3. His trick to maintaining a strong work-life balance is quite simple
There has been a lot of talk internationally about the importance of achieving a work-life balance, particularly since the pandemic-field rise of remote working.
However, Andrei’s trick is quite simple – make sure you work in a job you enjoy so much that it doesn’t even feel like work.
“Once you enjoy what you do and your work is fun, then there’s no work but just life in your work-life balance,” he points out. “Don’t be afraid of change in order to reach that balance.”
4. He plans to branch out into sports in the not-so-distant future
Describing himself as a lover of sports, Andrei has been mulling branching out to a sport-related business for around 20 years, which means the idea is much older than VBL Group is.
And it seems as though his dreams will soon come to fruition too.
“In the next few months, it might be something which I actually manage to do,” he says coyly.
No more hints were provided, but watch this space…
5. He believes there’s something unique about Valletta
Despite all the development opportunities around Malta, VBL Group has decided to focus exclusively on Valletta, with Andrei stating that no other town or village has the harmony the capital does.
“Now that many localities in Malta are moving towards high-rise, the geographic characteristics of Valletta, which render the supply very limited, make it very attractive for any investor,” he says.
“It’s a matter of love too. You grow to love Valletta… quite quickly in my case. I’m proud of what I do and it’s been a great journey so far.”
It certainly has, and there’s certainly more to come…
This is the latest episode of Meet The Boss, a Lovin Malta series in which we sit down with local CEOs to share their vision, business tips and discuss some crucial topics.
Cover Photo: Left: Andrei Imbroll, Right: A bird’s eye view of Valletta (Photo: VBL Group)
Do you agree with Andrei Imbroll’s business advice?