What It Takes To Be A Successful Brand Aggregator on Amazon | Nick Tuzenko
In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Nick Tuzenko - Co-Founder & Managing Director of Accel Club talks about What It Takes To Be A Successful Brand Aggregator on Amazon, also more information about his life's journey. #NickTuzenko #AccelClub
About Nick Tuzenko of Accel Club - Nick is an entrepreneur with a background in management consulting. Before Accel Club, Nick worked at Boston Consulting Group and as Managing Director at Busfor, a leading bus transportation marketplace, acquired by BlaBlaCar in late 2019. Previously, we built successful e-commerce businesses which ended up becoming leaders in their local markets. This experience provided invaluable insights into the way e-commerce merchants operate and what difficulties they face on a daily basis. This expertise enables us to give sellers the smoothest possible exit experience and for us to maximize their earn-outs.
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Yoni Mazor 0:00
Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of prime talk. Today I'm having a special guest I'm having Nick Tuzenko. Nick is the co-founder and managing director of axial Club, which is an FBA brand aggregator based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. So Nick, welcome to the show.
Nick Tuzenko 0:21
Yeah. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for having me here.
Yoni Mazor 0:25
My pleasure. So today's episode is going to be the story of you know, the story of Nick Tuzenko. So you're gonna share with us everything. You know, who are you? Where were you born, and where did you grow up? Where'd you go to school? How did you begin your professional career station to station until we reached where you are today in the world of E-commerce. So without further ado, let's jump right into it. Yeah, let's do that.
Yoni Mazor 0:47
So start from the beginning. Where are you from? Where were you born?
Nick Tuzenko 0:50
Yeah. So I came from Ukraine. Yeah. I was born in Ukraine. Like funny fact about me is that I have a twin brother. So it's like, here's like, like, like this same. Yeah. Even like funnier that we have like, like, professional life together. So yeah, we'll just like, give more details on that. Like, like further. So yeah, we're in Ukraine. Which part of Ukraine by the way? Which part of Ukraine? Yeah, it's like Venus. So it's like a central part of Ukraine. How do you say, Vinita? Please? Yeah, so it's gotta be like Romania. Yes, we're like, close to, I guess. Maybe. We heard that. That's close to the Black Sea, right? Yeah. Got it. Very cool.
Yoni Mazor 1:32
Again, when you were growing up your parents, what kind of industries were they involved with?
Nick Tuzenko 1:37
Yeah, so they were just like, like, usual people. So Father was like in the construction industry. Mom was like in retail. So yeah, but nothing like entrepreneurial or like some big corporation. So it's like, like really? Like usual stuff.
Yoni Mazor 1:54
Got it. And growing up did you do anything that tries to make money and money on the side? Anything entrepreneurial? When you were growing up your twin brother?
Nick Tuzenko 2:01
No, it's one sort of knowing that there were like two of the things in my life. Yeah, there was like football, like soccer, like football. And the second one, I suppose. Like math and physics. So I'm really like, was about that. And we applied with my brother to, like diginomica Key maybe, you know, that's like,
Yoni Mazor 2:21
Yeah, okay. Yeah, it's a sports club. Yeah,
Nick Tuzenko 2:23
They have like, really great academies. So we fly there. But um, we have like, some
Nick Tuzenko 2:29
Boring problems because I was a house that we can play this as demanded amateur, but we can't like do that, like, professionally. So it was like, I guess like, then yeah, we will. 1011 years old. And we can sometimes we can like have like professional life in sports. And we just like fully, even though we already ever good like at math and physics. We like fully switching to competition, math, and physics. So
Yoni Mazor 2:54
so from the physical athletics, you wanted the mental athletics? Yeah,
Nick Tuzenko 2:57
Yeah. So we just like switched. And like in two years, we won like mess competition in Paris. Two. And it was like very funny because we both won. And then we have the same number of points.
Yoni Mazor 3:10
Or like twins, right at the same score that same brand, the same score. So you both won first place? Yeah. So
Nick Tuzenko 3:16
We have the same number of points. So we have like both like gold medals. And
Yoni Mazor 3:20
That’s pretty cool. After that year,
Nick Tuzenko 3:22
We applied to be like to study in key Meissen. It was like hitting math like liken. We've underspent the last three years before like university. And also it was all about competition. It was all about math and physics competitions across the world. So there were like some in Kazakhstan. There was some in Mexico, there was some inspiration. It's like an international competition, like National Olympians in mathematics. So like, there's like each country has like five pupils that are present in the country. And China has like, like 1 billion people or Ukraine or Russia or whatever, or the SA. And, yes, it's like, like 80 countries represented. So like, everyone is there. And yeah, we have like, almost like both, like lost like Alex silver medals. For like, first of
Yoni Mazor 4:14
All, they also silver bastille Yeah, it's pretty incredible.
Nick Tuzenko 4:19
And after that, I was like, it was really funny because like, only there's like five places represent the country. And we have like two of them. Yes. It's like not that's
Yoni Mazor 4:29
40% of your country's representation in the mathematical Olympics.
Nick Tuzenko 4:35
Was a reality we were proud you know, to do that. And you also have some kind of like, covering because like when we return of the competition you always like Matthew like presidents, so I don't like all the presidents of Ukraine so I'm just like posting you so
Yoni Mazor 4:53
You are going to visit the Presidential palace and give or presidential residency. And then go there. Shake your hand. Good job, you and your brother.
Nick Tuzenko 5:02
President. I love that stuff. Yeah,
Yoni Mazor 5:05
They probably saw you a few times a year. Like, yeah, you come in again, how you been? You know, every time you went a competition?
Nick Tuzenko 5:10
Yeah, it's silly fun. It's good. You fee the and there's like to, to, to present your country all that stuff in a really, really like on something. So I guess like from that years, something like mobile ambition was born. Yeah. So like, like, an up to that. I guess this is why like, then we went to Moscow to study here at Patsics and Technology University.
