There are many young entrepreneurs in Ostrava who are successfully expanding their businesses on the international scene. It’s always a long and winding road from a bright idea to a successful business venture. We talked to the founders of Skladon – an Ostrava-based company specializing in logistics outsourcing for e-commerce projects – and asked whether it has the potential to grow into a truly global business.
The owners of small e-shops have always faced problems of logistics, having no option but to send most packages via their local post office. But in 2015 Patrik came up with a bright idea that he thought would solve these logistical problems once and for all. He told Konstantin about his idea, and the two of them decided to enter the ‘Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs’ competition run by JA Czech. They ended up winning the first prize – and that initial success kick-started a business journey that proved to be more dynamic than anybody could have expected. Before long, the boys found out that sophisticated technologies were an absolute ‘must’ if the business was to grow and achieve its potential, so they joined forces with Miloš, who now runs Skladon’s technology department. So that makes three partners in total – Patrik Babinec, Konstantin Margaretis and Miloš Halecký.
When the boys began developing their software systems and fine-tuning their business model, they found that it was not commercially viable for Skladon to focus purely on small e-commerce clients, so they decided to target crowdfunded projects too. Things began to speed up, and their small-scale startup quickly grew into a fully functioning business.
The team at Skladon soon realized that outsourcing logistics – Patrik’s simple idea from which the business had grown – had global potential. Skladon CEO Konstantin Margaretis gave more details: “For e-shops, logistics is one of the key factors in their success, but they don’t actually make any money out of logistics. Outsourcing means that e-shops get top-quality logistics services using the latest technologies, all for a very reasonable cost.”
Today Skladon has put down strong roots in the Moravian-Silesian Region. The company chose Ostrava thanks to its location; the city is one of the two top logistics centres in the Czech Republic in terms of its global accessibility. Skladon dispatches its clients’ consignments to around 220 countries all over the world, and has strong links with renowned global carriers such as UPS and GLS.
The company is continuing to grow, and it plans to open a new distribution centre in 2019 which will satisfy the ever-growing demand for logistics outsourcing services. To help them launch their operations, the young entrepreneurs made use of the services provided by the MSIC Expand programme, which put them in touch with a global logistics expert who mentored their first steps. Konstantin Margaretis greatly appreciates the role MSIC has played in developing the business: “Our collaboration with MSIC has been very beneficial to us. It was an excellent investment because it put us directly in touch with an expert who can offer us huge amounts of know-how and knowledge. Every month, we gain an amount of knowledge that would have taken us several years to acquire if were working on our own – and our business is moving forward rapidly, so I can certainly recommend MSIC very strongly.”
written in conjunction with: Vendula Margaretis Rechová, CMO Skladon,