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"We are not the establishment, and the establishment is more vulnerable during economic crisis"

Martin Pos, CEO, Cybex

02/07/2013

Martin Pos and Matthias Steinacker established Cybex in 2005; eight years later the company has about 200 employees in 70 countries and its revenue grew by 65% in 2012. The firm started manufacturing car seats and later added strollers and baby carriers to its offer. The goal is to become a global babycare products manufacturer, keeping in mind both the safety and comfort of babies and the fact that their products are part of the lifestyle of parents.

Cybex is looking to enter into new categories. Which will be the next step in this strategy?

We are ambitious and working about expanding our categories but we don't like to talk too soon. Not because we want to be secretive or mysterious, we just are pragmatic, because the expectations about are brand are getting higher and we have to be sure that we really deliver. During the process of product development we can get to the point when we have a set back and have to go again to the drawing board, and this is why we want to be sure before announcing anything.

Which are the goals of the company for 2013?
To grow by at least 50%.

That's a high figure.
That's conservative. I would like to say 100% but I have to be realistic: our organization is not able to grow that high.

Do you think that in a different economic climate the company would be growing even more?
These are facts that we can not change. For young, ambitious companies is always good to grow in a recession because when the market situation is stable, people are not forced to open, to change. We are not the establishment, and the establishment is more vulnerable during economic crisis.

Actually, I like recession because it gives us more potential to eat new market share. So I think we are benefiting from this difficult, very unfortunate environment.

Which would be the main trends in the European babycare industry?
I have not thought about it, to be honest. There is always good potential for safety, good design, and functionality, so if anybody comes with a good idea, the market will follow. It is very unpredictable. Trends are given by fashion, lifestyle and communication outside our industry. Our industry is not a trendsetter in global lifestyle. What we are trying is to be part of this global lifestyle and fashion trends. We have to work properly and keep up.

Do you pay attention to other industries, such as fashion?
Yes, exactly, because we can only learn from our competitors what is the existing state of the art within our industry, but we have to learn about trends outside our industry so we can create new things by that.

Are retailers receptive to new ideas or are they too conservative?
There is a mix. There are retailers who are superconservative, who are only waiting until a new trend is established and who are therefore losing time, and there are some retailers who are very open and innovative. We need to live with both.

Are your products well positioned in the online channel?
We have a certain share. Online is one of our channels, and it has always been there. We consider online like mail order. Before, people were ordering from catalogues so from my perspective not much has changed there. It is just one channel among many other channels and it is up to us to come up with strategies to find concepts to balance out all them.

How do you see the Spanish market?
I love it. It is great. Believe it or not, Spain is one of our fastest growing markets. Our partner there, Millenium Baby, is doing and incredible job. They are a typical example of how innovative and creative companies can capitalize on a crisis.

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