In October 2016 we visited Chal-Tec, an internationally operating trade enterprise. Known through their flagship store electronic-star.de and their own brands like auna, Klarstein or Resident dj.
Here is the interview with the CEO & Founder of Chal-Tec, Peter Chaljawski. Have also a look at the office photos.
Please tell us something about your Company, when was your company founded, your location, in how many countries are you active:
Since 2005, Chal-Tec has been a successful incubator for expressive brands with individual character and innovative product portfolios.
In the categories of Home & Living, Sound & Light, Health & Sports and Consumer Electronics we carry 13 brands in 18 European markets.
Since the company was founded 11 years ago we have been committed to a proven concept: Designing and selling products that we would want to own ourselves.
From our headquarters in Berlin, we operate throughout Europe via different digital distribution channels like our own trading platform electronic-star.com, our different brand shops and various e-commerce marketplaces.
At the moment we sell 7,000 different products, from which 3.000 are our own brand products.
The products and brands are developed in Berlin.
What is your core business?
At Chal-Tec, we focus on online brands that we develop and distribute ourselves.
With own brands like auna or Klarstein, we can differentiate ourselves in the market and achieve above-average returns.
In addition, we predominantely sell our products via digital channels. As a result, our customer contact mainly consist of direct dialog.
By incorporating our customers’ suggestions and requests in our products, we can offer the leading devices on the market.
How did you get to your business idea and when was your company established?
At 19, directly after my graduation, I transformed my private passion for good music and high-quality DJ equipment into a professional business.
I realized that the necessary equipment for being a DJ was quite expensive at that time. Via eBay, I sold events technology to music lovers and soon became a power seller.
At the same time, I designed my first platform: electronic-star.com.
Under the umbrella of the web store I launched in 2006, the product range has been continuously expanded and now includes 13 in-house brands and 7,000 products in the categories Home & Living, Consumer Electronics, Sound & Light and Sports & Health.
Are you using Venture Capital? And if – who are your Venture Partners?
In June 2015 we have taken an investor on board for the first time in more than a decade of company history to raise our growth to the next level.
Ardian, an independent investment company, acquired 40 percent of the Chal-Tec shares while the rest of them remain in my possession.
With this, I continue to be CEO and majority shareholder, while the partnership with Ardian enables us to accelerate our internationalization plans and to push brand awareness.
In which countries are you active? Are you planing to expand your venture in other countries? And if – where?
We are currently active in 18 European countries with locations in Hamburg, Bratislava and Hong Kong supporting our headquarters in Berlin.
Product and brand development, sales and customer service are located in Berlin.
Bratislava is in charge of product distribution to Eastern Europe, quality management takes place in Hong Kong and the dispatch of the goods takes place in Hamburg.
We thrive to expand our business and to accelerate internationalization.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
Chal-Tec will be one of the leading E-commerce companies in Europe.
We want to be wherever our customers are, and want our products to fill the first row of the digital racks.
How many employees work at your company right now? Are you planning to expand?
We currently have 350 employees, of which 90 in customer support in Berlin. We are planning to expand our team further and will soon post more information on that topic.
What is the average age of your team members ?
The average age is 34.
What kind of attitude should new employees have to have in order to work at your company?
They should have the necessary drive for a fast-paced market, demonstrate a hands-on-mentality, be eager to create an impact and willing to take over responsibility
Why is it fun to work at your company? Do you offer any employee benefits?
// International & diverse team &
// Flexible working hours
// High degree of autonomy
// Flat hierarchies
// Awesome team events
// Spacious & modern office location in the heart of Berlin
// Discounts from external partners
// Coffee, water & fruits for free
// German & English language courses
// Employee discounts on our products
// Gym membership discount
Do you offer new employees a relocation service or help to relocate?
We have no specially designed relocation package, however, we provide visa support and financial benefits.
Do you have a job board?
Yes, we do. Please have a look at our career site.
How big is your Office/Production Site?
Our office in Berlin has 2,600 square meters.
Did you get help from an interior designer by designing the office?
It’s all made by the team. 🙂
Thank you Peter & Chal-Tec Team for this interview and the photoshooting!