We talked to Tatiana Alexa of Sangrove about a new sales strategy and a truly sustainable way to rollout novelties addressing overproduction, excess inventory and deadstock. She had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Tatiana Alexa: Being a part of a well-timed innovative startup proved to be COVID-proof. I certainly can’t complain.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Sangrove.
Tatiana Alexa: Building startups from scratch is my life-long passion; it’s the environment I thrive in the most.
I founded Sangrove with Stan Mashov, my co-founder, in 2018. The idea actually came much earlier, but we were too busy with other projects at the time. Then at some point, we realized the required technologies matured, while the need for a major change in the way consumer goods industries develop, launch, produce, and sell fashionable products became a must. At Sangrove, we are disrupting the vicious consumer goods life cycle that leads to overproduction: from ‘new’ to ‘on sale’, to liquidation, and dumping. It’s once in a lifetime opportunity to make such a sizable contribution and create a large purpose-driven business.
How does Sangrove innovate?
Tatiana Alexa: Our proprietary patent-pending innovation aims to change the business methodology of design-driven industries at its core with the help of modern cloud-based technologies.
In essence, we use blockchain smart contract technology to help design brands (product makers) reengage retailers and end consumers in order to greenlight the manufacturing and distribution of new products. By unleashing collective action and engaging ‘collective brain’ of buyers, we bring business intelligence and financing to the product makers at the critical stage of design selection. Any mistakes at this stage cost billions in overproduction while polluting the environment.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Tatiana Alexa: Since our customers – design brands and retailers – were in lockdown and saw a big shift in their operations. Initially, it brought some delays in rolling out our MVP, obviously. At the same time, once we adapted to the changed reality, it propelled us forward.
COVID accelerated trends that were in motion already. The design brands are now looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to present and eventually sell their products. Digital transformation became essential for survival for these businesses. So it was helpful for us, as we don’t have to convince our clients in need of a change.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Tatiana Alexa: The main lesson is to be ready for anything at any given moment. Basically, you need to be very flexible in a way you think and operate to adapt to the new reality quickly. To truly appreciate and embrace that ‘nothing is more permanent than the temporary’. Looking back, it was an astonishing year for us, and we are very proud of our achievements.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Tatiana Alexa: Surrounding yourself with nature – thanks to remote work – is a big stress reliever. Long walks help too. But above all, the benefit of being an army of two co-founders, shoulder-to-shoulder, when one is about to fall, the other doubles the effort.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Tatiana Alexa: Something should be cooking behind the scenes, though we have not faced it yet. So we are committed to moving very fast to gain as much territory as possible while the wind is in our favor.
Your final thoughts?
Tatiana Alexa: While the pandemic brought unimaginable stress and ruined many businesses, it is also true that unprecedented opportunities have opened thanks to the major shift in the landscape. Just look for it.
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