Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Alex Robbio, President and Co-Founder at Belatrix Software:
What does your company do?
We help our customers create incredible digital experiences. While Belatrix is a software company that plays in the outsourcing space, we do so with a different model, one which we call “digital innovation on demand”.
This means we help companies, ranging from cool Silicon Valley start-ups to large household names, create great digital products quickly and at a competitive cost. Ultimately organizations look to us to help them create powerful digital experiences for their customers. Our delivery centers are in Latin America and we are located in the same or similar time zone as our clients. This means we can communicate in real-time. This combined with interesting cultural characteristics, allow for rich collaboration with our customers and their end users, ultimately allowing them to go to market sooner, with better digital products and at lower costs.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am the President and Co-founder of Belatrix Software. Together with my brother, Federico, and father, Luis, we have taken the company from humble beginnings in the small city of Mendoza, Argentina, to one of the fastest growing companies in the crowded software development industry. Our biggest achievement has been providing new opportunities to people from disadvantaged communities in Latin America. By providing them with the opportunity to develop themselves professionally we’re able to help them make real changes to their lives and their families’ lives. It’s incredible seeing people who, when they joined us, had never left their home country, now working with some of the largest and most prestigious companies in the world. Our people have also started charities as well as launched relationships with existing ones, which are then supported by the organization. One of the most successful is a scholarship for children in need, in partnership with FONBEC.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
We face a couple of big challenges at the moment. The first concerns culture. We’ve been proud to build a high-performance culture, where there is an emphasis on continual learning and education. As we grow rapidly, and hire new people, we’re having to consider how we can best maintain and improve this culture. For example, now when we hire new individuals, we start the on-boarding process much earlier, so our employees already have an understanding of the culture before they even step foot into our offices. Also as a technology company, we know the people we hire are highly qualified and have the choice of where they want to work. To attract and retain these individuals, we have to make sure we provide an attractive work environment, but also make sure we have interesting projects with the latest technologies, so they can continually improve their skills.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Be laser-focused from the start on building a great culture. Your company culture is what will make your company great (or sink). Businesses go bust because they accept a poor culture – just look at what happened with Enron or the troubles Uber is currently going through. As the saying goes, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, and it’s absolutely true. When you become CEO, this must be your top priority – have zero tolerance towards politics, or any kind of toxic or unethical behavior. Work hard to build a strong culture emphasizing professionalism, learning, and striving to achieve excellence.
Also, a strong culture facilitates empowerment and delegation, which are key when building a scalable business. For too long my co-founders and I were the sole decision makers in the company. When we started to grow quickly, we soon found ourselves exhausted by the daily grind, and this meant we weren’t spending enough time thinking about and planning for the future. It’s extremely important to hire good people and build a strong team around you.