Rise and continue going to your goal

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Yuriy Sinitsa
COLLAR Company, an internationally acclaimed dog collar manufacturer from Europe, has been on the market for 24 years, distributing its products in more than 60 countries. The company’s own R&D department continuously generates new products in great demand across Europe, Asia and America. Yuriy Sinitsa, Founder & CEO of COLLAR Company, explains how they are dealing with COVID-19 pandemic.
How has your company continued to operate during the COVID-19 crisis?

COLLAR Company was founded 25 years ago and COVID-19 is the fifth crisis it survives. The main aspects of work during the pandemic are team, manufacturing and work with clients. The team is our main pillar now. Our main task is to let people know that crisis is also an opportunity. The team has changed its mindset and has started to think outside the box. The learning department started the ‘COLLAR Help’ project of counseling for the employees. The corporate culture department started a competition of innovative ideas of the employees. Not only CEO but also the personnel generate new solutions.
To pay our employees we accepted the non-standard orders. We have made 200,000 medical masks in April, helping Ukrainian hospitals and keeping our facilities busy. We also designed stylish masks and protective screens for pet shop personnel. We shipped them for free to our clients to support them. We also launched lots of new products—WAUDOG Design DC Comics dog accessories have the motto ‘Superheroes Save the World’. These products became the first dog accessories with DC Comics design on the market and are already loved by pet parents in a lot of countries. We have learned to launch products in 2-3 days, which usually took half a year. We have launched more than 200 SKUs of new products during the quarantine.
The main issue during the quarantine was the threat of pet shop closing. To solve it, we together with other market operators launched a campaign ‘They Want to Eat, Too!’. The President and government of Ukraine heard us and let the pet industry stay open. It allowed manufacturers and distributors to continue their work. Our company is doing its business very well now and continues its development.
What is COLLAR Company doing to help its trade partners during the crisis?

Simultaneously we concentrated our efforts on helping our clients—we created flexible solutions for installment payments, offered the unique discounts and marketing campaigns. We launched new products that generate customers’ interest in our clients’ shops. For example, we offered a unique discount to the bestseller Pitchdog Sportball toy. This initiative has lowered the Sportball price for the customers of the shop and created additional customers flow. This campaign is already working in the EU countries.
We provided our customers with the necessary trading equipment for free. For example, displays for PULLER – dog fitness tool and the product itself were in great demand during the quarantine period. In general, for one and a half months of the quarantine period, we have launched twenty times more marketing campaigns than average.
What have you learned from it?

The pandemic has strengthened my dedication to the three main principles—See the possibility in each crisis, Work several times faster in comparison to calmer times and Make the decisions that horrify me the most. It helps us to change our mindset, step out of comfort zone and find the point of growth.
How are you looking to develop internationally following on from the pandemic?

We are already trying new virtual formats. We will participate in VIRTUAL PETINDEX Expo in the UK. Our team is going to take part in China International Pet Show this year. We are also going to keep up the speed of launching new products and our active and individual support for clients. We intend to share successful experience overcoming the crisis with our partners – distributors in India and other countries.
What advice would you give to others?

The main advice is—‘Follow your fear’. The development of a human being or a company always lies in a zone of fear. Fear marks our biggest point of growth. Fear of keeping your personnel while everyone else is firing people. Fear of investing in goods while the demand is shrinking.
Each crisis will end and after it the catch-up demand will emerge. You should be prepared to fulfill it. And my last advice is—Success comes when you fall a thousand times and rise a thousand times and one time more. Rise and continue going to your own goal.
(To learn more about COLLAR Company, visit: https://collarglobal.com/)

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