Freddy Sobin, Group President and CEO of Consortio Fashion Group, expected to work for one of the big-three management-consulting firms upon finishing his formal education. However, life offered him an opportunity to build something from scratch, so Freddy took the road less travelled to forge his own path. I got a call from a small e-commerce start-up that was only two months old, he says. I have a mutual friend with one of the founders and CEO who had recommended me, so we got in touch. We had a brief meeting and brief interview and I said, Why not, lets take a chance. I felt it was a great opportunity to see what entrepreneurship is all about, and I joined Tretti in January 2005.
E-commerce at that time in Sweden was kind of recuperating from the dotcom boom in early 2001 to 2002, so there were a lot of skeptics, but I thought this was a very exciting opportunity, so I jumped on board. I joined as the right-hand man for the CEO. On paper, I was marketing manager and business development manager, but as we were a small company, you do everything when youre in a start-up. So besides marketing, I established our IT department, which was outsourced. I sourced that and recruited everybody. I was heading up logistics the same way, setting up our warehouse distribution, et cetera. Doing a lot of things, if not everything, in a small company meant learning the entire value chain, learning every part of the business, and gaining great insights.
I wasnt part of the board, but I was joining the meetings as secretary of the board and I was there for three and a half years. During the first year, we made an IPO and took the company public, and we raised quite a lot of capital. That enabled us to grow faster, and thats what we did. During the first year, we went from 0 to 72.5 million SEK in turnover. That was year one, and then during the last quarter of our second year we reached break-even. So it was very fast growth. We reached break-even and profitability fast as well.