Technology has always shaped and changed industries. Lately, digitalisation and technology are more about developing interactive and suitable customer experience. Something that should be relevant for anyone with an equine business.
In the dark?
Statistics* are telling us that the interest for horse riding is decreasing. Equestrian communities and businesses are experiencing competition from other more accessible activities.
With new technology arise new expectations from customers. One reason for a decline could be new challenges that you might be unaware of, or it has not come to your attention yet. Feedback from riders and horse enthusiasts is that it is tough to find locations, instructors, or other suitable services. When they finally find someone or somewhere, the service is not to their expectations. Delaying them taking up or starting horse riding altogether. Or taking their business elsewhere. We can turn this around, by making it easier to access equine teachers.
Globally, we see that digitalisation gives rise to smaller, more nimble players who embrace the new opportunities. Competitors like bloggers, educators, hotels, restaurants are joining forces. Together, they are paving the way for progress, even challenge industry status quos. In contrast, Equestrians are still partial to protective behaviour and polarisation.
Equestrians are running their freelance, small or large business in a conservative and "Kodakish" style. Abrupt and sceptic to new ideas, watching from the side rather than engaging. Serving critic and bias' lightly, with no concern for how it reflects back even on their own business. This approach is well known to prohibit growth and progress.
How can we build bridges and embrace technology?
Since I started Pluvinel, I have had conversations with various individuals and organisations. Independent and well established. Now confessing that I am astonished that no one is putting digitalisation on the agenda on behalf of the Equestrian community. Or transparency, sustainability or how to work smarter.
Our mission, in Pluvinel, is to create the most superior and warm online technical solution. A technical solution that is "pure breed" for the equestrian world. That will benefit riders and instructors/trainers in all corners of the world. Our goal is to increase the number of equine enthusiasts who can access experts, without searching a lifetime. Experts who suit their level. Their discipline. Their needs. Building a fair and sound system that verifies our users. At the same time show off the incredible diversity of the horse world – empowered and united!
At Pluvinel we are following a process called the Lean Startup Method. In short, this means that we develop functionality, then launch it to test with our users. The Lean Startup Method is a traditional approach in the tech world. It validates the product quicker and keeping your development cost down. If you have an engaging user base, it allows you to change and adjust towards your user's desires and needs.
Business leaders all over the world are focusing on digital strategy and technology. Still, I have met very few Equestrians who have this important topic on their agenda.
So I have a wish. My wish is that YOU, as an Equestrian, become more curious and aware of the technology around. It has a tremendous upside and can solve many challenges and issues faced by the equine industry.
Let's think big! Focus on our common goals, unite our forces and engage so we can give the horse world the digital lift it deserves.
It is time to change, be a change maker.
About Camilla Næristorp
She is the founder and CEO of Pluvinel. She comes from a creative background. Educated in graphic art and design at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. She has worked in media and as a Design Manager for an international oil company. As a Design Manager, she went to beautiful places in the Middle East. And she engaged with a wonderfully diverse team, counting approximately 35 nationalities. She has long experience working on exciting digital, communications and branding projects. When she started Pluvinel in 2015, she leapt from a safe job to an unpredictable future. Thus, looking forward to working with the world's most diverse activity – Equestrianism. She loves horses more than anything.