Yoni Mazor 5:38
Okay, so let me get this straight. So when you graduated high school and Ukraine, you decided to change the country to move to Russia to Moscow, at university? And how old were you when that happened? 1718.
Nick Tuzenko 5:50
Yeah, it was like 16 or 16 or 15. It's pretty, it's pretty early. And you and your brother just you know, only asked for my birthday. So you and your brother? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So we thought about like Caltech or MIT. But it was like, damn, like, we were only 15 years old. And just like, again, it's a long, long commitment. Yes, I like to make something MIT or Caltech anything, spend like seven, eight doing. D.
Nick Tuzenko 6:21
And be at that time, just, like, whether it's more like competition, like, or it's more like, like physics, and we really would like to be science, because like competition is mathematics is like, they are not that close to the like real science here, which is much more like boring. Yes, you need to spend hours, hours, hours, and repetition. Something like you also likes thing about like competition sell. So yeah, we just we like to, to make that commitment, like for seven, eight years. And that's why we joined like, yeah, we applied to Moscow University came to Moscow inside there for several years. And after that, we understand that we would like to try something in business. And it's usually like if you have like a lake eat academic background that is, like the easiest way to do that is mentioned consulting, or investment, banking. And we applied for JP Morgan to McKinsey to BCG and up together and decide.
Yoni Mazor 7:20
We’re gonna get to that in a minute. But again, once again. Right, so before we jump into, you know, graduating, in go into the professional world. So once again, well, let's start the year. So what was the US you? You started in university and you graduated from Moscow University? Yeah,
Nick Tuzenko 7:36
It was like, sometimes. Yeah. So
Yoni Mazor 7:39
That’s when he graduated. He started when we started. Okay, and when did you graduate? 2014 15 2014. Yeah. Right. So 2014, you and your brother? You graduated from the same school with the same degree and everything and you both hate the professional world? And would you say was Boston Consulting Group BCG? Yeah,
Nick Tuzenko 7:57
It was like management consulting. So we thought about investment banking or management consulting in Jordan BCG. So
Yoni Mazor 8:05
At BCG in Moscow, and Europe or the United States. Got it? And what compelled you to go there? Instead of going to the world of science? This is more of the world of business, right?
Nick Tuzenko 8:15
Yeah, we just figured out that's what you like about like all this like physics and math competition is more about competition than the pieces from us. And like, we know something we like very, very well at that. Because you can't like represent your country at international level. And one something if you are not able to, if you're not skilled, even talented, so we have some, like Ash and understand his mess. But what is really like driving us like what's giving us energy was like a competition? And we do understand that okay, like, like businesses, or to some extent, it's a very competitive space.
Nick Tuzenko 8:49
And it's all also about like, engineering. Yeah. So when you're doing like business when you're building the teams, when you build the tools when you're, especially nowadays, yeah, when like, like, everything's changing so fast. There's like, this very dynamic special in, in the tech industry. So we believe that it's a great idea, you know, to try to apply our skillset of talents in business, and just like eating out some window or some, like, some reach, like, like, academic background in business itself. And it's just like, so. So usually, you know, for people from raising them around to start measuring a sponsor, we just like, Okay, this is like the easiest way. Let's do that.
Yoni Mazor 9:32
That makes a lot of sense. So you can always it's very competitive, but you need to be available, very analytical, really good with our understanding models and business models and stuff like that, which is kind of engineering but on the business level, side and financial side. So you hit Boston Consulting Group, BCG, your Moscow, and what do you do there? What kind of work is what kind of company is working for industries?
Nick Tuzenko 9:51
Yeah, so it's like usual management consulting work. So you have like, very, very different industries. You have very different people. Looks like for two weeks for six months or two years. And there's like, a little like Mustapha for bank industry, for the oil industry for the tech industry, retail industry. So it's just like, again, it's more about like, the real agile all that is like, uniting all this project is like about strategy and operations. But it could be like in any field for any company. Yeah. But definitely, it was like for big corporations. So there wasn't
Yoni Mazor 10:31
Big corporations and specifically in Russia.
Nick Tuzenko 10:34
Yeah, in Russia in Switzerland. And like, it's like consulting itself is very international space. Right? We can easily see Moscow doing projects for Dubai, Switzerland, or any other places that are
Yoni Mazor 10:49
You there, the clients are international cooperation, multi, multinational corporations, you, but then they can assign the world to global teams that can be a team in them. And Moscow can be the team in Berlin to be the thing in London. So whatever the workload is, will meet basically
Nick Tuzenko 11:07
70 to 80%. Usually, like local companies, demand is coming from them, but 20% of the projects will come from different countries. Yeah, it's
Yoni Mazor 11:16
Nice, any special project you were proud of, or you found that to be extremely special or interesting?
Nick Tuzenko 11:22
Obviously, like, like, 90% of the project, I was engaged, like, was great. And drive the value. And in that time, I just like, was very fascinated with how I'm like, I was like, very young, I don't know anything about it, like, because I'm banking industry, or about retail. And in three, four weeks, I can like, really, really, like contribute value. And it was so fascinating, that in that time, I said, like how much like common sense means in business? I'm like, it's so so about common sense. And in that time, I just like figure out that, you know, it's like sometimes people who spend two years of expertise, they are so tied to that expertise. They just like starting losing, like common sense. Yeah. Yeah. And, and just like, Okay, I'm like businesses so, so fascinating. So much like,
Yoni Mazor 12:09
Yeah, they're trapped in dogma and a mindset. And there's a particular experience that worked, maybe things have changed over time, and the logic changes, and common sense even changes. So they got to adapt over time and not get stuck to old models. But so give us an example you touch retail, give us an example of that situation, take us there, give us a taste of, you know, your experience for you know, for that project, with the retail industry that took you three to four weeks and sees what's going on.
