Digital Transformation Is Changing the Marketing Game
January 24, 2022
Pablo Hernández became an entrepreneur at just 14 years old when he founded Ingenia Agency, the company he still runs today. As the oldest of seven boys, he had an early start to entrepreneurship through his father, who owned a successful chain of language schools in Mexico. Pablo would accompany his father to work over the summer months, where he first discovered the possibilities available through the internet.
“I was one of the few guys in Mexico who knew how to program websites. Anybody I would find: my dad’s lawyer, my dad’s architect, the school psychiatrist, the psychologist, I would say, You need to have a website,” Pablo recalls. “I always had the vision of building amazing websites. I wanted to build the website for the Mexican Stock Exchange, for Coca-Cola, and Grupo Bimbo. All three happened.”
Pablo shares insights into the international growth his company has experienced over the past few years, including expanding into a U.S. office based in Houston. Pablo also shares how the potentially controversial decision to pursue personal coaching over completing his MBA became a growth catalyst for his business.
On this episode of Deal Talk with 7MA, Horacio and Pablo discuss trends in digital transformation and what they’re focused on to further their personal development, including developing a business mindset, pursuing continual growth both personally and at work, and embracing lifelong learning.
One way Pablo challenges himself is with triathlons. “Becoming an Ironman means that you become very disciplined in your life and very focused. You try to become the best version of yourself,” he says. “You find the time to become hyper-productive … This kind of discipline gives you the ability to think more and to take perspective. I think that [training for] the Ironman and running a business is a great combination.”
💡 Featured on the Episode 💡
Name: Pablo Hernández
What he does: Pablo founded Ingenia Agency, a full-service agency for creative and technology projects including advertising, web development, and digital marketing, when he was just 14 years old. The company has now been in operation for over 26 years and serves clients such as Coca-Cola, Visa, Diageo, Grupo Bimbo, Kimberly-Clark, Mondelez International, The Mexican Stock Exchange, La Costeña, Nacional Monte de Piedad, Kuspit, and many more.
Organization: Ingenia Agency
Words of wisdom: “I am obsessed with bringing out the best version of myself.”
Name: Horacio Yenaropulos
What he does: Based in Mendoza, Argentina, Horacio is a Managing Director with 7 Mile Advisors and leads the Latin America sector coverage team. He has 25 years of financial experience and previously worked with Globant’s corporate development group, where his responsibilities ranged from due diligence to SPA closing. He’s also held financial leadership positions with several key Latin American companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hidronor Chile, Viña San Pedro Wine Group, and Belatrix Software.
Organization: 7 Mile Advisors
Words of wisdom: “At the end, there is a reward. And the reward is how successful we are.”
🗝️ Key Points 🗝️
Top takeaways from this episode
★ Money is pouring into software development. While talent shortages are visible in many industries, the push to retain software developers is apparent. Pablo sees the money companies are putting into digital transformation and the emphasis on data, the metaverse, and cryptocurrency.
★ Don’t get stuck in the operations of your business. Pablo shares how a coaching program helped him realize he wasn’t delegating enough as an entrepreneur and the importance of focusing on where he can add the most value — vision and high-level execution.
★ Starting a business in Latin America is challenging. Business owners can have difficulty accessing capital, the capital they can access is very expensive, and the cost of dismissing poor-performing employees can be shockingly high to those used to doing business in the U.S.
★ Embrace remote work if it makes your team more productive. Pablo recognizes that COVID gave him the courage to move his company to remote work. While the team misses the interactions, they are more productive and less stressed as a remote team. It also gave him the opportunity to go to Houston and expand his business internationally.
⚡ Episode Insights ⚡
[8:18] Being a business owner is not for everyone: Pablo is a self-described growth junkie and lifelong learner. Some of his favorite programs and resources include: Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery, Ketih Cunningham’s 4-Day MBA, and Napoleon Hill’s “Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind”.
[12:06] Strive every day for balance: When he first started his business, Pablo explains that his life was completely out of balance. Over the years he has moved from working long hours, smoking, and not exercising to developing a healthy routine that is sustainable.
[16:33] Being an entrepreneur in Latin America is heroic: Pablo says that being an entrepreneur in Latin America is filled with challenges and is a very hectic experience, including having limited access to capital.
[20:08] Every place has its challenges: Pablo reflects that no matter where you decide to start your business, you’re going to face challenges. However, sometimes the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.
[23:33] Trust is crucial in growing a business: After one failed attempt to bring his business from Mexico to the U.S., Pablo realized he needed to be the one to move to the U.S. and build the trust needed to find success in the region.
[24:14] COVID presented the opportunity to go fully remote: The pandemic gave Pablo the courage to take his company fully remote. While they had beautiful offices and people missed the interactions, his team is more productive working remotely.
[27:34] Attract amazing talent and scale: Pablo shared that the five pillars of strategic value from 7 Mile Advisors helped him create a business plan and vision that will attract the best talent from around the world.
[29:00] Digital transformation is here: Pablo discusses how to make intelligent decisions that allow companies to survive the next five years by harnessing technological advancements. He’s excited about merging the marketing side of sales with the power of technology.
Connect with 7 Mile Advisors
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Deal Talk with 7MA, a bi-weekly podcast by 7 Mile Advisors that aims to give listeners a look behind the curtain of the middle-market Mergers & Acquisitions world. 7 Mile Advisors is a middle-market M&A firm based out of Charlotte, NC, that provides investment banking services and advice on mergers, acquisitions, and private capital transactions around the globe.