"Morele", czyli biznes zbudowany przez studentów - Michał Pawlik i Radosław Stasiak @moreleTV
We ended it with sales of 1,600 million. With 50 people in this world. We are among those ten. The assembly line was in the dorm, in the room. To set yourself up for many years of life in the air. I always knew that I would definitely not work for anyone, that I would have my own company.
This is a team play issue. It is very important that there is never the success of one person or two. In my opinion, this is an inherent feature of running a business. I remember we needed six borrowers to get a loan. After crossing this border, what can fall apart. Doing business is a series of ups and downs.
If you want to receive information about new movies, click subscribe and then the bell. This will allow us to increase the ranges. And if you like the movie, we count on a like and comment in the conversation. Angelika Wielgus-Lach. I invite you to the program “Kulisy success”. On the Kulisy Sukcesu channel, we already had businesses developed in my mother's garden, in a garage or in a bakery, and now about a business that was born in a dormitory.
I invite you to listen to the conversation with the CEOs and founders of Morele.net. Michał Pawlik and Radosław Stasiak. 20 years ago, sitting in a dorm, he started his business. What were the beginnings? Certainly, when I remember this period, I have only nice memories. Such a period, we can say "great social interaction", many friendships, and our very, one could say, strong friendship was mine and Radek. We know each other from
high school, so here the story is longer. We stayed in a dormitory in a room for 3 people. in four people, so there was still more of us there. And such a precursor of such entrepreneurial thinking was Radek. It was as if he was the first to establish a company, only at that moment still economic activity.
I always knew that I would definitely not work for anyone, that I would have my own company. It was my certainty. And one time Radek came and said that he had a company and the name of the company was MORELE.
It was close to our hearts, because we all come from Sandomierz, it is such a garden center. This is one of the versions. As I am telling you so far, what it looked like from the perspective of other tenants of the room.
So Radek said the company is called morale. It was obvious to everyone, " well, we are in Sandomierz, we know what apricots are. Sometimes we were collecting in buckets, in orchards, so we were close." The connotation with Apple also immediately appeared in our minds. I am not going to talk about this genesis, this true genesis, this name, but it shows what it looked like at that moment and Radek founded a company that assembled computers at the beginning.
Yes Yes. The assembly line was in the dorm, in the room. When I screw up the computer, my wife had to or my girlfriend at the time had to leave the room in order for me to break down all this stuff.
We twisted or twisted one or two computers at once. And when the trial was over. the room occupants were allowed to return. There was also such a nice activity , because being Radek, who is just assembling computers. He also built a social envelope around him. It was known that if you had to buy a computer, you would go to Radek.
Such were his beginnings. Later, however, the Internet appeared at all. The subject of the internet is such a fascinating thing. It was 2002, or, let's say, two years later. Michał was the king of the internet, the administrator in our dormitory. So that we joined forces.
Yes, which is the first thing that was. First, I entered the subject of administration, we were in such a situation then that the other AGH University of Science and Technology dormitories in Krakow , the Jagiellonian University, all had the Internet. On the other hand, we from the University of Economics were a bit off the beaten track. And with our own expense, this internet was as if we had established it.
I became the administrator there. It was in one building and at some point our friends from the other dormitories started to come to us "do something, and we will have the Internet" and then there was such a situation. I was supposed to say this kind of network background.
Radek was already so enterprising, connected with running the company. I already had an open business, I had access to a warehouse. It is important. That we could buy the equipment at such normal wholesale prices. Well, on the basis of the need of our colleagues, we went to the rector and we tried to organize an Internaten there, the rector said "listen to the money, so you have to figure it out somehow." Well, it is known.
Necessity is the mother of invention, we figured out good, we'll establish a network. Students will be dropping out every month. There will be paid internet, but it will be true.
In general, we had the idea that we would create this network for a while, then we would pass it on to the university. However, it finally turned out that a large investment is needed there, considering our student conditions. We set up the first network with our own blackheads, so there were already two buildings, several hundred people connected. On the other hand, people from other dormitories started coming to us and saying "listen, we know that you are acting, setting up networks and working.
