Marti Soosaar of Stebby tells us about step by step journey for a healthier society through personal wellness.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Marti Soosaar: I am working and studying from home. Generally, the morale is excellent and overall mentality hopeful.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Stebby.
Marti Soosaar: I founded Stebby while working with Estonian Federation for Company Sports. Our customers wanted some solution to manage their wellness benefits, and we decided to create a tool for this purpose.
During COVID, we founded another company – FitQ. This is a tool for group and personal trainers to sell their video classes efficiently.
How does Stebby innovate?
Marti Soosaar: There is no big secret sauce or R&D behind those companies. We are solving the riddle of making people more physically active and promoting activity with the help of technology.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Marti Soosaar: Last year’s March and April was a huge blow – -90% for turnover. But it seems that everyone has now getting used. Last year, our main problem was that the growth was slow, and we postponed our market opening in Dubai and are still operating only in the Baltic market.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Marti Soosaar: We managed to survive without cutting the salary costs and letting people go. That is great because onboarding new talent is time-consuming.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Marti Soosaar: The tools we used to manage relations with our customers are just regular phone and Zoom conversations. We had very minimal face-to-face meetings. We see it possible and consider skipping the physical sales and other meetings to a minimum in the future.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Marti Soosaar: Yes, Estonia’s government paid some salary subsidies in April, May. This helped to keep our team, and after that, the business restored. All in all, the government help was not more than 15 000€.
Your final thoughts?
Marti Soosaar: I am pretty confident that the future will not be like the past when the pandemic ends. A lot of people’s workout habits have changed for good, and virtual is here to stay. Pushing forward with providing virtual fitness opportunities for people seems to be mandatory.
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