Fyndiq is an e-commerce site which has grown immensely the last few years. Last summer you could read Micael Widell’s story here at SSS, the CTO of Fyndiq. Now the time has come for CEO Dinesh Nayar to reveal his thoughts on their impressive journey.
Fyndiq is one of the fastest growing marketplaces in Europe, and the site is used by merchants as a sales channel for products that need to increase in sales in an accessible way. As a result, Fyndiq claims to have the best range of products for bargain hunters and is going for the title as “Amazon for bargain products”. Last week the Fyndiq team announced that they had reached a major milestone, 500 000 unique shoppers. But as you will read below – this is just the beginning.
First of all, 500 000 unique customers is an impressive figure. How do you feel when you look back at your journey so far?
That this is just the beginning. We are on an exciting journey and it has been extremely challenging but also very educational. However, I believe that many entrepreneurs (me included) are so caught up in day-to-day-operations that we don’t really take the time to look back and reflect to any greater extent. But of course I’m proud of what we have achieved so far.
Was Fyndiq a success story from day one? Or were there key moments where it could just as well have failed?
If you’re building a company you encounter problems all the time. As a young company you don’t have the “answers” so the road ahead feels anything but straight. Building and scaling a team is difficult. Making sure that you have enough money when you grow quickly is another problem. Not to mention all the challenges in scaling the platform and infrastructure while growing. But I do not think you cannot achieve what we managed to do if it had only been easy and painless. Success is the sum of all the problems we have solved.
Success is the sum of all the problems we have solved.
Do you want to highlight any specific success factors?
Well, first of all, the strength in the founding team. I have felt quite lonely in earlier companies, especially when things don’t go as planned. With Fyndiq it has been the opposite. I face a problem, but then someone else steps in from a different angle and together we are able to solve it. The fact that we are five founders with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives have enabled us to move forward quickly.
We have also had a sense of urgency in everything we do, from day one. In the early days we had a situation when the site went down, which was a big disaster for us. We worked extremely hard to resolve it, and after a few hours we got the site up again. We perhaps lost one (1) order during this “crisis” but we took it very seriously at the time. Now we laugh about it. The thing is that I experience exactly the same kind of stress when we have problems today – being a team of about 60 people and having 50 000 visits per day – and in a few years we will probably laugh at these problems as well. I think this sense of urgency takes us forward at a rapid pace.
We perhaps lost one (1) order during this “crisis” but we took it very seriously at the time. Now we laugh about it.
You have a very interesting background, in what ways have you and your co-founders shaped the philosophy at Fyndiq?
All five of us in the founding team have run businesses and operations in different areas and industries. I think what unifies us is that we want to build a large, stable and self-sustaining company and we understand the importance of making revenue. Even if it’s just a ‘krona’ it’s important to earn it early on since you can grow it from there.
We have also had a clear focus on building the company. That means that our personal roles have been less important. None of us founded Fyndiq with the purpose of having a business card that says “boss”. That is not what motivates us. Everyone who has built major companies know that it is necessary to be able to attract the best people out there. And with the competition that exists today, you must have a good culture and organization that is built on sound values.
None of us founded Fyndiq with the purpose of having a business card that says “boss”
Our philosophy is “keep it simple”. Earn a ‘krona’ and make sure it costs less than that. Treat your employees as you would want to be treated. Sounds like a cliché but it is not rocket science we’re doing.
What are your goals for 2014?
To scale up the business even more. The difficulty of building a marketplace is to get both wheels to spin at the same time, i.e. supply from merchants and demand from customers. Without these two elements, we are nothing and might as well be shut down. In the three years that we have been on the market we have shown that there is a huge demand for what we offer, there is a market position to be taken and we have a recipe that works. We see it a bit like it is now the real journey begins. Sweden is our home market and here we can grow much more, but now we also know that it may be time to look at new markets. When, where, and how we haven’t decided yet, but we are getting there.