Do also at our place". It was the first time we had contact with a financial institution. Do you remember Radek? It was a micro initiative. Which still existence. So it was something like that, in order to get the investment for these next halls of residence, we had to borrow money. Friends, my own family was already exhausted.
We went to the Mikro Initiative. I remember that these were the conditions, it was 2003. Until now, I remember the interest rate was 38 percent. annually. A lot, so when I was throwing these numbers into Excel , I counted what the return on investment must be, so that it would close, it would turn out a lot, and the other thing that hit us was that I remember that we needed six borrowers to get a loan. It was thirty thousand zlotys, I remember.
It was a huge amount for us back then, we had to bring in six people. So Radek's parents, my future wife. Respect for our girls. Your future wife. Which agreed. Well then we noticed that true love has to be, or a good investment.
One of two. These were the beginnings. We have built up these networks. There were quite a lot of dormitories at "Golden Autumn", let's say at al. 29th of November. We did the same for the academics of the Agricultural University. This topic kept growing.
However, we faced such a dilemma because we were already finishing our studies. Running such a company in a kind of student formula , where, let's say, you are in this center, as a person who provides such a service for which people are happy, because they have this Internet, it was kind of nice on the one hand. On the other hand, it was already creating a certain situation for us, not a market one, in the understanding that all other universities, apart from those for whom we made a dormitory, had free internet.
So the university, colleges and universities paid, and we paid students. So for the first time we also met with such a transformation, let's say this business model. He did not build happiness in these users, just such a feeling of injustice. We said "good", especially here Radek has such a character that he needs to spread the happiness of mankind. We found it good.
This model has run out. We handed over these college networks. Today you have a net, somehow deal with it yourself.
They got the infrastructure, so as far as I know, universities connected this internet for free, and we were faced with such a dilemma. How to use the enterprise infrastructure that we have to carry out the business further. We had a, say, a little leg related to hardware trading, because these users of ours wanted to keep buying computers and so on. Radek, we can say, developed this ideological part , the rector himself wrote, because we had to have some user management software to support this network .
And I remember that then I created such a soft, I had to learn what fascinated me very much since high school. We made computers terribly, we made programs to blow up and it was such a cool field of connections of the Internet that exploded at that time, which was not like now what was the beginning of the Internet, also this programming because I was very interested then. And based on these experiences, I think we have been thinking for a long time what we will be in. I remember that I have different goals from that time, forecasts for 10 years ahead, so I can compare something. It was not a sure analysis. I remember that we analyzed such business models, for example, I still remember networks from computer salons.
Something like Karen did back then. Komputronik. It was alternative business models. I don't know if you remember, but we also considered the internet as a business model. And in the formula of the cellular signal.
It was a lot as I know it is almost 15 years ago so the memory is blurring there. But it was a big analysis, so from your perspective it seems Radek, we didn't think for a long time. They thought for a long time.
We found the internet very future-proof. Although that was not the most important thing. The most important thing was this. Radek writing software that there is space to write soft. Developing the software was fun for Radek. Maybe I was less romantic, more business-like that it will develop, it will grow rapidly, so it seems to be tied up there , plus I was looking at what we have now, in terms of relations with wholesalers, some kind of customer base who have already bought from us.
Understanding this online world, because we grew up online. There are certain resources, a certain foundation, to do this. So here Radek's need to do something cool and my more cool analysis made us go into these topics. Not so much cool, great, because we always thought. This was what our ThinkBig was like to do something really big.
5, 10 people in this world, and we are among those ten. We tried always to think that it was only a matter of time. To this day, we say that if we were in another country, we would have other capital access , we would probably get started faster. And this is interesting, because when you collect experiences, you later see what mistakes there are.
A lot also depends on who he is around. Exactly what allowed you to get to where you are now. You started the company a long time ago. What elements of running a business, in your opinion, made you one of the main players in the e-commerce market related to electronics? According to, for example, Jacek Welch from GE. Strategy, execution and people are the main elements of running a business, business development, as you think they are.
