Now that marketplaces and marketing are largely digitalized, newly started companies can target a global market from day one. The retail sector in particular has lots of examples of successful export stories.
One such example is Swedish fashion company Ivyrevel, which was founded in 2012 by Instagram queen and influencer Kenza Zouiten, together with Aleksandar Subosic, Dejan Subosic and Gustav Springfeldt. Nordea has been in close contact with Ivyrevel from the start. Recently I talked to two Ivyrevel managers to learn how Nordea has helped the company streamline its currency management.
The first collection was launched in 2013, and the company quickly broke into markets around the world. How did this happen?
“We like to say we were born global,” says Ivyrevel co-founder Aleksandar Subosic. “When Ivyrevel launched we had customers across Europe, the US and Canada after only one week. We currently have customers in over 80 markets.”
Ivyrevel is marketed solely via digital media, where Kenza Zouiten’s social media channels have been and remain important elements, he explains.
“Ivyrevel is the world’s first digital fashion house, and that’s something that’s reflected throughout our business model,” Subosic says. “We design our products with a digital mindset and distribute them exclusively via the channels Ivyrevel.com, Asos and Zalando.
“We want to bridge the gap between fashion and technology to create the world’s largest and most progressive digital fashion brand.”
Cooperation with Google
Ivyrevel aims to develop fashion for the high-tech age, which has resulted in innovative projects together with companies such as Google. The Coded Couture app allows users to design their own unique garments.
“We’ve focused on haute couture, the most exclusive aspect of fashion, which comprises bespoke items, and we’re now also making our own digital version for our generation,” Subosic says. “Ivyrevel makes bespoke fashion available to everyone everywhere.”
Running a global company presents challenges whatever sector you’re in. What’s your experience of that?
“As well as needing to know about different laws, regulations and currency conversions, customers are very different in different markets,” Subosic says. “They’re interested in different products, and they have different behavior patterns and different demands and expectations of products. Currency management is unavoidable in our business. Things move pretty fast at our company, and currency management was an area that unnecessarily occupied a lot of time previously. Our cooperation partner Nordea proposed more automated management using its AutoFX ‘currency robot’, and we’re really pleased with it.”
The major advantages of AutoFX
Senaid Hasic, Senior Business Controller at Ivyrevel, explains that AutoFX frees up resources and reduces manual processing. It makes currency management more reliable and cuts costs as the tool automatically monitors and tops up negative balances.
“Most of our costs are in Swedish kronor, while our income is in lots of different currencies, and we previously had to manually sell the foreign currency to buy Swedish kronor,” he says. “This process is now completely automated based on a set of rules we established together with Nordea. It saves us a lot of time; since 1 April 2017 we haven’t spent a single minute on exchanging currencies. It also gives us a good average exchange rate as the exchange transactions take place on an ongoing basis.
“The idea of trying AutoFX came from Nordea after we discussed our currency risk with their experts,” he continues. On a number of occasions Nordea has provided us with proactive advice and helped us improve the efficiency of our day-to-day operations. They make us think and often come up with new ideas and suggestions.”
What’s the next stage of development for Ivyrevel?
Subosic says, “Our focus now is to continue innovating within digital fashion and on scaling up our presence on certain key markets.”
5 top tips for more effective currency management
Ivyrevel has a clever pricing strategy. Getting paid in local currency makes it easier for customers to understand pricing and make purchase decisions. It’s not a good idea to create unnecessary barriers to sales, so I suggest companies exchange sales revenues once they’ve been received. But this work was becoming very time-consuming, so the AutoFX solution is ideal. Here are my five top tips for more effective currency management:
Take and make payments in local currency: No one wants to do business with a bureaucratic company. E-commerce businesses have gone far using this pricing strategy, but lots of sectors have more to learn. Getting paid in local currency means your customers always know how much they’re paying, and you may get better prices from your suppliers if you pay in local currency.
Realize what you don’t understand and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Before starting to deal with other markets, it’s important to find out about how to do business there. This might relate to such things as different ways of operating, traditions and regulations. Realizing what you don’t understand makes it easier to get the help you need.
Use the latest solutions and get rid of unnecessary manual tasks. These are not only a drain on time, but they can also lead to costs – human involvement means the probability of errors, along with related expenses. Use the latest solutions and get rid of unnecessary manual tasks. These are not only a drain on time, but they can also lead to costs – human involvement means the probability of errors, along with related expenses. AutoFX is a service from Nordea that automates the transfer of currency and currency conversions. If a company has cash flow in a number of different currencies in its cash pool, AutoFX’s automated liquidity management provides easy execution of currency swaps each night.
Easily manage unnecessary currency risk. Simple solutions are available for most issues concerning currency risk. Eliminating unnecessary risk helps protect your core business from external factors.
Discuss concerns and issues with your partner bank. AutoFX is an example of a solution that has been developed together with customers to make day-to-day business easier. Talking to your bank about issues, opportunities and difficulties will help you create more hassle-free business operations, while Nordea ensures our service offering meets customer needs.
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