Nick Tuzenko 12:34
Yeah, so talking about retail, there was like one project, it was about distribution centers. So there was like a big one of like, the three biggest retailers in Russia. And we were just like modeling and optimizing all the process for one distribution center, and then scale that through a whole the country. So for 200 more, which they have like. Yeah, so we just like, like 15 18% optimization. And when you apply that to the big corporations, and they have scale, it just like fascinating how many like Bell value in money, definitely in optimization, you bring a circle, it was like really great. The other example is, was like, we're doing, like some operational stuff for an oil company.
Nick Tuzenko 13:27
Or like oil company, there's always like, something that you're doing on the ground, and something you're doing like, on the ground. And there was like, as a case when we just like synchronize, like, for big, like teams that were doing that. And for this sequence data synchronization, like all the plans are the roadmaps of how they're doing that, what the speeds were, what the KPIs were also, like green, like, like, I would say, like, like dozens of millions of dollars to the company to complete p & l, like two or three months.
Nick Tuzenko 13:56
And so yeah, just like really, really like re Tonic has the common sense to have more like wider understanding of the strategy and the real operations when you touch something and bring it to to to the company when they are operating at scale. So it's different from what you're doing. For example, right now startup, it's different. Usually that kind of like homelessness, and like, like, let's say the optimization is working when you're like having, like billions of dollars around you, and each like even like, that's 3% Like upraise whatever any metric would bring like 100 million dollars to the company p & l. So yeah,
Yoni Mazor 14:39
The economy of scale, definitely every percentage point is worth a lot in total dollar value or ruble value if Ruby value if you're in Europe and Moscow,
Nick Tuzenko 14:48
All these companies, they are trading in London or New York, so it's like Delhi.
Yoni Mazor 14:53
Got it. But I want to understand let's say, for example, you mentioned you know, we helped you did a project on distribution center to see where you know, There's opportunity to optimize and the optimization was about 18%, you know, more efficiency saves a lot of money, less money being wasted.
Yoni Mazor 15:07
And then they applied it to 200 locations in the distribution centers, which is amazing. A lot of impacts. But so what do you analyze what's going on? And then you use mathematics, you what was the actual ability? Are the functions that have to calculate what's going on? What's the opportunity to take us there for a moment, let's I want to dig a little bit deeper into that.
Nick Tuzenko 15:27
Yeah, it was like an international team, we are working on that. So we have like, some guys from Belgium office, and some guys from London office. So it's more about like, what's like when they're overlapping of like, expertise that BCG is bringing, when we're in Ireland, for our experts from different countries, because I've London, in Belgium, the retail is much more mature. And also like the solutions are great. And from the other side is more like just to know to align the company, strategy, and company processes.
Nick Tuzenko 16:00
So how the trucks, for example, going into the distribution center with the schedule for different suppliers of goods, whether your frozen goods should be like priority bread, rice, or whether you're like Office products, shipment race, so like, like some kinds of like real optimization tasks, doing like different like in legal tools, but on like Excel, but also like more like Alteryx, or like some more like big data analysis, working with different SK use for different product category, understanding how to put that in each order, and also have the internal logistics of division and how the external logistical decisions should work.
Nick Tuzenko 16:40
What should be like the schedule for the workers, whether it's like three, like eight hours, like three times or 12 hours two times was the like, decrease in productivity, there is like 12-hour shifts, not like eight-hour shifts. So all that stuff is just like taking all that parameters, all the factors and trying to make sure that your solution Have you like to have you propose to organize that is more optimal, it's more like sub-optimal, then what is going on right now.
Yoni Mazor 17:08
God, I think I got it. So if I can help with this. So Boston Consulting Group has so much experience in it can see the whole spectrum. So on the spectrum, the CEO, your company, this retail company is based over here in the spectrum, we see other companies or we have experienced seeing other companies that they're, you know, 80% more efficient, and they're in a better place on the spectrum. So all that wealth of knowledge and know-how and experience plus tools, proprietary tools to do calculations to calibrate the reality for that and client and retailer. So they can take proper action and strategy and change the strategy and the operations. So it creates the value of So. Yeah, that's pretty
Nick Tuzenko 17:44
Obvious. It's like in 80 countries all across the world. Yes. So it's like, you can source that expertise. There is some new stuff. But then we also like trying, you know, to reach some, like experts, and also like, but when I say like, it's like a mix of like, common sense. There may be some benchmarks or some best practices, but like, like, like, nothing can work without.
Yoni Mazor 18:08
Yeah, but you gotta go localize it because maybe the infrastructure that's available in Belgium is not fully ready or available. And Russia, for example. So you start, you got to calibrate that and use that common sense to say, Yeah, I can get you 80% more efficiency. Because if you do exactly what's in Belgium, but you can't do that your common sense is that we're not in Belgium or Russia. Yeah, we'll see what's available or not actually might get even more, but we can get more efficient, maybe it's a bit more developed for that need for that requirement. That's what kind of localization and common sense is needed to understand the parameters around you. I've ever Interesting. Okay, so how long did you send BCG? What was the evolution for you there?
Nick Tuzenko 18:43
Yeah, it was like two years plus. And after that, I'm just Yeah, it was also like, the, during journey with my brother. And we just, like, talk to each other and just decide, you know, it's like, it's a great time, like, we used to, like very, very young. To, to, to try something like more turbulent more than Namic more, even though like consulting is really like, you have different projects, you have tight deadlines. You're working with like great people with experts who are like in the field for 20 years, and you're ready to start to speak the same language whatsoever. But then I just excited them to join like, startup and after like
Yoni Mazor 19:18
The is already 2016 Right? So because 214 to 16 you were at BCG, Boston Consulting Group and to succeed you join a startup and you join a startup once again what your brother
Nick Tuzenko 19:26
my brother joined like if he can join like industry, so he's joined like, even bigger for so yeah,
Yoni Mazor 19:35
Okay, so you both shifted to the startup industry but different companies this time Yeah. Yeah, God Okay, just making sure
Nick Tuzenko 19:42
Yeah, so I don't like the boss for and at that time.