A very nice person, I know him only from books, of course , but I like his approach very much. However, I have some such reflections, the longer we run a business, the more it seems to me that we need to come back a bit to such a trivial statement that, first of all, you have to do something you like. Looking as if from the perspective of these 15 or 20 years.
And this is probably repeated in such experiences of many entrepreneurs. There is something like running a business is a series of ups and downs. And you would have to accept it, this is the way you just go to different goals. You have to accept that this path may be long, that this success will not come immediately, which is what I started with.
I think the ambition is as if I had to mention. You have to be ambitious, set yourself ambitious goals. This is the first thing, and the second is the persistence to set yourself up for many years of living in the air. These profits do not come immediately. Well, you have to be consistent and believe that maybe not in a month, maybe not in six months, but in a year two, maybe three. But this success will come. Yes, but for such a consequence to come, I will not say easily, but for it to be realized, it is much easier when you do what you like.
Yes? So that's why it's kind of essential to me. The second thing I would point out. Well, you have to pay attention to what kind of people you surround yourself with. The longer I run the business, the more I see that it is a matter of team play. This is a very important issue, it is never the success of one or two people, it is just a matter of a team.
We, when we started, had the comfort that there were two of us, we trusted each other. We had much easier than this, I see from the perspective of other entrepreneurs, if someone started on his own, in my opinion it was twice as difficult than I had or Radek. Later, the people who came out to us were also trusted people. And it certainly helped a lot.
So I would point out such things, i.e. the selection of people with whom you work. And now I will ask a little bit in American. What spectacular failures do you most remember in your career, in your business, and what lessons did you learn? Here he will refer to what Radek said. We have always had this kind of thinking, Think Big, and despite the fact that we have too little capital, we have too little resources, I do not know, the project is too ambitious, too much just for what we have, and I as if, even rationally, I knew it was.
This is our common thinking. Okay, but you have to think a lot, it meant that we often lacked a bit of oxygen, as runners say, i.e. we ran without breathing. As every runner knows, you can finish an apnea, and running an apnea marathon is difficult. And now, for example, such recent stories. We converted our business model
from a specialist store, which we did not want to be, because we believed that in order to introduce a business model such as a specialist store , you need to implement an omnichannel strategy, you need to have showrooms, you need to reach this customer with all possible directions. On the other hand, such macro trends in the world showed that the Multi-vertical, marketplace business model is gaining more and more space within this e-commerce market, which is gaining more and more space within the entire retail trade. So we had the need not to do this specialty store, but Multi vertical does it right away, i.e. raise this bar high. In our store, we wanted to move out of such a narrow selling of computers to other industries. Also sell other goods. And, let's say, we've been doing it since 2015. We've
invested a lot of money to develop technology that will allow us to do it, and that will also expand structures in this direction. This is a bad strategy for such immediate, short-term goals. One thing.
The second we saw, to do all this, we will run out of some money. And we had a moment, e.g. in 2018, where we saw this business. This approach will not pull you off. We must stop, reform the processes and cut some unprofitable lines. It was like that for us. It is always so sad, but the primary goal is for the company to generate profits, to exist. You cannot for your own whims, so to speak, or for dreams that cannot be realized here.
Risking the crew, people and customers, so we had to take a step back, let's say. Whereas. This is interesting because there is talk of failures. Often there are random elements that make it possible that if you run into contact, so to speak, you don't have these buffers.
If a random element occurs, then the machine stops working, it needs to be reformed quickly. This is my second observation, my reflection that this sum of these negative and positive events is zero in the long run. There is no need to cheat for e-commerce the pandemic situation, it was such a huge growth accelerator and we suddenly could go back to our, say, paused projects and even launch them even more forcefully.
There was a failure. There were some random factors that didn't help us. We cannot complain because there are successes and there are also some random factors that help us. So your success was not built on failures, because some time ago I talked to Maciej Panek from Panek SA on my channel and he said that his business, his success is built on failures. It wasn't like that with you? In my opinion, this is an inherent feature of running a business. These are more spectacular failures and less spectacular.
We are such a smoothed company that still has such consistent and consistent growth. With a smaller or larger, say smaller, larger amplitude. It's hard to say, but I think it's hard to say in our case, it's hard to say that we gain experience from some big losses. But for sure there is a lot of small ones.
