Interview with Roberto Carrus founder and owner of FishingTime, released on 06/06/2020 for the magazine Sport Fisherman.
(translation from English by Anna Bentivoglio)
Roberto Carrus is the founder and owner of FishingTime, one of the most important e-commerce platforms in Europe in the sport and underwater fishing sector.
S.F) Good afternoon Mr. Carrus, thank you for taking the time. The first question given the period is how he spent time during the lockdown imposed by the Italian authorities for the COVID-19 emergency.
Roberto Carrus) The first few days were really special, for me that practically since I was born I go fishing regularly at least twice a week, it was a completely unexpected experience. But believe me that after a while I realized that in addition to fishing, I especially lacked the daily relationship I had with my friends, fishermen and customers of my business. I also missed discussing animatedly, but always in full mutual respect, which is a fairly typical attitude among fishing enthusiasts.
S.F.) Make me understand, in addition to running FishingTime, do you find time to go fishing at least 2 times a week and have discussions with your client friends?
R.C.) I go fishing very early in the morning, around 5.30 am and 8.00 am they are regularly in place. The discussions, it is clear always friendly are an integral part of my work, and very often some Fishing Time products have been conceived thanks to inspirations born in these comparisons, especially with the years here at Fishing Time we have formed a team that allows me to stay don't worry even if I have to go away or deal with business matters that lead me to stay out of the office.
S.F.) So after the first difficult days did you get used to being away from the sea and your "friends, fishermen and customers"?
R.C.) We say yes, but in truth I still concentrated a lot on the job, since for some time myself and the FishingTime team had been working on the new e-commerce platform; paradoxically, the lockdown put us in a position to concentrate on the project with an exclusive time that is absolutely unpredictable.
S.F.) So if I understand correctly, will the implementation of the new e-commerce site be implemented soon? Imagine a further step forward for the history of FishingTime?
R.C.) Yes, and it is a passage we are very proud of, even if the final result will only be consequently to the help that our "customer friends" will give us with their advice and observations. We are focusing on the feature that the e-commerce site grows and improves over time thanks to a deep interaction with those who use it.
S.F.) Well, then sincere wishes for the new phase, but I would like to talk about when Fishing Time was born, then the internet was almost not even in the thoughts of the programmers, at least the network we know now. Summarize in one word the concept that could identify the origins of Fishing Time.
R.C.) I indicate three: Passion, passion, passion. As obvious as true.
S.F.) I must say that your choice did not surprise me but now I would like to deepen the reason.
R.C.) Look, I summarize everything in this perception: in so many years that I do my job that I have always carried out with commitment and dedication, practically for me it has never been a job ... at least as the vast majority of men intend to work.
S.F.) Not a small fortune ...
R.C.) Yes, of course, even if I don't want to give a wrong impression, the effort and the commitment have been there, as well as the very difficult moments, but with the passion you resist, persist and go further.
S.F.) Can you tell us about the most exciting moment and the worst moment of your work history?
R.C.) Thank God the moments that I could call exciting were many, a recurring satisfaction fortunately or for our skill are the compliments and strategic choices towards our products that often make some great protagonists of our sport, in a nutshell our commitment that is rewarded. With regard to the most difficult period we have faced in our history, our thoughts go to our topicality, this pandemic ... the lockdown ... the victims of the coronavirus, a completely unexpected and unpredictable situation, which for a large period was completely indecipherable, professionally and humanly.
S.F.) It is understandable, a feeling that we all had a little bit, but let's deepen the good moments linked to the history of FishingTime.
R.C.) Yes, of course. One of the primary factors in our history has always been the search for innovation to be applied in all business dynamics, from product design to sales, to interaction with customers and with the great professionals of our sport. Over time, some of our intuitions and proposals have become tools or accessories now considered worldwide "standards" and many large international companies have followed us in our being "sector visionaries". Not only in production as I said. Do you know that we were among the first e-commerce companies in Europe to sell sport fishing equipment?
S.F.) Frankly I didn't know.
R.C.) That's right, we started experimenting the web in 2005 and we were (at least in our sector in Italy) in an exquisitely pioneering situation. Unfortunately, we have changed the name of the shop a few times and consequently the web domain, perhaps losing a little in "historicity" with the aim of guaranteeing the continuity between "physical" reality and "Internet" reality at FisgingTime. One of the names on one of our experimental e-commerce sites was www.acquamare.it, a domain name that still arouses a certain emotion in me.
S.F.) One last question, a company like yours that has always stood out for its innovation factor, what do you have in store for the near future in the sport fishing sector? Can you tell us something about it?
R.C.) I can tell him that we are working on some projects that could be truly exciting for us and for fans of fishing and diving. I won't tell you what it is even under torture, believe me. Simply because as a good fisherman I am incredibly superstitious.
S.F.) I must say that I imagined his answer a little. Thank you for taking the time and ... "in the hole of the whale" for all your professional and personal purposes.