Ask the Expert - Miguel Pina Martins, CEO Science4you
Science4you's premise and mission is to learn how to play. However, this transformation of an academic project into a company has also forced me to learn how to fail.
The early years of the company were a solitary learning process in which I assumed all the main functions of the business. I was THE accountant, designer, marketer, financial advisor, and even a courier. I knocked on many doors, hoping to sell toys, and before hearing the first “yes,” I heard “no” many times. Over time, in this process of learning and presenting the toys to potential customers, I had to improve details and correct small procedural flaws, but I never stopped believing in the potential of this idea and this business.
Since the company was founded, internationalization has always been a priority. Apart from Madrid, in 2013 we also opened offices in London; however, this decision was not profitable for the company. We did not have the necessary know-how in that market, and the toy industry in the UK is very complex and competitive. It did not make sense to continue working that way. Our performance was far from the expected and we were losing efficiency.
This forced us to change our strategy, addressing that market in a different way. We decided to join forces with those who already understood and knew the market better than anyone, so we started working with a network of local agents. The experience and expertise of our distributors were decisive for us. The conditions for success had been created.
From then onwards, we have been reinforcing our connection with our distributors every year; nowadays, we can rely on a solid network not only in the UK, but also throughout Europe.
Miguel Pina Martins, CEO Science4you