Exhibitor Interview: Stjepan Šmit, CEO, Smit Electronic
Tell us about Smit Electronic?
Smit Electronic, founded in 1994 and based in Kutina, Croatia, initially focused on designing IT systems, developing apps, and selling and servicing computers. However, during the 2000s, the company shifted its strategy by discontinuing its retail and system integration business and instead focused on distribution, including importing from China. In 2007, Smit Electronic introduced its own brand, S-BOX, which offered wall mounts, cables, and various home and office peripherals. Later, in 2016, the company expanded into the gaming industry with the launch of the White Shark label, which quickly gained global popularity. Today, White Shark operates in around 40 countries and has amassed over half a million followers on social media. Notably, the company is also leading a campaign dedicated to protecting sharks and their environment.
Which brand(s) will you be showcasing at Channel Summit EMEA 2023?
We will be unveiling and showcasing the S-BOX, White Shark, and NHG (Nano Hybrid Glass) brands at this exhibition.
What products will you introduce at Channel Summit EMEA? Any product launches?
Our focus will be on the latest successful White Shark products, including Shinai, Ashiko, Marrok, Legion, and Centurion. We are also considering the possibility of launching new products in Monaco, but we are still in the planning stages.
How has your channel business developed in the past 12 months?
It is no secret that the current situation in Ukraine and rising inflation have posed challenges. Nevertheless, we are proud to report that we have surpassed our growth expectations in the last 12 months, despite the difficult circumstances in Europe. We are grateful for this success and remain focused on continuing to achieve our goals. Last year, we proactively expanded our list of partners in select countries, despite not opening any new markets. We made this strategic decision based on the fact that some partners had specialized in online business. We wanted to maintain our strong focus on retail shops while still capitalizing on the opportunities presented by online partnerships.
What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business?
Exporting to 40 countries means that we encounter a wide range of trends and preferences in different markets. On the other hand, our brand includes hundreds of products across multiple segments, making it challenging to discuss the impact of all the trends that we are seeing across multiple markets. Instead, we have adopted a different approach.
For instance, in the gaming product segment, we have built a robust online community of fans and actively engage with them to understand their needs, interests, and pricing expectations. Our goal is to create products that excite and satisfy our customers while staying ahead of the competition.
Which geographic areas are you prioritising in the next 12 months?
While we anticipate faster growth in markets such as Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Nordics, UK, and Benelux this year, we are also committed to investing significant efforts in establishing business in Iberia, DACH, France, and expanding further into Africa.
Tell us about your work with Rezolucija Zemlja?
Večernji list, Croatia's largest daily newspapers, has launched a significant environmental campaign with the aim of raising awareness and promoting active participation in environmental protection and preservation. The Earth Resolution project emphasizes the urgent need for topics related to the environment, ecology, and ecological awareness, as the visible consequences of climate change caused by human activity continue to increase. Through concrete and socially beneficial ecological activities, the project seeks to influence the general public and spread awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. We are proud to be a sponsor of this initiative and are committed to contributing as much as possible. Our focus is to inspire action and foster a collective effort towards preserving our planet for future generations.
Any marketing partnerships, sponsorships or collaborations to share that might be interesting to prospective channel partners?
In the past six months, we have launched a unique campaign called Let's Care About Each Other! White Shark has always been a symbol of pure love for gaming and fun. As we continue to evolve, we realize the importance of not only looking out for ourselves but also for the world around us. This got us thinking about technology and how it has brought us many wonders, including the incredible world of gaming, but sometimes at the expense of nature. We brainstormed ways to help change that, and the answer was right in front of us - White Shark. As a result, we have become an official donor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature with a focus on protecting sea sharks. With this new direction, White Shark is transforming into a symbol of caring for the world while still having fun. We are excited to present our campaign at the Channel Summit EMEA this year.
Smit Electronic is exhibiting at Channel Summit EMEA 2023.
For more information about the 'Let's Care About Each Other' campaign, click here