Yoni Mazor 19:47
What's it called boss four is the name of the company
Nick Tuzenko 19:49
Must support Yeah, must for how do you spell that last like bus and for us?
Yoni Mazor 19:53
Digit for the bus for God. Okay, well, what are they doing? What's that about?
Nick Tuzenko 19:58
Yeah, so it's like, as a marketplace for bus tickets. So whatever you would like to trip to, like from whatever, from any city in Russia, in Ukraine, in Poland, in Belarus, you can go to a website or the US like the whole Eastern Europe marketplace. Yeah. Yeah. So it's like, yeah, we were launched in central achier. Marketplace. And still their opposite largest. Yeah. So I joined like as the chief strategy officer. And I launched like Poland, I launched Belarus. So I launched like new markets, and also figure out about like, m & a strategy.
Nick Tuzenko 20:41
So it's like bide my time I joined. We also like, raised a big round of funding. So it was like 20 million equity fund $20 million equity round. So we have like, some resources not only to grow, like, organically but also organically. And this also, I do believe that's very important for what we're doing right now. Because I'm like, I'm not like only like, like, no, these be like, m & an as the investment made.
Nick Tuzenko 21:09
But I also like to understand that from the operational side, so yeah, like, like being like a strategy. Officer. I also like, develop this like m & a plan, and have like half a year be like Chief Strategy Officer, I became like managing director for main markets for Russian for Belarusian. And then I just like, execute m & a strategy. And also, like didn't know the operations or the growth or the marketing. So it was like the, managing director for this conference. And yeah, so we bought like four local players, and integrated them into our team. And I was almost like leading this team. So it was like helping right now, you know, to do all them & a to like understand,
Yoni Mazor 21:54
Yeah, give me give us an example of this m & transactions where you did so you mentioned four of them, but you can take one or maybe they have similar portions. So how do we identify them? How do we reach out to them? How do you calculate how it makes sense to you? Well, how big was the deal? Was it a few $1,000? Or was millions of dollars and touch us about a little bit that
Nick Tuzenko 22:11
Was when I joined. We were only like apps and websites. So we'd have like, like, we were more like, like, consumer customer-centric. But then we realized that like, you know, to build something more of a vertical to be not only like, like, great partners, great Apple, a great website for the customer, but also be a great partner for the bus carriers and bus stations.
Yoni Mazor 22:35
Right? You need the product, that's a product, the product routes, right bus routes, so you need to have in a huge amount for this to be very, very valuable for the consumer, which is the passenger. Yeah, we have like 50 sold and different roads last route. Yeah,
Nick Tuzenko 22:51
Yeah. So we are covering almost every seat here for these poor countries. And then we also realize that it's to innovate in this industry, to have like, some great functionality of your app or website for the customer need really to be like very, very deep integration with both carriers and bus stations. So this is why we tend to do like to be in that space to and we bought, like, several like ERP system for bus stations
Yoni Mazor 23:25
In basket ERP, which is an Enterprise Resource platform, right? It's
Nick Tuzenko 23:29
The system where bus station or bus carrier works. So each like trip is like being born there. So each ticket is sold through this system, each planning each, like seeds, everything is like there, and how we like, partner with them, and like to sell some tickets, you need to get it from some system. Yeah, so we have like, more than 114 different API integrations with all the systems and we get like tickets from that. So anytime consumers come to our website, booking a trip with us, we are putting that in their ERP. But when we bought these companies we own like, like also ERP so you know, the scale at which we can innovate this API integration and different functions isn't really like just like exploded we can like for example, give functionality to book when you are booking you know, like who is like next to you whether it's like a woman or man and all this like all this functionality?
Yoni Mazor 24:28
Yes, it sounds like this was a technology play this ERP system you know, it is proprietary it's software that can help you explode and scale and improve their entire experience for you know, the carrier that you're working with plus the consumers, the actual passengers so they get more visibility. No more has the experience and just more utility.
Nick Tuzenko 24:44
Yeah, so we're gonna look at airlines, you have like pricing, like dynamic pricing. The passenger seat is just lagging for 510 years. You didn't have any dynamic pricing and he also liked implementing tools for carriers for bus stations. It's not to play with the price. Like if there's like less demand, you know, to drop that if there's more demand typically on the conversion that
Yoni Mazor 25:06
You apply the algorithm to save, you know, for this route is weak and not really, you know, creating any passengers, so lower the prices, and all generally pastures are
Nick Tuzenko 25:15
Poor customers like seasonality, like pop conversions rates, are growing or decreasing. So all that sound Yeah, and given that, like empowering bus stations and bus carriers, so the other also, like, themes that we both like, was like the someone who's like doing, like, white-label solution for carriers and bus stations, and bus stations, has like, organic, big organic audience. Africa. Yeah, they, like customers, would like to buy from some aggregator like a boss, they would like to buy the tickets online from bus carriers, or bus stations. And we're giving them like a solution, say, Okay, we're not only your party, but we also like, like, it's the interface for the customer. So you can also like, have some, like, like, the white-label from like a solution from our side, you can brand that onto your name,
Yoni Mazor 26:07
Right? So let me help you with this. So if I'm a bus carrier, small town, and Ukraine, Poland, whatever it is, I don't have a website, I don't have anything, I just have buses. So you partner with your company. And they're you create the website for them, you create the whole experience for them. So they can, you know, phase out the customer and they buy the tickets directly from the best carrier. That's how you create more skills,
Nick Tuzenko 26:28
Using our ERP. They were much more efficient in their operations. Then their tickets were on our website. And also they can they have like a website from our company. So they have their website. And we also like helping them be very like GDS, as a global distribution system. So we also like through our API, giving the tickets to like, like one Saudi and other agents all across countries, offline or online. So yeah, this was like technology, technological play, but with a lot of operations with us, like customer support is always like, engineers, as always, like marketing. So yeah, it was like really, really great stuff. And in late so the 19 there’s like blah blah car is like the French unicorn.
