NetTrade Founder Valer Pinderi: “Albania Has Always Been A Land Of Opportunities.”

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Entrepreneur Valer Pinderi shares his opinon on why Albania is a great starting point for startups and what he looks for when hiring people.

One night I was returning home relatively late and couldn’t stop but see a girl at the entrance of a building carring a package. I was lucky to see the logo and just on arriving at home I curiously checked the name of the company who was working that late to deliver and also had a very nice packaging (I have never seen such a nice package since Amazon deliveries). It was there, the fastest growing online selling company in Albania, NetTrade Albania.

One year later I got the opportunity to ask Valer Pinderi, the founder of this company, to tell his story for the StartUs Connect Tirana 1.0 and he was so kind to accept. Impressed by his story on how he managed to become a serial entrepreneur from a small offline shop (2x3m), I decided to ask for an interview and here it is:

Describe NetTrade Albania in 50 or less words.

NetTrade Albania is a multidimensional company which creates and develops new online business. The company takes care of online startups until they have enough income to be independent with their revenue.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

For me Albania has always been a land of opportunities; despite the economic hardships and the small populations I always saw opportunities. My main reason is that there are many individuals who want to work and be dedicated to a serious company, but there are not many leaders who are following their dreams. This is what gives me strength and dedication to follow my dreams and dream of an Albanian with great opportunity who is ready to compete in a global market.

In 7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

In 7 years from now my company will be in the global market, keeping the energy of the youth of Albania in mind. We already started with companies that specifically serve a foreign country and all operation is situated in Albania.

I am sure that we will show the world that countries like Albania or which are under development have plenty of potential and are a treasure to fulfill all their constant needs for fields like programming, web development, digital marketing etc. This tested approach to its success will make the world develop – in developmental countries as well as developed ones. Globalization will also try to eliminate the inequalities of paychecks in countries like ours. Moreover innovation won’t be a privilege of the developed countries but will play an important role in countries like Albania.

What are the best incentives and the worst problems your vision has regarding to your country?​

Our country has four specifics. The first is our youth – it wants to learn and show their potential in new companies. The second is competitors who do not follow a strategy, which makes them easy to compete but not in an even playing field. Third the informality that is a characteristic of the market. The fourth, is the small number of population and market potential. But I still stress that these are advantages which you can learn to work with.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

I have a very detailed plan which is always updated and adapted to our objectives over five years time. For a company like ours that creates startups, the diversification of the company is more important than some objectives. Every month, every week and every day I dedicate an hour to deal with the plan and its objectives which are always updated with new findings, improvements and are always measurable. For more than three years my company is growing by doubling or tripling compared to the previous year.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

My day starts with a 20min meeting with my business partner where we discuss our plan, needs and day priorities. Then I have three main duties which I never forget: 1. Staff. Their motivation, coordination and control of the work by helping and encouraging them to achieve their maximum. 2. Marketing of e-commerce startups that the company has founded. We do analysis, improvements and always look for new ideas to grow and have a better performance. 3. Customer Care. I always make sure to check the work of our providers and work to improve our services towards our customers – without them we cannot achieve our goals. The rest of the day is a variation of meetings, brainstorming and everyday problems.

Already pivoted? Did customers use your e-commerce services like you imagined it in the beginning?

Till now we have published thousands of products and tens of services on our website. What I have learned is that the customer – as much as you try to portray their plan or logic – will always deviate. So before launching the first phase is testing and checking reactions for a closed number of customers.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

At the beginning it was hard and we were bootstrapping till 2015, when we chose two investors who not only invest but also help us strategically, giving us access in future fields and helping with international logistics. So we have been in both.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

In every creation we have three questions before we start everything else. What needs does it solve? What is our advantage? What is our strategy? Without clearly answering these three questions we do not continue with other procedures.

What do you look for in team members?

I have created a team which is composed mainly of inexperienced people, of course we have also experienced ones. In our inexperienced individuals we look for the desire to commit, learn, have initiative so we can invest in them. Till now I have had success because they have the right competencies and have developed to the company’s needs. On the other hand in experienced staff we recruit I look for visible and sustainable success they have demonstrated, I give to them roles where they can demonstrate their success again and where they are valued and promoted.

Why would a talent join your team?

Our team is filled with talents and till today none of them have left the company. Our motivation is in maximum levels and every employee has their own development plan, objectives and freedom in their choices. Our environment, communication philosophy and atmosphere are all oriented towards motivation. Currently we are still small (in turnover and name, compared to large companies) and the phase of scouting talent is difficult, but I am sure that when the company has a higher level of trust and importance in the market talents will come to us. We also try to create proven ways of scouting and developing talents where almost every month a new employee is hired.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

My experience is filled with beautiful memories, many situations but my earlier one filled with most emotion has been the moment where I worked alone at our first shop. Even though I knew it was temporary because of my goals, I still was dedicated and worked in every detail of that small premise with maximum dedication.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

I continuously insist on opportunities in our markets. This market needs new startups because it is functioning in a wrong way of doing business. Old generations have been doing this a certain way that young and innovative people cannot act because technology has not only a different rhythm but it also makes companies somehow equal. I also say that the risk and responsibility will accompany you every single day and you should learn to walk with them.




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