Q&A: “If We Had Not Been Born in the Pandemic, Our Growth Would Have Been Very Slow” – Juan Sebastián Jaramillo, Pari

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Thinking about how many hard seltzers and mixed drinks started to pop up in 2020, it is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic was also a great trigger for alcoholic beverage sales. Diageo, the giant that owns brands like Smirnoff, Don Julio, and Johnnie Walker, reported a 20% net growth in global sales in 2021.

Lockdown restrictions were also favorable for this growth to also take place through digital channels. One example is the Mexican wine brand Monte Xanic, whose online sales grew by 1,300% in 2020.

In this scenario, Pari was born: a Mexican e-commerce startup that makes home deliveries of alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Consumers can make their purchases through its app, it has a delivery promise of between 8 and 25 minutes and a considerable catalog of 400 products.

Pari works with a dark store model. These are warehouses with inventory distributed in strategic areas. For now, it has locations in Guadalajara and Mexico City, and soon it will seek to expand to Monterrey, Querétaro and Puebla.

The founders of Pari are Juan Sebastián Jaramillo, Santiago Vallejo and Renato Martínez. Jaramilo, CEO of the company, is originally from Colombia. Before starting with Pari, he worked at OYO, Oracle and La Haus.

In an interview with Contxto, Jaramillo told us more about how Pari came to be, what sets it apart from other e-commerce companies and what are its growth plans.

CONTXTO (C): Being Colombian, what most caught your attention to take on in this country?

Juan Sebastián Jaramillo (JSJ): I arrived years ago as country manager of a Colombian company that came to open up in the Mexican market. I liked Mexico City so much that I decided to stay. There is a lot of technology development around here. I worked for a long time in the world of startups until one day I realized that I had always been an entrepreneur, but it was with Pari that I decided to do it formally.

C: What was the most important thing when inviting your co-founders to Pari?

JSJ: We set up the company a little over a year ago and we made the decision to start a business in the midst of the pandemic. Renato (Martínez) had his own businesses and I was at La Haus. However, when we realized that Pari had a chance, I left my position and we decided to focus 100% on our startup.

I am very good at the numerical part, Renato is very good operationally and we were missing a person who excelled at marketing. This is how Santiago (Vallejo), our other co-founder, CTO and the third pillar of the company, joined.

C: Do you think Pari would have been born if the pandemic had not existed?

JSJ: Yes, it would have been born, but it would have grown at a very slow rate. The pandemic accelerated e-commerce growth by 500% in Latin America. Mexico has grown at a rate of 300% in terms of online sales, and during this time the categories have also grown. The pandemic is not over, and the only category that maintains constant growth is liquor. This is a niche market with a lot of growth and it is a US$200 billion industry in Latin America.

C: What is the differentiator between other e-commerce platforms that include the sale of liquor?

JSJ: Platforms like Rappi and JOKR have too much variety of products, whereas at Pari we focus 100% on alcohol and spirits. We have a broad catalog: more than 400 products. In addition, our time availability is until 3:00 am and our value promise is to deliver in 25 minutes or less.

We try to keep our prices the same as the market price: max 10% higher, but not 30% or 40% as they generally are on other platforms. This is unfair for the consumer.

C: What do you consider to be your main challenges?

JSJ: It is a matter of service and processes. For us it is essential to have good service and product availability; you lose a customer the moment something is not available.

The main challenge we have to overcome as a startup is to grow exponentially. We are currently in Guadalajara and Mexico City, and we will expand to Monterrey, Querétaro, and Puebla this year. We plan to have around 35 dark stores by the end of the year.

You may also be interested in: Mexican delivery startup Calii raises $22.5 million for expansion in Latam

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