Yoni Mazor 27:19
What's it called again? Blah, blah, car. Blah, blah, car?
Nick Tuzenko 27:24
Yeah. Yeah, this is like a French unicorn.
Yoni Mazor 27:28
How do you how you spell this blah, blah? Car is one-word blah, blah, a car with three words.
Nick Tuzenko 27:31
This is like one word like blah, blah, car.
Yoni Mazor 27:34
Okay, don't just say okay, what do they do French unicorn?
Nick Tuzenko 27:37
Yeah. And it's coming from the name of blah, blah. Car. Yeah. Because like, they do you like carpooling. So when you're going back from Valencia to the other city, you can post your tweet on their website or in their app. And if you go in the same room, and you see it the time is Dude, you just like a book with them with this like, traveler and you like you just like sharing the cost of the like gasoline or like the cost of the
Yoni Mazor 28:07
The actual cost of transportation to the actual person making the trip.
Nick Tuzenko 28:10
Yeah, so it's just like a sharing economy. It's just more like carpooling but like inside the city between this news. So that's like doing that from Southern I guess like eight or eight or nine then we might be like France. They are from France from Paris. And but they have like a big business in Russia, Ukraine, and other central Europe markets. And what
Yoni Mazor 28:34
Does Sam Brown now with? blah blah car name?
Nick Tuzenko 28:36
They have the same thing. Yeah. So they are really big like in Mexico in Brazil. So they just wanted not to expand their offering not just on the west carpooling. So when you like writing your car, but also with like, commercial transport, like these buses, so to kind of like to be like a one-stop-shop for any like road trip. Either you would like to go on this bus or you would like to go by carpooling.
Yoni Mazor 29:01
Yeah, just integrating bus rides between cities makes perfect sense for them.
Nick Tuzenko 29:05
Yeah. And they just like awful. Yeah, we just discussed the liquid view and Vosper was fully acquired by public art. So we just like
Yoni Mazor 29:15
Ostium and an exit. Yeah, so
Nick Tuzenko 29:17
We exited. And
Yoni Mazor 29:20
That was 2019. So you came in 2016 and 2018. That's when Baba car merged the activity into its platforms.
Nick Tuzenko 29:28
Yeah, yeah. So and after that, like after, like 556 months of integration. It was like 2020. So I decided like, you know, it's like it's another level it's not the play and like a more corporate business, like freedom from being able to contribute. A great company like a local car, like ultimate resources. You know, it's like pushing and beach just joined forces. There's a lot of great stuff to do, but it just wasn't the right place for me to go to. I just wanted someone to pro Oh, yeah, yeah, this is yeah, I just like turkey like, I just need to quit and started something new something from scratch. And this is yeah this how I left. Then I met like my partner in our CO like Max and we started exova so this
Yoni Mazor 30:20
Axle club Yeah, yeah. And what's the situation I want to touch on your brother? What is he doing now? Is he with AXA club where
Nick Tuzenko 30:27
he's it's not an accident he's like yeah he's like stay with my money is an industry within like like a like big corporation so yeah, like selling like cobalt and other metals
Yoni Mazor 30:41
Commodities yeah got it so Okay, let's talk axle club so you know you met with Max, give us a story of this creation, what's the vision? What's the strategy what's going on with the rally ahead?
Nick Tuzenko 30:51
So talking about actually what we do understand that you know, it's like eCommerce and Amazon especially getting more and more mature. And when there are some markets again, in which you're getting more sophisticated, you need to have like more systematic players in the space, and most of the places will succeed. I'm not saying that each systematic player will succeed.
Nick Tuzenko 31:14
But I do believe that on average, systematic players are more mature because they have more chances to succeed. So this, this is what we see. And this is the main that we do believe that we accept love. It's great to team with great tools was great processes to play more systematically, knowing how to build like right teams, big teams on how to fundraise money, you know how to scale like creativity, how to scale operations, we can bring here, like execution, you can read here, like, like an app can deliver the results. And this, this, the only reasons why we're here, we just believe that Amazon space is getting mature.
Nick Tuzenko 31:52
And it needs smaller players. And for us like this, like the strategy of roll-ups strategy form & a is great. Because it gives the entrepreneurs it gives like our merchants a great like exits, they can like fix their success, just like a sick day like today. I'm just saying hey, it's like, like, like, it's like some kind of like, I just like achieve this now. So and for us, like when we take in their brands with taking their drugs. This is we're not starting from like point zero, I'm saying from we already have some Launchpad due to building something even greater.
Yoni Mazor 32:32
So what you're saying here, is the entrepreneurs are the ones that launch a brand and become successful, they have the opportunity to capitalize on the success or Hey, and monetize on it. So this is the value of the success that I had as an entrepreneur so and then they can either redo it again or do whatever they want to do because they have economically the ability. But there you're saying for you guys. It's not starting from scratch, starting from something that's already successful. But your mission is to take it to the next point of success. Yeah,
Nick Tuzenko 32:55
Yeah, yeah, this, this is like the whole idea. And the main reason why I believe we can do that is that we do believe that you can do your execution. So this, I don't believe that he was like, I don't believe that even like 80% off like, rural ops. Irrigators will be like, live in two or three years.
