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, let’s 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 you’re 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 wasn’t 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 that’s 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.”