Transforming the Market: Sustainability and Sustainable Development Danil Kontsevoy, Co-founder and CEO of Digit Trading on eco-fashion, the application of sustainable development principles and more
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Danil Kontsevoy, co-founder and CEO of the digital trading company Digit Trading, shares insights into eco-fashion, the application of sustainable development principles, navigating the corporate world, essential leadership qualities, and the importance of maintaining family bonds.
Successful Corporate Experience Before Venturing into Entrepreneurship
When Danil Kontsevoy joined Nike, he was immediately entrusted with significant responsibilities, managing sales in the Southern Federal District. His role involved fostering collaborations with both multi-brand and Nike-only stores. Working with the Nike brand and a dynamic team proved to be an incredible and memorable experience for Danil, marked by colossal projects, ambitious plans, and unconventional solutions as part of his everyday work.
After two years at Nike, Danil earned recognition as the top sales manager. In the subsequent years, he continued working with key clients, handling substantial business responsibilities with an entire team under his leadership.
With a solid reputation in the industry, Danil received an invitation to work at Disney. Initially involved in collaborating with license holders, he later assumed the role of Head of Fashion & Home. In this position, he oversaw the department responsible for clothing, footwear, accessories, and home goods in Russia and CIS countries. Alongside his team, Danil developed products and sold manufacturing rights to numerous domestic companies, establishing relationships with retail networks. His expertise in collaborating with various departments, from production to marketing, both within Disney and with other partners, propelled Danil to leadership positions in the market.
Having achieved considerable success, Danil Kontsevoy decided to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship, aiming to reach new heights in his career.
Danil shared that starting one's own business is always challenging, requiring initial preparedness. In his case, it meant a reduction in the standard of living, as Danil had to initially cut expenses and lead a more modest life. However, for Danil, this was not a leap into the abyss but rather a new path, a new experience — after all, one can always return to employment. Danil did not claim that working for oneself is easier or harder; it is simply a completely different experience. He also noted that having a startup of his own entails dealing with everything initially: product development, international economic issues, production, delegation of tasks to employees, and team creation. At the initial stage, Danil immersed himself in every aspect.
Creating and Leading a Business: Experience and Expertise
Entrepreneurial activities, creating something new and useful for people, have always fascinated Danil Kontsevoy. Even during his employment, he relished asking colleagues and business owners questions. For Danil, this was an opportunity to engage with professionals, understand the intricacies of production, collaborate with retail networks, and interact with marketing agencies.
Not Just a Seller, But Also a Manufacturer
Under Danil's leadership, the Digit Trading team independently designs products, oversees their construction, and controls the manufacturing process. Subsequently, they place orders with production facilities. The team also manages the promotion of their own brands on marketplaces and Instagram. Quality control, logistics, and the development of international economic activities also take place within the company.
The Importance of Eco-friendliness and Sustainable Development Principles for Danil Kontsevoy and Digit Trading
For Danil and Digit Trading, eco-friendliness and sustainable development are not just strategies but the soul and mission of their endeavors. Their business model is unique: they lead the market by identifying surplus materials and finished products in factories destined for disposal, purchasing them, and creating new, in-demand products under their own brands.
Significance of the New Business Model - Eco-Fashion
Danil's moment of enlightenment came after visiting disposal plants and landfills in manufacturing countries. Witnessing the scale of the disaster, he raised the question of what Digit Trading could do to reduce the disposal of overproduced items and materials.
Consumer Product Uniqueness
The uniqueness lies in using high-quality materials previously destined for disposal to create affordable products. Digit Trading offers consumers high-quality, eco-friendly products that are also budget-friendly.
Danil Kontsevoy on the Accessibility of Eco-Sustainable Clothing
With advancing technologies and a growing interest in sustainability, eco-sustainable clothing is becoming increasingly accessible. Danil is confident that his contribution to this process is making it accessible right now.
Choosing to Operate Through Marketplaces - a Justifiable Decision
Digit Trading exclusively sells its products through marketplaces, a decision that has proven to be very successful. The company's revenue has increased by almost 900% in two years.
Team or Successful Idea
According to Danil, the most crucial factor is the team. Even if the idea was unsuccessful, with a good team, it can be transformed into something meaningful. And if luck is on your side with a great idea, it becomes an unstoppable rocket.
The Three Most Important Traits of a Leader
- Confidence - the most crucial quality.
- Secondly - the ability to listen and hear people, despite differing views. After all, if there is a dialogue, a solution can always be found.
- Thirdly - care, genuine concern for the team, for people. If Danil sees that an employee is feeling down, he will definitely approach and ask what happened. This is important and simply human.
Future and plans
Currently, Danil, along with his team, is working on launching a new brand, BIKY, specializing in ultra-lightweight children's balance bikes and bicycles. All thanks to the unique frame construction made from high-quality aluminum. BIKY is designed considering the anatomical features of children: a long wheelbase, stable and light tires, the correct length of the right crank, a specially designed seat, and a child-friendly Q-factor. This makes riding these two-wheeled bicycles comfortable and safe.
Balancing Work and Personal Life
The most important thing for an entrepreneur is efficient time planning: not forgetting to allocate time for family and children.
In the mornings, Danil and his wife take their children to kindergarten and school. This invaluable time allows them to discuss things and share updates on their respective activities. In the evening, they do the same. Danil also makes an effort not to forget about himself - he may send his son to soccer, but instead of waiting for the end of practice and staring at his phone, he goes for a run in the nearby park. For him, this is the balance in personal life. Life consists not only of family but also of sports and friends.