Yoni Mazor 33:16
I think that's a big statement. You're saying that in the next two, or three years you think 80% of the graders will not be successful? Right? Yeah, they do. Like Ben Proctor, whatever they like, why do you think that is? For example, from your perspective? Yeah,
Nick Tuzenko 33:27
I do believe that the universe like is, like, have a little operation business is like 24 hours, seven days. So it's like you should be there. And you should like deliver operations. And when you love, I guess like Oh, to like, have at least an eraser. They do know how like, the funding structure looks for aggregators. So usually, we have like equity part. And that part. And when you have that part is that even though it's a venture, it's that you need to pay interest? Yeah. So and so you'll leverage in your business, but in the E-commerce space, a lot of stuff could go wrong. Yeah. Like shipments from China quality of products, like PPC or, or just like the, let's say, the lifecycle of your products is like shortening or is like nd. So it's like a very, very multifactor game. And
Yoni Mazor 34:24
To help you with this, I just want to put this in there. So a lot of them are taking into debt. So they owe money, they gotta pay that money back with interest. So you're seeing the challenges that some of these aggregators, what they're going to realize is that you don't, you don't always make money in E-commerce, you can also lose money. And, if you're losing money, you came back, and you cannot pay back the money that you owe, especially the interest that you owe, so that will lead to failure. Right? Because, you know, money has to be repaid in terms and timeframes. And if that sounds like you, it's financially it's impossible because there's a net loss. That's when things kind of start collapsing. Yeah, go ahead. You were saying?
Nick Tuzenko 34:56
Yeah, so yeah. You summarized it. Really? Right. So in terms of like, yeah, so just like to be successful in FBA greater space, like, definitely you need to make great deals, you need to buy great brands, for great terms you can buy like, like really, really like high. Yeah. But this is only the part of the equations that starts. The real game is good when you think about like operations groups down. Because you can have like, like, the greatest brand vengers ever, but if your supply chain managers just like, haven't done the job properly, and like you have no sales, no revenue, no, no, no margins. And all this. For me, I like this same retail is Dale. And I do it
Yoni Mazor 35:46
Was what retail is the detail? Retail is detailed got it all, like, retail is detail.
Nick Tuzenko 35:53
It's really about that. I mean, like, it's not about some crazy software that we can create here. And we can do everything. It's about that we can like buying great brands, we can bind great brands, but they just don't deliver the execution. And that's the end game. Yeah. So it's more about like how to make sure that there's like hundreds of different interactions, that happening during the like origination when you create some products when it's like manufacturing in China or any other place of the world, and how to like, the customer feels funny here, like on packaging, it's what's the quality, whether it's like value for money, how you have your working with Amazon, our customer support, just like a congress of different interactions. And each of that is like there's, I usually add visuals as a team. And I was just saying guys like, this is all about multiplying. It's not about adding, if one of the liquids multiply is zero, then everything is zero. It becomes like go there and say like,
Yoni Mazor 36:56
Okay, it goes your mathematics is the mathematics that you would rather see the competition the competitive side. That's the big thing. That's a big statement. Everybody's thinking you add this position. So even if one of them is four plus five, but the four is three, you'll get something. So you know, these are multipliers, if one of them is zero, the whole basic equation goes into zero. That's a big problem.
Nick Tuzenko 37:16
Yeah, yeah. So immersed, there's like a Congress will be directions. I'm like, there is like, like a lot of directions. It was external provider issues, internal teams all that stuff. I do believe that. Not any team right now. Especially like, there's a lot of teams who have no like, zero operational background. And like, we believe that our, like, our competitive advantage that I was like, operational business, I've seen a lot of companies have processes. And Max, my partner, I was CEO. He was like the founder of a food Delivery Company. And it was like 1 billion company and $1 billion company valuation. Yeah. Yeah. So they were acquired by Yandex. Yeah. And then became like, Yandex. It's your partner Max. What's
Yoni Mazor 38:02
His last name?
Nick Tuzenko 38:04
Next few. So is it fair? So?
Yoni Mazor 38:09
He's was is originally from where? Also Europe? He's from Belarus. Yeah. My mother's got it. Okay. And how did you guys meet? I want to jump into the relationship a little bit. What were the circumstances?
Nick Tuzenko 38:18
Yeah. They say like, like, tech entrepreneurs or tech, like executives, there's no the like, like, it's a really small community in Izmir. So we just like to know each other from that. So yeah.
Yoni Mazor 38:33
So we came up with the idea who discovering the opportunity in E-commerce because you both seem to like you're not in the E-commerce space, you are in the technology space startup space. So how were you able to discover that and go so deep on it?
Nick Tuzenko 38:45
He was like, in pretty much the same, this similar situation to mine. So he founded like, after spending several years in, in finance, in investment banking, if you joined like, one of the biggest e-commerce in Russia. It was like the branch of Rocket Internet as a big German incubator,
Yoni Mazor 39:08
Rocket Internet. Yeah. Yeah, heard of that about that. They also have something in Singapore right? They wander the world they go Yeah, I think I met with Whaddon and interviewed unit brands. I think his partner also worked for that. Tiger, tiger delivery, or something with food. Yeah, so yeah, it's rocking into it. I heard that name. It's a big name and E-commerce, especially with technology with God. Yeah. So he joined
Nick Tuzenko 39:31
Like a lot more than this, like one of the projects that have yes, like fashion, eCommerce. And after that with like la Moda and found its food delivery company. And then they sold that to Yandex, which is like Google Russia, and like, overall fresh because they had like the biggest tax year and the biggest food delivery company in this region. So and then he was like, like CEO of the Onyx days and So, like, we like how a lot of experience in operations, so we don't have to do like a team of like, hundreds of people. And yeah, like knowing how to build marketplaces will give you like a great like understanding like have like Mercy's talking to, like US carriers understanding they're like we can extend that process helping even now like no transcended, okay like how to do this how to do that how it works. And yeah, then just like discuss different ideas.
