Not sure what you can do with your econometric knowledge after your studies? Or just curious where other econometricians work? No worries! With the rubric ‘Into the Business’, the Estimator gives you a taste of different companies where you, as an econometrician, can end up. This time we dive into the world of the fast-growing e-commerce company Zamro. We’ve talked with Floris Jan Cuypers, the CEO and one of the founders of Zamro.
Floris Jan Cuypers (CEO and founder Zamro)
Could you explain what Zamro does?
As a private person, the technical professional can easily order clothes and electronics at Zalando and Coolblue. When this same person needs to order a technical component for his work, it suddenly is a lot more difficult. Search in a catalogue, go to the technical wholesaler or call with a supplier. Is that still the case in 2017? Yes! And therefore, we set up Zamro: we want to make the life of the technical professional easier. Zamro is the web shop for all your tools and technical components. We offer the same convenience as personal shopping web shops, but we provide technical materials to the professional market. Currently, we are live in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, but we are planning to expand to other European countries.
In a short amount of time we grew from a startup to a scale-up
Our pure e-commerce model makes Zamro unique: we only sell over the internet. Contrary to many other business-to-business (B2B) companies, our prices are completely transparent: they are visible without having to log in to a secured website. Also, by focusing on the right logistics we can offer our customers fast delivery.
Zamro is still young; the company exists for about 1.5 years at the moment. Within that time, we grew from 3 to over 70 employees.
How did you grow so quickly?
The whole market for technical supplies is growing rapidly. Currently, the total European market has an estimated value of €125 billion. Within this market customers are increasingly getting interested in e-commerce. Many companies in this market are currently not prepared for that.
We basically have two types of competitors. On the one hand, there are companies like Amazon Business that sell a broad range of products to other business online. On the other hand, there are some online companies who sell specific machinery only. We found the sweet spot in the middle by selling a broad range of products within the online B2B market for technical supplies. Currently we are basically the only one doing this, which gives us a competitive advantage.
Why the name ‘Zamro’?
The sector we supply is also called maintenance, repair and operations, or MRO for short. Our name captures this. Besides, we liked the sound of it and it’s easy to remember.
Could you tell us something about your personal background? How did you end up starting Zamro?
I studied Applied Physics at the Technical University Delft. During my studies, I also followed a minor in Business Administration & Economics. After writing my Master thesis at Shell, I worked for multiple multinationals. Around 10 years ago, I switched to internet companies, like Google for example. I have also worked for a game company and I have spent some time leading an online furniture shop from Brazil. While working, I learned how to combine innovation and talent.
Then, in 2015 Erik Croon and I founded Zamro as a part of Erik’s Group. We experienced a rapid grow. Nowadays, many marketing people, data analysts and supply chain experts work for Zamro. In a short amount of time we grew from a startup to a scale-up. We want to combine the positive elements of a scale-up with the processing power of larger companies.
What is the company culture like at Zamro?
We are always focused on the customer; we always look at the preferences of our customers and try to adapt to that. To achieve this, we combine lots of software and marketing expertise with a deep knowledge of our products. We are always experimenting, looking for new insights. Therefore, our people must be curious and operate as a team.
What opportunities does Zamro offer to econometricians?
We have to deal with lots and lots of data. Due to the large amount of orders each day, we receive a lot of data: the products people ordered, when they ordered, the reviews they leave, etc. The challenge for econometricians is to find out what to do with all this data and to get valuable results out of it. To do this, they need to be able to organize and analyze the data. Next to a strong background in statistics, our econometricians need to dare to take calculated risks. We are looking for people that are not only highly analytical, but also have a sense for business. We want people that are curious and take initiative.
How do you see the future of Zamro in five years?
We want to make the life of the technical professional easier. The goal is to supply every technical professional in Europe. I believe this is truly possible. To reach this goal we need to expand our assortment. We need to further optimize the delivery process. And most importantly, we need to get to know our customers even better. We want to personalize the shopping experience to the demands of our customers.
During your career, you worked at many companies in many countries. Do you have any tips for our students?
Find out what you truly like. That will be the thing that gives you energy every day. Then go for it and stay true to yourself. You can find out what you want to do by trying many things during your student time; do internships for example. But, also highly important: enjoy your student life!Zamro will be one of our Premium Partners during the Econometric Career Days 2017. Meet them during the Grand Opening Drink on Wednesday the 15th of September. To stay up-to-date about the Econometric Career Days, like us on Facebook. For more info about Zamro, check their website.