Save yourself and others a Small invention "for yourself" went to the market with a Bang, because it revealed a big problem of the lack of comfortable clothing in many industries that would protect a person.
Three fishermen were walking on thin ice. Of course, he broke under them, and people were in the icy water. But we three are safely out of the hole: for two was the brand Raftlayer suits (from the English. "floating layer") - they pushed to the surface. And third, without costume, friends gunmen... This is not a retelling of the commercial. The story is true, happened to the employees of the company "Intechno" (the city of Zarechny, Sverdlovsk region), which make costumes that save lives.
Sergey Glyadkov, who invented Raftlayer, is a jeweler artist by education. No floating suits three years ago to sew, and especially to build on it business, I wasn't going. He, a fisherman and a hunter, just wanted to make some clothes that protect against mosquitoes, comfortable and "breathing". But Raftlayer very quickly healed his own life, and now pushes the entrepreneur to all new markets, increasing sales volumes exponentially. Because he created clothes has a number of excellent properties - floating, shockproof, keeps warm (it is possible to sleep in the snow). A year after the release of the product to the retail market, the suit is sold in specialized stores for fishermen and hunters in 35 Russian cities. It is going to be ordered by the Ministry of emergency situations, rehabilitation clinics, oil and gas companies, the Morflot: potential consumer groups were unexpectedly many. The modest invention" for itself " revealed the big problem of absence in many professions and industries of really comfortable clothes which would protect the person from danger to sink and freeze, falls, blows and other things. Having seen what her husband's idea turned into, Marina's wife left her former job in retail and joined the family business as an Executive Director. The monthly turnover of "Intechno" in the production of 200 costumes today is 800 thousand rubles. Demand is ahead of supply, orders are scheduled for many months in advance: by the end of the year, production will increase to 500 units, and in the near future, the family business is preparing to fulfill orders of five thousand suits per month. The head Of the infrastructure hub of the Sverdlovsk region Maxim p. A. notes that "Intechno" is an example of how an innovative idea with some support can turn into a successful business in the shortest possible time.
Sergey Gladkov - Sergey, what you invented, distinguish your costume from peers?
- In 2009, the market has an innovative material izolon (products of JSC "Izhevsk plant of plastics") with remarkable properties: buoyancy, insulation, thermoregulation, hygroscopicity, the temperature can withstand up to 100 degrees. Its use is extensive: make travel mats, insulation in homes, insulation in cars. However, in specialized suits and life jackets it is used in the form of sewn plates. They solve the problem of floats-to stay on the water surface. Move in such suits impossible. And apply nice suits from minus 10 degrees. And to minus 10 what? I wanted to create clothes for everyday use. The idea to chop the izolon and pour it into multiple cells inside of the costume... That's how it all started. The suit takes only 30 grams of izolon - it's very light. The secret is to grind and create the "right" cells to place. It is necessary to grind in a special way, in granules through which air passes. At first I did it manually: the grinder for the furniture industry was unsuitable, broke the isolon into a rag. Then came up with the machine - is also its own design.
Friends-hunters said: make costumes for all of us. The idea of creating production is ripe. Then it was finalized and developed into a business plan. The idea of sewing a mosquito suit has shifted to the manufacture of a floating suit, this was prompted by the properties of isolon. You can swim in it indefinitely, getting wet and weighting occurs at 5% of the 3 kg weight of the suit. Tested: a few days the suit under the load was in the water and the properties are not lost. In June 2010, filed a patent application - so no one used izolon. The invention is confirmed. Registered and trademark Raftlayer. The uniqueness is in the filling, and the fabrics are usually specialized for outerwear with a water-repellent layer.
- And then in June, we as an innovative company offered to stay in the business incubator of Zarechny: for 100 square meters the first year to pay only 40% of the cost, the second - 60%. And in a week invited to participate in Innoprom-2010, - Marina joins conversation. - We panic even a single suit is not rebuffed, in an empty space no equipment. But I wonder how people will appreciate it. I quit my old job. We took the model from the standard catalog, ordered three costumes in the first Studio, and had to fill the isolon by hand. Horror. Sergey bought a sewing machine, got it for the first time in my life, at night in the kitchen sewed cells for filler. At Innoprom-2010 there was a stir at the stand, everyone liked the costumes... After the exhibition at the Innovation center of small and medium-sized businesses of Sverdlovsk region, we passed a crash test - confirmation that the idea is working, it can turn into a business. We received a grant of 500 thousand rubles for the creation of an innovative enterprise. We bought the equipment, attracted specialists of sewing production, fashion designers, developed our model and began to sew "normal" suits. In October 2010, the first 20 products appeared in specialized stores in Yekaterinburg and Tyumen.
- The market as you met-a suit in demand?
Marina: we Started with training sellers how to offer goods. In stores posted a video where rescuers in costumes fall into the hole. The first buyers almost imposed: Yes you are not afraid, take, try. Someone bought it and tried it, then the next thing happened. Fishermen and hunters themselves began to organise and collective testing of the suits, they fell into the water, sat on the snow, checking sensation. They were very amused. Pictures posted on the Internet. We now do not spend on advertising: with the first sales word of mouth earned in the positive. As a professional marketer I will say that this is an ideal marketing option.
- How has the situation with sales changed in the first year?
- The market quickly got used to us, now there is no alertness: what is it - a floating suit. People are starting to ask, come to us from other cities. At first we persuaded shops to take under realization, now shops persuade us to sell. Make an advance payment, waiting for costumes. The attitude of consumers has changed. They already know that in this suit the person won't receive hypothermia, won't drown. We're not even managing right now. Demand exceeds supply. Placed orders on one more production near Zarechny, trained seamstresses.
- Did you manage to debug the logistics "from Khabarovsk to Kaliningrad"?
- I am directly engaged in deliveries to specialized shops. We also have a sales Department, although we can not have a large staff, everyone is engaged in everything. Sales go directly to retailers, bypassing middlemen, intermediaries, and wholesalers. First, this is our pricing policy-through intermediaries, the price will be higher, which we do not want. The average retail price in the middle segment, which we occupy, 7-8 thousand rubles. Analogues are 30 to 40 thousand rubles. Secondly, we do not want the wrong information to the consumer. We use the services of transport companies: road, rail, depending on the point of delivery.
- And how do you find new niches of product application, consumer groups, industries?
Sergei: This costume has healed some of his own life. Fantasy have consumers earned. The skiers are asked to develop clothes that... pushes out of avalanches. For paintball, he is asked to "fit". More capacious niches are opening: we can say, as the suit moves through the market, new areas of its application find us. At the start, we did not think about the niche of the Ministry of emergency situations, oil and gas and other industries, which turn into the possibility of large state orders. Internet, exhibitions, television do their job. Productive orders were Innoprom-2011, an arms exhibition in Nizhny Tagil.
- How did you get in there?
- Invited the mayor and Director of Technopark. At first we were surprised: what do we have to do with weapons? It turned out-have. Emergency and security structure we laid eyes: they need these suits as shockproof. We were invited to a number of other exhibitions related to the protection of the state: in Moscow, Kazakhstan, Chelyabinsk. At the Tagil exhibition, Vladimir Putin came to our stand, he was very interested in costumes. I sincerely wanted to give him exhibition copy - refused, saying that his gifts can not be accepted.
On the wave of great demand, we have developed a line of suits for active sports: Quad bike and motorcycle, using the shock-proof properties of the insulating layer. On the basis of this design made and children's rehabilitation suits.