Federico Machabanski, CCO and Founder en PARDES / CCO and Founder en Selectio / Sales expert / Retail / Toys / Baby items. To learn more about Federico, see his note at the bottom of the page.
I was confused about whether it was worth returning to China in April after not coming for the past three years. Many people around me conveyed a lot of insecurities and fears about returning to the place I had continuously traveled to from 2008 until COVID started. But luckily, my partner @Alejandro Chueke appeared in this story and said to me, “LET’S GO.”
Without further delay, we embarked on this 20-day journey, passing through Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shantou, Guangzhou again, and finally back to Hong Kong.
As you all know, my company primarily deals with toys, but also, on our trip, we searched for products in other categories we work with, such as PET, Sports, and many others. There, we found ourselves at the Canton Fair, seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of booths with some very interesting proposals and others that were completely crazy. Yes, products that would be inaccessible to our markets due to the price or the product itself.
Afterward, we visited our beloved city of Shantou, where we met with many of our regular partners and some new companies. I didn’t find many new toy developments. The large stocks left in factories and many clients with huge stocks discouraged companies from investing much in developing new products ( they told me about the fear of losing the investment ). So, we came across new packaging and a few new developments here and there, but we needed more innovation, more novelties. Nevertheless, after many trips, we always find interesting things, develop new products, and develop new ideas you will discover over time.
What never stopped developing was China as a country. From our homes during COVID, we were told that everyone in China was entirely locked down and the country was a walking hospital, but you know what? It wasn’t like that. They were neither fully locked down, and they never stopped developing. On every path we traveled, from trains to airports and cities, we saw new developments in buildings, highways, new sections at airports or train stations, new, very modern Chinese cars, and so on. And even though you were required to provide a negative COVID test to enter China, we lived our lives there with complete normality, being able to do all activities without needing to wear a mask anywhere.
It has indeed been worth the effort and the trip. From distant Argentina, the transit time is very long, and jet lag makes everything more difficult, but I assure you it was terrific to return. I eagerly look forward to being there again, either in October and/or January, to reunite not only with friends from China and Hong Kong but also with the entire world of toys, rushing from meeting to meeting on the marvelous Mody Road, having wonderful and endless conversations in hotel lounges, or simply greeting each one of you on the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui.
When I was 17 years old, my mother invited me to help her in her insurance sales company, a career from which she had received me while finishing high school. After a month of being there, I told him: “This is not for me, I’m going to look for something else.”
It was so that at the age of 18 I started into the world of toys, first helping in a company, where at the age of 19 they gave me the opportunity to start traveling. YES, a child traveling to sell toys throughout Latin America. Since then, it has been a complete adventure! Traveling through Latin America is not traveling through Europe, the distances are very long, and visiting a Mexican client from Argentina takes you 10 hours by plane, and that is if the client is in Mexico City and not elsewhere (Well, I have traveled Mexico)
I traveled to places that I would never have imagined, from toy factories in Laranjal Paulista, then touring every city and country in South America, Central America, and Mexico, traveling to fairs, either to exhibit or to visit, in Brazil, Mexico, USA, Germany, England, Hong Kong, and China, and starting new projects here and there.
Since 2008 I began my trips to China almost without interruption (except for COVID), and since 2011 I started this new project with my partner @alejandro chueke, with our 2 wonderful companies @Selectio and @Pardes, with which we have developed wonderful projects, worked with large, medium, and small clients, and serving all with the same professionalism.
I consider myself an expert in interpersonal relationships, a connoisseur of the world of toys and retail, a constant explorer of new product categories (Sports, Bazaar, Electro, Check Out, Pet, etc.), and a lover of sales.
I have the pleasure of having worked in my career and continue working with the majority, with amazing companies such as Wal Mart, Soriana, Coppel, Woolworth, Falabella, Tottus, Cencosud, Liverpool, Palacio de Hierro, Sams, Lojas Americanas, Lojas Pernambucanas, Make it Real, MGA, and more and more. I have even sold to countries in Africa, Europe and Oceania
Today, already passing 40 years, I am more excited than ever about the future that lies ahead for our company, full of projects and new opportunities, and full of new and beautiful relationships with customers, business partners, and suppliers!!!