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Q&A l “You Almost Never Get the First Solution Right; You Have to Be Listening to the Market”–Evaristo Babé, Pulpo

Evaristo Babé co-founded the Pulpo fleet management platform and the SinDelantal delivery app. What has it been like to be an entrepreneur in such different industries?

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

It is not uncommon to find serial entrepreneurs who have created more than one company. Evaristo Babé is one of them. Of Spanish origin, he founded his first Internet company in 1998. Since then he has been linked to digital businesses of different kinds.

First it was SinDelantal, a food delivery service that started in Spain. In 2012, long before other similar delivery platforms, Babé brought SinDelantal to Mexico together with his partner Diego Ballesteros. Both companies, SinDelantal Spain and SinDelantal Mexico, were sold to the British Just Eat; the first in 2012 and the second in 2015.

In 2017, Babé decided to completely change his direction. He founded Pulpo, a software platform that helps its clients automate the management of car fleets. Not only does it make visible the health of their vehicles, drivers and operations, but it also helps reduce costs and optimize resources.

Pulpo has offices in Mexico, Colombia and Spain and clients in more than 10 countries. It represents hundreds of fleets whose vehicles they help manage.

At Contxto, we talked to Babé about his experience as an entrepreneur in various sectors, the opportunities he sees in Latin America when he comes from another continent and the challenges that entrepreneurs face that are not usually spoken about, among other things.

Contxto (C): What has made you diversify the entrepreneurial niches where you have chosen to found companies?

Evaristo Babé (EB): I have been an entrepreneur since I was 18 years old. Since then, I have been setting up Internet companies. The rules of the game have changed a lot over the years, but for me it has become a hobby.

It’s what I know how to do, not necessarily because I know a specific sector, but I think that when you start a business you need to investigate and have a way of thinking that helps you execute. I like the idea of ​​starting businesses in different sectors and taking those learnings with me to the next ones.

C: How do you choose the sectors of the companies you have co-founded?

EB: I have never chosen a sector by preference. It has always been knowing how to detect the problems that arise and for which I cannot find an existing solution. Analyzing my environment has helped me to choose all the sectors in which I have been.

For example, SinDelantal came about because I was in Madrid and I wanted to order Mexican food at home. I looked in the guides and on Google, and I couldn’t find it. We started to investigate and decided to make our own platform.

In the case of Pulpo, it arose because many companies came and told me that they had no visibility of how many vehicles they had, or how much they spent or how they kept track of their data. You are always starting something that does not exist; in a certain way you must learn along the way. The solution you think of at first is not the definitive one.

C: What opportunities do you see, as a foreigner, that exist in Mexico to undertake?

EB: Those of us who come from abroad see a market with a million possibilities. Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country, the one with the most businesses and where you can do the most things. In reality, it is also a country where everyone wants to do things.

Mexicans want to create, to grow, and that attitude is not only noticeable, but also contagious. It is very easy to innovate and many clients come just because they want to have the feeling that they can improve things. Also, Mexico City has a different vibe, it has a lot of life. Its level of creativity and technology is enormous.

C: What about the entrepreneurs who are not counted?

EB: The biggest challenge is that the first solution you think of for the problem you have detected is almost never right. It’s very complicated; you always have to be listening to the market to continue innovating and nailing what your customers want. There are many people who marry their first solution, fighting with it until the end, but it requires a lot of listening and analysis.

In our case, we have had the challenge of obtaining those first brands that will give confidence to the rest of our clients. We have been lucky because we are a solution that has no equivalent in the market. That made some very large companies bet on Pulpo from very early on. When you find the person within a large corporation who trusts you, those moments are magical as others will also see the clients you have and trust you too.

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