Nick Tuzenko 40:36
And also here let's like insert like 2020, Yandex because he also would like to, you know, to build something great, something new. And then we just like during our forces talking about different models, and then just okay say Amazon is a great place. It's a global business, we have global ambition. Let's do here something, there's a lot of like Russian speaking sellers who are selling on Amazon, there's just like, a lot of them, they are best sellers
Yoni Mazor 41:00
In there. They're very successful. The Russian-speaking community on Amazon is very successful, very robots, very sophisticated, very smart, and very good with integrations and technology and, you know, an advanced kind of play.
Nick Tuzenko 41:11
And we just like believe that we have the right skill set to succeed here. And this just didn't join our forces and, and started doing that. So yeah, and it was like the late 2020s started offense 21. So we just like around like 10 months company. Yeah, so this said,
Yoni Mazor 41:27
Got it. So the team that you build the actual app because you've mentioned a lot of how crucial it is, you know, all the details. And that means operations. So talk a little bit about your operations team, how did you create it, what their experience was their background,
Nick Tuzenko 41:41
It was like we trying to mix different backgrounds, we do believe that you can't like just hiring someone who has three on Amazon, or on like hiring someone who has experienced in Unilever or a look at L'Oreal or like, like became citrus companies. So we have like people with these very different backgrounds starting from Uber, didi. And in like Whistler all in they were definitely like, people who have like 567 years of experience selling Amazon, either by them own or working for other sellers, big sellers because it sounds like they're sold to like in from Russian speaking community. There's like, we tried to find people who understand that that mode, they do understand what that we have, like a lot of patients, we have like really a few answers. And you just need to be good at iterating visit reality. You just need to understand that there is no answer. It's like, you came here. And then everything started. Yeah. So we like
Yoni Mazor 42:42
You said also from Boston Consulting Group for BCG. Yeah, use your common sense. Yeah, it can be although the older models in the world or the mathematics or the calculus, at the end of the day, use your common sense. I used to when I used to sell on Amazon, I was always kind of used to tell my team, whatever you decide to do or choose to do, try to do it right. Whatever you can. And how do you do? Right? You got to use common sense that looks the best kind of right way. Because it's all-new. It's all innovative. So it helps a lot. Yeah.
Nick Tuzenko 43:07
Yeah. So one important principle is to let's iterate through the rounds, let's look like assume something that's not like suggest there's no way that we know all the answers. Let's try this, try that, try that out. And the other stuff that you've hired a lot of people, like other main producers that do believe that these people like about startup about this like, like mindset, and they enjoy the journey and be this like, really like fast-moving, like, like every day changing environments. Because it is like, one of my beliefs is that eCommerce and Amazon will be changing even more in the future. I mean, everyone who's saying that Amazon is changing crazy, I'm like, let's wait, like, it's just, and it’s so crazy. So this way, we don't believe that.
Nick Tuzenko 44:00
I'm an investment business, we do believe that. And we say that the name of our company is about like distribution is an all about like product, we have product-centric company, we just need to make sure that we are know how to make how to produce products with the lowest possible cost of goods sold, and how to distribute that either through Amazon Shopify, in Europe, in the US, in Canada, in b2b, wholesale, whatever, because, like, I don't believe that you can, like very successful investing here because everything is changing so fast.
Nick Tuzenko 44:38
You need to have like abilities to innovate in that either in marketing in the supply chain, in products, in distributions, where you just need to make it is critical that it's rated relative or to be a friend with the relative just need to listen if tomorrow everything's changing, and Amazon is doing this investment, you need to change that into to you know, to be a Well to adjust that process app, just your internal tools to that. Yeah, and this one saying that I didn't believe that a lot of Actuaries understand or even if they understand they, you know, they act on that. So and I do believe that I'm acting on that, I do believe that and I was like we are doing that. I don't, I'm very subjective. Because I'm in, I'm in, in the system, I'm here. But I'm like, I'm pushing that each day with a team. So this is where we care. We don't believe in investment funds. We're building real. Again, I'm
Yoni Mazor 45:35
building a financial model you build upon a product company, it's focused on the product, the experience to the end consumer, how do you build the best quality products with the best price possible, which means the lowest price possible, right, but not to take anything away from the quality and experience, and then distribute that across the world, across, you know, all available consumers, of course, in the E-commerce platforms, there's also brick and mortar, that is kind of the DNA you want to construct for the company.
Yoni Mazor 46:00
So as long-term success is not dependent on changes in the marketplace, from here to here to tomorrow, because at the end of the day, consumers will want these products anyways. So the marketplaces will have to offer you anyways, they have to be, you know, at the end of the day, I remember when Amazon started its wonder products. Now it's too many products. So it's the age of branding, how do you create that brand awareness that you know, the brand experience, so that's gonna in that product, I want that product, the product usually can equate that brand, okay, I want that that iPhone, that product, or that Apple product. So
Nick Tuzenko 46:32
the other part also like about this, like, we should know, not only what's the main challenge for us as the aggregator Yeah, we are great at in operations, like we know that part to do is understand that. But for us the main challenge and what we are right now working on, like how to scale creativity, because when you have like 1000s of SK use like you're not like that's like small merchants have like 30 SK use, and like he or she like knows everything about competition, about pricing, about packaging about everything. And they are very efficient, iterative, it's like they are very likely they see that. But when you have like 1000 SK use, I'm like, we just like the need to make sure that we can pay enough attention to each like to any details that matter. And this is why we have this challenge. It's like when you have one brand like Sir SKU is like, it's not a challenge. But when you have like dozens of brands, when you have like solid, SK use this is what the main challenge tries
Yoni Mazor 47:35
To challenge. How do you keep Yeah, pay attention at scale, at real scale now, like 10,000 of your 100 1000s across the world?
