Ever since he was little, his father used the family business to teach him the importance of hard work and dedication. He learned how to make things happen, and that things can only be achieved through effort.
These values helped him to start out in the distribution channel from a very young age. Before he turned 25, he had worked for large multinationals like Alcampo, Leroy Merlin, El Corte Inglés and Pryca.
He gained insight and knowledge of consumer and mass distribution goods which eventually allowed him to set up his own business.
The opportunity presents itself and the adventure starts
When he was 27 years old, he took on the role of KOKIDO Country Manager for Spain and Portugal. At that time, demountable pools had hardly arrived on the scene in Spain. It was an unfamiliar product and undervalued by the consumer.
He remembers the challenge of his first visit to the Outdoor Pursuits and Sports Purchasing Manager at El Corte Inglés, Eloy Castellanos, to try to sell him demountable pools.
“I can still picture his face. He could not believe I was trying to sell him demountable pools. He said, word for word: “Go down to the café and once you’ve got it off your chest, come back up and we’ll talk about something else”.
However, Jose Luis stayed true to his belief that you have to ‘keep on insisting’. He carried on trying -backed by sound arguments, market research and sales figures in different countries- until he got what he wanted.
“When you enter one or two channels there is a domino effect”.
The demountable pools category started to really take off. The tables had turned and now the channels were clamouring for the product. An opportunity had arisen, which Jose Luis was astute enough to detect. He went from working for a third party to becoming a business owner.
KOVYX OUTDOOR S.L., was born in 2004, with the purpose of distributing outdoor leisure products in the Spanish and Portuguese markets.
Stage of growth and diversification. New brands are launched.
Storage capacity was limited and demand did not stop increasing. The need for growth was evident. What started out as 3,000 m2 was already 7,000 m2 by the year 2006.
In 2009, KOVYX was granted the licence to distribute BESTWAY in Spain and Portugal. This milestone was followed by continuous growth, with new product categories making it onto the market. These included inflatable spas and all kinds of nautical sports products (kayaks, paddle surf, inflatable boats, etc.).
The chance to diversify and launch and distribute his own brands had presented itself.
“You are not alone in the game. Competition is fierce. You cannot go at it half-heartedly. If you do, you’ll sink. You have to be strong, because if you lose any market share, there will be someone behind you who will snatch it up”.
K2O was launched in 2014. These were avant-garde products for a more premium segment of demountable pools and inflatable spas. So what was it offering? Wooden liners for these products. The result was a better user experience and a more sophisticated design that blended in with the rest of the house and garden.
A year later the GARDIUN brand was created, with the largest range of garden and outdoor storage products on the market, with metal, resign and wooden models. It was something that no other brand in this category was offering.
The KOVYX proposal was growing, and creating synergies between all of the resources, brands and operations already around at the time.
In 2016, growth was so strong that it turned into internationalisation. GARDIUN led the way, since it was starting to generate demand in most European countries.
Capitalising on this strength and increased capacity, new brands continued to be launched across different categories, always within the outdoor leisure market. These new brands included OUTDOOR TOYS, CATTERHOUSE, and SOLENNY.
An expanding universe
The raison d’être of KOVYX is family enjoyment and leisure time at home. Not only outdoors but indoors too. This led to two new brands: KEBOO, focussing on fitness, and KEKAI, on heat around the home (heating, barbecues, etc).
KOVYX has more than 10 brands with sales in many European countries. However, success is not accomplished alone. In 2017, Jose Luis Nieto took on Hugo Hernández-Franch as managing director.
Hernández-Franch joined the team to help with the continuous international growth and the brands reach the furthest corners possible. The sky was the limit.
He had worked with Jose Luis years earlier, when Hugo was outdoor purchasing manager for Alcampo. He is now the CEO’s right-hand man. His confidant.
In 2019 new facilities were built in Valdemoro. They consisted of offices, warehouses and more than 20,000 m2 of possibilities. KOVYX is now a 100-strong team who can meet any challenges thrown their way.
We are writing the future, together. Do you want to join us?