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Faces Of Innovation: Vitaly Pchelnikov

Cyberfishing has taken the fishing tackle industry by storm in recent times with its fishing rod sensor and mobile app. TTW met the man behind the technological advancement that aims to help all anglers to fish smarter not harder.

Vitaly Pchelnikov is an experienced executive with the vision, planning and passion that drives business development, growth and revenue. His business acumen is demonstrated by the company he launched in 2003 that became the first Russian fishing and tackle business to enter the international market and attend trade shows across Europe, China and the USA not to mention the sales department he grew from just one brick-and-mortar retail store to the nation’s leading wholesale company.

After 20 years in the outdoor recreation industry, Vitaly is acutely aware of the challenges that seasonal, outdoor and recreational industries face. He has capitalised on his deep knowledge of local markets and specialised products to develop items and seasonal sales and marketing strategies to capture increasingly larger shares of the market around the world. He also holds two advanced degrees, an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in tourism and travel services management from Moscow State University of Culture and Arts.

As the national manager at Pure Fishing, Vitaly was instrumental in creating growth when other companies were struggling in a depressed economic climate. He more than doubled the distribution network by building strategic relationships and increasing customer engagement through specialist customer-focused sales and marketing events and global exhibitions. He also developed and implemented the strategy to shift from monthly orders to pre-orders before the season, making forecasts more accurate and distribution run more efficiently.

The company he now heads up, Cyberfishing, has grown exponentially over the last year, with the introduction of the smart rod sensor and mobile app that anglers all over the world can and will use to great effect to record all fishing trips and where, when and how fish were caught so that they can look back and revisit productive fishing spots.

Vitaly spoke about how the idea originally came about, “Every angler wants to catch a fish and wants to catch fish with less effort and less time. To fish more efficiently you need to have knowledge of where, when and on which lure to catch. It is a common wish among anglers and ours too here at Cyberfishing. Everyone is trying to record this data in their own way and we are no exception. We have discovered a way for anglers to enjoy fighting with fish instead of spending time trying to find a fish and this brought our idea to the market.

Inspiration

For anglers, recording a fishing hot spot is a pain, remembering a lure used to catch a trophy fish is even more difficult and memorising weather conditions seems like an impossible task. Cyberfishing takes these challenges and puts them all in one place so that anglers just make a simple click of a button and all is recorded. This idea came from the team’s fishing experience, which is where the inspiration came from to combine technology with experience and invite the world’s anglers to get on board.

Advancements in technology

The electronics sector is forever changing with improvements and developments. Vitaly said, “We have a strategic plan for the next few years, however, technology might change as each day we learn something new that we try and include or at least keep in mind for our development plan. I am happy to hear that smart rods are starting to appear on the market. Soon, every brand will have a smart rod in its range and the fishing industry will live in a technology boom over the next number of years. I am sure we will soon see reels with sensors, which measure power on the gear/line and advanced strike indicators that will integrate with smartphones. I am also certain that the industry will see fish recognition software that will be able to measure length and weight of the fish. Another exciting possibility is that real-time competition fishing will be in place that will provide instant access to competitor results and more. The large tackle companies will integrate their tackle into platform collecting and will be able to analyse so much data it’s hard to imagine.

Challenges

Cyberfishing has also had its fair share of challenges along the way however this hasn’t phased Vitaly and his team one bit. In fact it’s had the opposite effect. To people like Vitaly challenges are expected and without overcoming difficulties there is no product to show. He said “The most challenging aspect in the development of the product was trying to gauge exactly what features anglers are actually going to need. We intentionally came with basic functions see what anglers really needed and we are now working on implementations of all feedback we got since we launched the Cyberfishing sensor in January. A large part of our product is software, so it is flexible and we will keep improving it according to anglers’ suggestions.

Awards

Cyberfishing has made pivotal stances at a number of international trade shows all over the world and has been rewarded by industry recognised awards. Vitaly added, “We have been in the right place at the right time when it came to winning our awards. The fishing industry is ready for technology and we are trying to capitalise on that. We felt we were brave to bring this product into this industry however from the amount of interest and what we’ve achieved so far we are in great shape.”

Looking ahead

The future of Cyberfishing looks very bright indeed and the company is already working with many distributors in many countries. On the outlook, Vitaly said, “It’s a long process as we need to certify the sensor in each country and adopt and translate application as electronic products must have instructions and a user manual, according local requirements. Today we have translated the Cyberfishing app into 12 languages, we have presence in several countries, however more are coming and we are in negotiations with some big names.”

To find out more about working with Cyberfishing and getting ahead with its technology visit www.cyberfishing.com

Author: Simon Calvert

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