We talked to Pablo Martin, CEO at Chronoexpert about vintage certified luxury watches and the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is what he said about it
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Pablo Martin: Health is everything, and family is doing well. This is what matters most!
Furthermore, our company is 100% digital, so we have also remained open throughout the whole year.
There have been challenges and ups and downs, but we will keep fighting.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Chronoexpert.
Pablo Martin: I am the CEO of Chronoexpert.com, a managed marketplace for new and pre-owned luxury watches.
I have always been working in the digital industry after finishing my degree in business, both in eCommerce and lead-gen companies in Spain and the UK.
I love the industry and keeping up to date, which sometimes feels quite challenging. I founded Chronoexpert after analyzing different verticals in the luxury industry. I discovered there was an opportunity and decided to jump right in.
How does Chronoexpert innovate?
Pablo Martin: The company innovates by providing the most trusted platform to buy and sell a luxury watch. We are building the largest luxury watches online jewelry, and TRUST has to be at the heart of everything the team builds. Two-layer authentication process, top customer experience, and a product designed for our customers across +13 different markets.
However, we are still beginning and looking at some key developments that will dramatically change how customers purchase watches.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Pablo Martin: To be honest, it was shocking. We tried to continue operating business as usual but were affected by the lockdown in different countries across the EU. The demand was still there, but the supply dried up. We were able to sell but not to source, which put us in a difficult position. Fortunately, we have a diversified supply and were able to cope with the issue.
Growth is still good for this year, and it has been an opportunity to focus on building a more resilient and robust company. Better unit economics and improved operations.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Pablo Martin: We had a couple of difficult moments as we were just getting ready for our next funding round, which we finally decided to postpone. Lockdown was time to look back and prepare for a potential downturn.
I am obviously not the first one to say that for startups, cash is king, and the industry has changed how they look at growth and scale-up companies.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Chronoexpert in the future?
Pablo Martin: I am usually quite optimistic, and this always helps. Keeping a routine going is key both in the professionally personal areas. Physical exercise works for me in order to deal with stress.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Pablo Martin: There are strong competitors in our industry, and this is a good sign. We need to keep our plan and focus on execution. If we try to look at our competitors too much, we will lose our path. Furthermore, we continuously see happy customers, referring us to friends and family. Our managed marketplace is the best solution for the pre-loved industry!
Your final thoughts?
Pablo Martin: I strongly believe that this year is going to bring a revolution to the luxury industry. Digital, pre-owned, and luxury will cross their paths. From a personal perspective, I will continue being optimistic and resilient!
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