Very often on my channel there are also e-commerce businesses and many people say that in their opinion, in order to be successful in this direction, you need to pay attention to the fact that you need to be multi- dimensional, that the margin is more important than the turnover and that it is also important is to focus on the development of your own brand. What is your opinion on this? Certainly the statements you made. They are reflected in reality. Each company has its own specificity. I think that we are the kind of horse that we focus on and I believe that it is a growth driver for the company, it is technology. I think this is the role of Radek.
You did not mention the technology in your list, but it seems to me that in e-commerce you have the ability to create your own tailor-made functionality simply for your own company, for your company. This is extremely important. This is one of the most important things. Whether turnover or margin. It turns out that we are already a long- established company, because it was different at different times.
It's not that always a margin, always a turnover, sometimes the margin does not depend on the market or the market. Now, for example, the trend is that the most important thing is gaining back some market share, so sales are back in favor. Turnover. So in this respect I would say that it is dynamic. What is probably permanent in our case is care for customers, that is.
It is probably also a trait when someone is a manager in the company and the owner of this company. He has been with her from the beginning, which means that he is not such a mercenary, he identifies very much with all such ideas and mistakes that affect customers as the company is bigger. As the saying goes, the law of statistics is a greater risk that something will fail somewhere and that some client will not implement this topic as well as we would like or we will not implement it in such a way that he is satisfied.
And you have to convince yourself all the time, and even more willingness to improve, to simply make these mistakes zero. And that this client should be satisfied. This is one thing that is believed to remain unchanged. We have added two dimensions of technology and opsessive care for the quality of services. And how to scale, tell me business, he also often gets questions, but businesses on a smaller level than yours? People are asking how to move this ceiling to keep the company growing. Can you boast of really good financial results? Can you also say what and what are your ways of moving this ceiling? I would say that people are very important, that if an entrepreneur manages to find the right person who can be calmly delegated some tasks, I think that it is very important when scaling, because there is a limit that the entrepreneur can to grasp after crossing this border, something may fall apart.
In my opinion, finding the right people, preferably better than yourself, is very important. I would pay attention to such things that are not defined at the beginning in small companies, because they are kind of natural, i.e. the values that are in the organization. I believe that this is a great foundation
later, because if we are looking for people, we build teams, then something must bind these people together. So what we learned is we assumed that this is a question of values, we put a lot of emphasis on topics such as openness, for example. We see that we've been building this for a long time and it's not kind of natural.
I do not know if it is our national trait to speak openly, for example, critical things, in both directions and the team to the manager and the team manager, we are trying to beat it to the bush. Not to be so direct, which is one thing we focus on openness. Other values that we have in our company are camaraderie and integrity. I will turn to the topic of righteousness here.
It is very convenient if you are aware that you work with people where you can simply make arrangements orally. They don't have to be subjects written in blood on paper with ten lawyers. It speeds up business tremendously, because people trust each other and know that if something is said what will happen. So I think values are a thing.
If the company reaches a certain scale on which you just need to define and communicate to the organization. And what results can you boast of in 2020? It is known that last year was a very good year for all e-commerce. We ended it with sales of 1 billion 600 million. Profit is not some secret there is over PLN 50 million. In closing, I will ask. Your competitors
invest heavily in TV commercials, in cooperation with show business stars, you are not visible on TV , you are not seen, for example, that you cooperate with a singer and with celebrities, how do you develop and where can you find you? I think it has the foundation of A., first of all, in our backgroun Radek in this technological one. We would always rather spend our money on technology development than on some sort of advertising. Do more on the countable things that can be easily counted and check the effectiveness. It seems to me that we often thought these television commercials seem less effective than pure internet advertising, such performance marketing.
But maybe someday. What we are doing now is a very personalized advertisement directly to our kind of clients. We contact them as much as possible without intermediaries via social media. However, because we have already achieved the full scale , this brand marketing in our company will also be more noticeable.
This year. If you want to receive information about new movies, click subscribe and then the bell. This will allow us to increase our coverage. And if you like the movie, we count on a like and commentary.