ManoMano co-founder Christian Raisson had some tough words for retailers at the summit and talked delegates through the story of his start-up business and what opportunities there are for the industry to work together.

the conference with a farewell speech this year. He joked he was surprised to be given the stage: “We are a new start up business. we are not from the DIY industry, and I have a strong French accent, so I’d like to thank you for this opportunity.”.

C Founded in 2013, ManoMano now

offers 2.4 million products online, serves two million customers a year, and posted a turnover of €250million. Introducing

his business, Mr

Raisson said: “ManoMano is the number-one DIY marketplace in France and we are about to be the

hristian Raisson, who co-founded home improvement and garden online m a r k e t p l a c e , ManoMano, closed

leaders across Europe.” He continued: “We may have a sense of humour at ManoMano but our background is very serious – as we come from venture capital, so our background is more financial than e-commerce but our most important skill is that we are the perfect DIY customers.”

Mr Raisson explained how he

spent seven years renovating a house in France. However, after spending “hundreds of hours, tons of money and even more frustration on this project”, he said he was fed up and came to the conclusion that there was “a huge disconnection between my normal digital life and all that precious time I was spending refreshing my house.”

He cited this as the first trigger

behind the launch of the ManoMano business,

particularly when he

explored the figures of the home improvement industry; “€200billion just

in Europe and only 3% of internet penetration.” Mr Raisson explained: “We knew

that there was a huge potential to grow online in this industry but most of you in this industry tell me that it would be impossible to grow online. Fortunately, we are not from this industry yet. We have been a little bit crazy and bold to create ManoMano. It was a real bet but, after four years, we reached €250million of business value – that means more than Amazon in DIY terms and we are trying to double the business this year.”

The second trigger was Mr

Raisson and co-founder Phillipe de

Chanville’s discontent at the heart. “We


their working environment and a strong desire to create something with people

met at a venture capital company where people were not at the heart of the company and our boss was very gifted but a complete jackass. Philippe

and I we were


unhappy with this situation… We wanted to create a people company in line with our values.” And, so the pair decided to create ManoMano with four strong values: goodwill, ingenuity, boldness, and speed. “These are the cement of the company and have been put in place, not just for the employees but for all of our partners,” he said, explaining that the values come into play when the company has new challenges internally or with its partners. He added: “We only work with people who share these values and we avoid working with jackasses.” Mr Raisson is proud of the strong

culture at ManoMano, which is a key part of the company’s mission. “We want the experience

best based on

online-based our own

dedicated home improvement approach. We want to develop and help people – our employees and our sellers. And we have a greater mission for ourselves; we are going to be a billion Euro company – we have the ambition of becoming the leading DIY player in Europe and we want to do it together with you.”

The new frontier

ManoMano has big ambitions and wants the industry to work together to meet the changing customer needs but Mr Raisson admits he doesn’t think it will be easy. “Our industry is changing,”

he said. “At ManoMano we have seen it from the front lines and I want to share this insight with you... In the 1950s John F Kennedy spoke of America being the edge of a new frontier, with unknown opportunities and perils. I don’t need to tell you that, today, our industry is on the edge of a new frontier with its own opportunities and perils. At ManoMano we see this new frontier every day and, to quote JFK, ‘the times demand new invention, innovation, imagination and decision’.” He continued: “Our customers are

ready for the new frontier but this industry is not. Many businesses in this industry have not evolved in years and many of you will disappear in the next five or 10 years.” Mr Raisson believes the whole

DIY industry has to face three challenges: culture, technical, and customer-centricity.

10 DIY WEEK 10 AUGUST 2018

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