Nick Tuzenko 47:43
And this is like always like oh cycles, like, we just like discussed in the community. And this will usually say that I do believe that that there will be always small merchants there will be always like independent merchants because I don't believe that's the only gators against everything. No, I'm like, small versus having that ability to pay attention a lot. And this is their competitive advantage. And I'm like if we as a writer, will do that and have that in our team with like great talents with great tools with great processes, then we also have assassin. But if you don't like I do believe that we will just like lose this game to small nurses because they are so flexible. Right now. We're hiring people. In February, there were like, and X and Y time people. So we have like 9090 open brackets open positions. Yeah. So it just like really, I mean, there's a lot
Yoni Mazor 48:38
Of like, like, what is hyper-growth? Yeah, it's called hyper.
Nick Tuzenko 48:41
To organize that like growth, who will do your guys a team, you need to have some strategy, and you need to have some, like very, very, like clear, transparent beliefs. And you can change that like each day each week each month. So you need to have some action plans, some strategy, but sellers, have a small team. Now they can change everything in one minute in one week. And this is a real competitive advantage. I'm like, they like flexible, they like fast, and they can pay attention to any detail in the business. So but we have much better access to finance,
Yoni Mazor 49:21
Resources, your, your Yeah, the available resources, you know, it's so deep and wide. So you're able to access many more opportunities that small sellers don't have,
Nick Tuzenko 49:29
We always have much better access to talent. We can like hire great data scientists, like really great, like brand managers, like really great like supply chain managers, like, we have, like establish our team in China. So to work like really close with producers manufacturers, so we lost, but yeah, I do believe that it's like the third my third vision for Amazon space like they would like 40 50% or 50% for educators. Definitely like, Amazon, like as the vendor or as the Amazon I was a protein was 23%. And they were 23% off like sellers, like independent sellers
Yoni Mazor 50:14
was gonna be that so I think into the future the marketplace will have what 3030 To like a third each during third graders. Yeah, like, therefore, like, you know, the bigger businesses, sellers, that organic ones. And the third is for the small merchants.
Nick Tuzenko 50:26
Yeah, because they can innovate much faster, they can be there. Yeah. So definitely, this always will be hard for them to scale. But to start to launch new to be competitive, I'm like, they are much, much faster and much better than VR. So
Yoni Mazor 50:42
I believe it's gotten very good, beautiful stuff. So yeah, I want to kind of a package episode. So I'm going to do a kind of a quick recap to see what we have. And then we'll go into the final part of the episode. So one reason Ukraine want to study at Moscow University, as you were growing up, you're very competitive, especially with math, mathematics. And science also had some passion for sports. But that can end when you're around 1112. And you have some health issues.
Yoni Mazor 51:06
And also growing up, you have a twin brother, and you're also very close on the sports and also the competition, but also going to Moscow University back in 2010 2010 2014, you finished your degree. And then both of you go and work for Boston Consulting Group BCG from 2014 to 16, you're getting real-world experience wherever enhance of experience in the business world. And then 216 until 2020 Are you move shifted to a bus for IT DID YOU KNOW you develop other marketplaces for them like Poland, for example. And we're able to do some fr m & deals. And eventually, you got merged into blah, blah, car, a French company, and became a part of a bigger play. And then 2020 towards the end of the year realize you met with Max via you're involved with an entrepreneurial community in this startup communities and your regions.
Yoni Mazor 51:54
And then you kind of analyze the landscape, you see the opportunity, that's an E-commerce and especially with Amazon. So you raise money, you raise a team, you know, it's the beginning of the year of 2021, you were two people now you over 100. Plus you are trying to hire over 100. And that's where we are today with the space of E-commerce. Is that kind of the right summary of what we have so far? Yep, yep. Beautiful stuff. Thank you so much for sharing that I learned a lot. Now I want to finish up the episode with two points. The first will be if somebody wants to reach out and connect, where can they find you? And the last thing will be is what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there?
Nick Tuzenko 52:27
So I'm there like on Facebook on LinkedIn, so anytime, please, like, you can drop me a message. I guess like we will share some Yeah, somebody
Yoni Mazor 52:36
nicked his ankle just go nicked his ankle and ice K, TUZE, and K all right to Zanko just look at their LinkedIn social media and it looks at the handles
Nick Tuzenko 52:46
Our website is XL dot club. And you can also find there our contacts in our description.
Yoni Mazor 52:55
So actual dot club, that's a domain. Yeah. Yep.
Nick Tuzenko 52:58
And runs like, like, yeah, I would say like, there's like, the world is like really accelerating, everything changes much faster. But it was a lot of opportunities. I do believe in that. And you know, it's like to, I didn't do that, in this setup, you just need as an entrepreneur, and you just really need to be a set like friends with every outcome. Just try like to apply more common sense. Just try to each radius around, just try to try something. As soon as like, as in product development, usually like you having this like AP test. Yeah. And I do believe in real-world today, you also need to do the AP test. This is the first one the second one. I do believe that you know, it's like the leverage of the talents you have in your team is also increasing.
Nick Tuzenko 53:43
And I do believe that right now and in the future, more and more writers will rock just like the intention with whom you work. And like it's always better to invest in a team too has great talents around you. And this will bring you great results. Maybe not today, maybe in like more like midterm on the term. But you just be fascinated with what you can, like, achieve with great teams. I didn't know that other insurance they are counting on only one themselves. Yeah, but I'm never, never try not to cut that like that's like talents from the equation. I'm like in the current world and I didn't do that in the future. This will even be like, it'd be more important than it's nowadays was yesterday.
Yoni Mazor 54:32
Got it. So there's an opportunity out there. Go seize it, work hard for it, pay attention to the detail, open up, create teams, you know, leverage on their talent, and build something great together. Beautiful stuff. Nick, thank you so much. I wish you and the actual club team much-continued success going forward. Thank you very much, everybody, for joining us today. Until next time, stay safe and healthy. Take care. Thanks for your time.