Javier Hernández and KENDU
Javier Hernández is the APAC Director at KENDU, a Spanish company specialized in in-store visual solutions. KENDU assists retail brands in improving the relationship with their customers through positive in-store experiences and innovative communication solutions for the retail sector.
1. Hello Javier, could you please introduce yourself?
I am from San Sebastián, Spain and I came to Singapore in 2015 to set-up the regional branch of an Spanish-Australian digital marketplace. Before that, I spent 8 years in London working in digital, mostly marketplaces and eCommerce. I am now leading Kendu’s growth in the region and I am super excited about the industry, despite the challenges brought by COVID19.
2. You have been living in Singapore for some years already, what is your point of view in regards to making business here?
It is a great place to set-up a business. Firstly, many of our customers regional headquarters are either here and you can see that the government is actually investing heavily to further attract more companies and talent. Second, everything works and people pay. It sounds trivial but it is not. If you do business in neighbouring countries, collection of invoices can be a major issues, specially now. Third, and probably what matters to most, its regional set-up- There is an inherent attraction to capture the entire region. It has made Singapore extremely appealing, and we will see even more VCs and companies setting up shop here. Nobody knows how the future will evolve and we know for a fact that we will travel less but having a solid base will be critical and we are pleased to have chosen Singapore over other cities such as Hong Kong.
3. How could our readers know a bit more about KENDU?
Our promise to our clients is to ‘Make Retail Simpler’, simpler for the brand and simpler for the consumer. Since 2000 we have been innovators in visual communications to create unique shopping experiences. We design, manufacture and manage in-store experiences and through our in-house team of designers and creatives we have a customisable solution for every store.
We manufacture products like Flowbox, a dynamic LED lightbox designed to create the best retail experiences. Clients like Adidas, Timberland, Disney or Nespresso are already using it.
4. Which are your main clients in this part of the world?
We work across the region with Dyson, Boggy, Inditex, Mango, Desigual, Marks & Spencer, Nespresso, IKEA, off-white, Penthaligons, OnTheList, Al-Futtaim, Tag Heuer and All Saints, amongst others.
5. How is KENDU preparing for the future?
Nobody is having it easy at this time and the trading situation is obviously going to remain difficult for quite some time. But we’re very confident about the future – we think we’re in a very good place, both structural-wise inside the company and to capitalise on the opportunities that are sure to emerge in the marketplace post-COVID.
The retail future is going to be one of faster change; there will be less stores, for sure. But I think they will be better quality and I think experience will certainly come back into stores, bigger and stronger than before. Retail is a very cyclical business, and it will keep changing, which makes it very interesting.
We have launched a new digital platform for clients and with Flowbox, with have created a new category that did not exist 5 years ago so we are confident we can continue innovating and staying ahead of our competitors but looking at the next 10 to 15 years.
6. Would you like to make a recommendation to people thinking about coming to Singapore to start a new business?
I cannot offer advise on industries I do not know so I would stick to the cliché – the sooner you come to Asia the sooner you will understand it, make whatever mistake you have to make and profit from such an exciting region. Setting up a company in Singapore is inexpensive (for a medium-size company in Spain) so I’d say there are no excuses to do it. Hire a senior person you can trust and test the waters for 2 – 3 years.
7. And last, what is your favourite place in Singapore?
Kok Sen Restaurant, at Keong Saik Rd.
Thank you for your time Javier!
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