June 03rd 2014

Let's begin with a startup!

How to establish, build and lead an enterprise.
Janet Kath, CEO, Interio Österreich

“Fortune favors the brave!” This motto appealed to Janet Kath so much that at the end of 2000 she set herself up in business with the acquisition of a furniture and furnishings chain by the name of Interio Austria.

On May 25, 2014, in the framework of the Alumni & Friends lecture series, Janet Kath made a big impression at the MCI with a first-class presentation on the subject of the challenges of running a business. She began with a summary of her own biography as the daughter of a small tobacconist who became the managing director of the BIPA chain of cosmetics stores and finally set herself up in business as the proprietor of the Interio chain of designer furniture stores.

Courage, passion and an awareness of the commercial risks – for this Superwoman, these are the main factors for entrepreneurial success.

Like many other lines of business, the furniture trade is currently going through a difficult phase. That makes it all the more important for a company to be clearly positioned on the market and maintain an unequivocal image in the eye of the consumer.

For Janet Kath, cooperation with numerous manufacturers in Europe is particularly important, and she is proud of the fact that 90 percent of the articles sold are made in Europe.

Interio’s success lies in the company’s strength, speed and flexibility and not in size, mass or volume. Interio’s positioning enables the company to sell high/grade products at a reasonable price and to remain flexible with regard to the product portfolio, especially as – with few exceptions – no mass-produced products are sold.

The experienced businesswoman’s advice for young entrepreneurs and those thinking of starting a business is to exploit their passion for a subject but without neglecting the economic aspects.

The talk closed with a lively discussion with an enthusiastic audience. The proceedings were chaired by Bernd Kirschner, program director at Management Center Innsbruck.