INTERVIEW - Izi Kalvo, CEO, Rainforest

by Liam McSherry, Thursday 6 February 2020

Channel EMEA] [CE] What do you want to achieve at DISTREE EMEA 2020? What are your key goals for the event?

I would like to thank DISTREE for giving us the opportunity to meet potential channel partners from the EMEA region. We hope it will be a successful show and plan to be back next year.

The key goal for us at DISTREE is to introduce our product range to potential customers and raise awareness of our eco-friendly agenda. We want to show potential partners that they can supply & use same or better quality products with much greener characteristics with little to no cost implications.

[CE] What products/solutions will you be showcasing at DISTREE EMEA 2020? What do you want distributors to know about your portfolio?

We plan to present three new products at DISTREE EMEA 2020: One, is our revolutionary screen protector cutting system that we developed for more than a year now. This cutting screen protector system for mobile phones and tablets enables the store, or any other point of sale, to individually cut each screen protector for each customer on demand.

This means that our system saves the need for keeping a large inventory of screen protectors for all models, saving in-store wall space, and more importantly, supports our green agenda to save all the plastic and carton packaging materials containing the screen protectors as it is used today. Our system uses an online application that contains more than 3,000 models and templates to choose from. The system is updated daily with new models so our partners have everything they need in the palm of your hand via any android enabled smartphone.

The second product we are set to introduce this year is a new model laser cut exhibiting stand. It takes up very little space and is made of wood, enabling the use of products without packing that, again saves unnecessary waste of paper and plastic packaging along with wasted floor space and storage.

The third is in its final stage Beta testing. It is a regular non-rechargeable alkaline battery charger!! Imagine using your standard batteries again and again the same way you use rechargeable ones. We have developed a new revolutionary charging method to charge regular alkaline batteries to be used again and again….

We invite delegates to visit our stand to see a working sample.

[CE] Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?

Global warming remains the big issue for the planet and should concern us all. At Rainforest, we strive to find better ways to reduce pollution in our private and professional lives. This year, we found three ways to lower the amount of packaging used with our products and mobile phone accessories. At DISTREE, we will show delegates how we can supply great products without the wasteful, one-time use, packing materials – good news for the channel and the planet!

[CE] Which geographic areas and/or channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in EMEA and global?

Europe is a priority market for Rainforest. We already have established customers in in the region and we’re seeing a growing appetite for eco products in new markets so it makes sense for us to develop more routes to market in our “back yard”. We’re doing good business in East and West Europe, and this year we started to offer our existing customers greener alternatives to the products we had been supplying previously. We’re proving that it doesn’t have to be more expensive to help save the environment.


[CE] Why should distributors and retailers focus on your products? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

We have been making mobile accessories for a long time so we know how to develop and deliver quality products. What we are doing now is improving the environmental impact of our products so a providing our channel partners with a much greener solution, and reducing our environmental impact. This year, we have also started selling our new screen protector cutting systems. They take up a lot less room and reduce the need for channel partners to hold inventory of screen protectors.

[CE] Do you have a structured channel program? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners?

Actually, it’s very simple. Since we are the manufacturer, we can manage our pricing structure effectively. We provide good margins for our channel partners and a competitive price for the consumer. Best of all, our products are even more eco- friendly than before so a great message for the channel and consumers!

[CE] What sort of support do you offer distributors in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?

We provide great support to our distributor partners with channel marketing campaigns. We invite DISTREE delegates to drop by our stand for more details about the kind if support we provide. We also provide 2-5 year warranties on all our products.

[CE] How quickly is your business growing in the EMEA region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?

In Europe we are doing well and want to expand into new markets. We have a patient approach to our channel development and want to meet partners that share our values. Rainforest strives to create good products with a minimal effect on the environment. We want to do our part in safeguarding a better future for our grandchildren. This is what is most important to us.