Alejandro Betancourt Lopez gets especially excited watching companies that are proving to be disruptive, especially using developing technology. He finds joy in getting involved and directly helping smaller companies do well, rather than simply offering funds and waiting for a return.
He likes working with company officials to directly take a role in helping a company see success. This can involve using his international connections to open up more countries to a particular product or service, or streamlining their operations to cut out waste, improve efficiency, and maybe acquire more affordable capital goods. It also can include helping raise further capital.
All of these strategies can certainly help but aren’t always guaranteed. And that’s OK. Profit or loss, you’ll still have valuable business experience, and even a loss is important since it can help teach you lessons that can be used to earn future wins.
In the case of Hawkers, the business was already up and running before Alejandro Betancourt Lopez was aware of it. A group of four college students from Spain discovered a cheap source of sunglasses in the U.S. At first, they were importing them but then they found a manufacturer in China. Rather than the traditional retail model for sunglasses that existed around 2010, Hawkers sunglasses were sold online only. They also had interchangeable lenses and a low price point; two factors that made them appealing to consumers.
Interest was high and orders kept coming in, but the company never turned a profit at first. It grew quickly but the owners didn’t have a lot of familiarity with basic business. Alejandro Betancourt Lopez had the opportunity to meet the owners and learn about Hawkers. He liked the idea and thought it was the perfect product to get involved in.
He immediately proposed offering funds to help stabilize the company, but also worked with company officials to get him involved in day-to-day operations. He became president and immediately looked for ways to expand Hawkers reach into other countries. He also worked with the staff to increase the outreach to the celebrity community, including giving out free pairs to publicists, photographers and stylists, hoping they would be spotted on various fashion runways, parties or other social events.
At the same time, Hawkers also continued an ambassador program where people would wear them on campuses and tell others about them. In exchange, these ambassadors would get new products and other promotional material.
These digital and word-of-mouth efforts are able to bypass traditional marketing sectors, such as advertising or retail sector sales. In just a few years, Hawkers sales more than doubled.
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez and Auro Travel
While countries like the U.S. have extensive ride-sharing programs, where people use their own vehicles to take others around or pick up food, the idea hasn’t caught on as well in other countries. Spain, for instance, only makes a certain number of licenses available. This cuts down on traffic and doesn’t significantly impact “legacy” operations like shuttles and taxis.
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez looked at Uber for inspiration: not just the rideshare part, but the technology that connects drivers, vehicles, and passengers, with a central payment system via an app. Auro Travel offers ride sharing services and is also acquiring licenses, which he hopes is only the beginning of its potential.
“I think we’re going to see more evolving because at first, there were companies like Uber doing rides, and then we have Uber Eats for delivery, and then there’s ride sharing that’s going to evolve to any other transportation levels within the sector to evolve into a digital platform request for rides or transportation,” he said. “I still believe there’s still way more transformation and market creation from different angles yet to happen.”
Overall, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez calls success a moving target. While you may achieve it for certain ventures, he said it’s something that really never ends.
“I think success is a pursuit of trying to achieve your different goals, which keep evolving,” he said. “As long as you’re in the race to pursue success, you can consider yourself successful. You’re on the road, and it’s a never-ending race.”
He said everyone’s pursuit of success is really what makes life interesting, especially when it can intersect with someone’s passions and drive. Surrounding yourself with people pursuing success can benefit everyone.
“Not only an idea has to be good, but the people behind the idea are as important as the idea. If you want to have the right people, nothing will be successful,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :