Albert Icart, Co-founder and CEO of Kibus Petcare tells us about offering healthy and natural nutrition in a convenient way.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Albert Icart: We are doing fine, considering the general situation. Some of us have had COVID-19, but we are lucky to be all in good health. I hope you and your families are doing fine as well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Kibus Petcare.
Albert Icart: I have been involved in the pet food industry all my life. My grandfather founded a company that has been in the industry since 1953, and I used to run the sales and marketing department, selling in more than 20 countries. I realized that the number of pet owners considering their pets as part of the family is constantly growing, and they want to give them the best nutrition. They are no longer satisfied with the heavily-processed traditional solutions and are moving to healthier alternatives, like cooking at home. However, these are very inconvenient and require a daily preparation process. That’s why my cofounders, Marta Arisa and Albert Homs, and I founded Kibus: to offer healthy and natural nutrition in a convenient way.
How does Kibus Petcare innovate?
Albert Icart: We have developed the first smart device that cooks healthy dog food automatically. It works with multidose capsules of dehydrated pet food. This is just human-grade fruits, meats, and vegetables where only the water is gently removed for longer shelf life (>12 months), but keeping all the flavors and nutrients from the fresh ingredients. Therefore, it has many advantages in terms of taste and health. As a consumer, you only need to program the grams per day your dog needs, and Kibus cooks the exact amount of healthy food at the right time for them to eat. Kibus can also be scheduled from an app.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Albert Icart: We are a hardware business, and our R&D requires physical activities. We have suffered some delays due to this, but we are lucky enough to be able to move forward with our operations. Of course, delays have a financial impact, but we are dealing well with it so far, and we look forward to get over the whole pandemic situation soon.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Albert Icart: So far, we have been lucky with this regard. We have learned that it is important to have in team people who are fully motivated and aligned. Entrepreneurship is hard. Hardware is hard. We need all our energy and focus on what we do, and we are lucky enough to be a team of people with the capacities and the motivation to meet our goals.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Albert Icart: We are now in the process of implementing a CRM to improve our customer relationship management. We have been using excel so far, especially during the development stage, but we are communicating with customers through many different channels, and it is now time for us to centralize it.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Albert Icart: Yes, we have had private investment and also public grants from the Spanish Government and the Catalan Government that have been very useful for our innovation process.
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