In itnig’s Podcast #25 Bernat Farrero, CEO at itnig, talks with Javier Llorente, an old friend of itnig and investor of itnig and Quipu & Camaloon investor about how he became a professional investor from scratch.


At itnig every Friday we sit down to talk with interesting people whom we meet throughout the week and we make a podcast (in Spanish) out of our conversations. You can listen to it on iTunes, subscribe to our channel on Youtube or enjoy it through iVoox.

For this Podcast #25 Bernat Farrero, CEO at itnig and Javier Llorente come together to talk about the beginning of his career, the founding of Grupo Intercom and subsequent investments.

https://upscri.be/5c88ff/

Javier is a professional investor, the European Found of Investment (who invests alongside Javier) names him the most active investor in Spain with more than 40 investments. We talk with him about his beginnings?

Javier, how did you start?

I started working when I was 14 years old to contribute to my family’s economy. When I 16 years old I joined the Banco Vizcaya even before it fused to become BBVA. However it was not a job I liked, the days were long and it was boring to me. (Actually I studied clinical psychology but have never practiced).

It was at a time where you said: ‘Internet — what’s that?’

How did you start working with Antonio González-Barros?

When I left the bank I started working in a school focussed on technology. Antonio was the neighbour of the school were I worked and that’s how we were introduced. Antonio was introduced to Axel Serena, a youngster at that time who had lived in the USA and was the first to tell us about Internet. He told us about Internet at a time when in France people were using Minitel.

In May 1995 we founded Intercom as internet provider. Antonio brought together 30 friends, who were all fascinated by email.

In 2000, before the crisis started, Intercom was bought as one of 10 Internet providers but in these past five years other than the Internet provider we had started different classified sites like Softonic of Infojobs.

On Infojobs uploading your CV was free but the companies publishing job offers were paying for the service. After the first three offers we had different ad packages for companies. Monster, leader on the US market, spent an enormous amount of money on the market but there was not much they could do. Infojobs kept growing and became a monopoly.

From then on this was our success at the new Grupo Intercom: To achieve that these classified sites converted into leaders in their category. Softonic for Software, Infojobs for the job market and later on Emagister.

Did you start investing after selling Intercom STA (Servicios Telemáticos Avanzados), the Internet provider?

Yes, we invested in new businesses, some went well others didn’t. There were some business models that had worked in the past but were hard to replicate in 2008/2009.

I remember that in ten years 1999 to 2009 the value of a participation in Infojobs grew from 100 to 3124.8 Euro. in 1999 the 100 were pesetas in 2009, the 3000 were Euro. This is really hard to replicate.

What are you looking for in an entrepreneur for you to invest?

Excel sheets adapt to anything but what really counts is the person.

When you meet somebody, you see the enthusiasm, you connect on a personal level. I am looking for honesty, somebody who is engaged and is hard working. For me the important factor is the team and the entrepreneur who manages it.

I think we invest emotionally and then we rationalize.

Is it important for you to know who invests? Do you lead or co-invest?

I have been in both positions. It’s good to know who else is investing and to be able to exchange opinions. It’s important but not determinant, it’s not a sure fire rule.

Actually I think there are no rules, you kind of improvise.

As a psychologist, what is the profile of entrepreneur you are looking for?

Firstly, the attitude is more important than aptitude. With attitude alone you cannot work of course but for me attitude comes first and then the capacity to create what you want, to learn what you set yourself.


Listen to our podcast to learn more about Grupo Intercom’s beginning and development story. Learn more in this Podcast in Spanish on our Youtube channel, listen to it on iTunes or enjoy it through iVoox and subscribe to our newsletter to stay always up to date.

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T.

The story of Nitya’s vocation and dedication for Sales

A Sales profile detected in the Administration department

 

Nitya, Sales Manager in Quipu, has more than 20 years of experience in Sales. She started working very young, as she wanted to be independent as soon as possible. Thanks to her parents, both entrepreneurs, she started doing some administration and accounting very young, helping them in their daily tasks.

But her vocation for Sales was actually born a few years later, while she was working in a real estate agency. Although she was in charge of the administration, she succeeded in selling flats to the clients. This is the reason why she was offered a position in the Sales area in order to benefit from this potential. And here started her career in Sales.

Nitya’s passion for Sales

Today, Nitya has a passion for Sales. She likes being in contact with the clients since the beginning in order to create trust, listening to them and empathizing with them. For Nitya, it is important to understand the clients’ needs to know how to help them using the product she sells. Because if a client does not have the specific needs to be fulfilled by the service offered, they won’t buy it. A seller has to know what he is selling to know who and how he can help, because this is the final satisfaction: closing a deal by helping a client in his business.

A lonely but experienced start in Quipu which led to a team management

Nitya had the opportunity to develop her career in Sales in different firms. This is how Nitya arrived in Quipu with more than 20 years of her professional life dedicated to Sales in SMEs, more precisely in the area of technology and B2B software.

When Nitya started in Quipu, two years ago, she was alone in the Sales department. She was in charge of all the SDR part (Sales Development Representative), she was finding and generating leads, obtaining visits, doing demos of the product, as well as all the follow-up part until closing the sale. Later, people started joining the team as the startup was growing. Today, Nitya is our Sales Manager and she is in charge of the team capturing new firms as potential clients.

Nitya’s definition of the perfect Sales profile

To be able to sell a product to the clients, it is important to have a particular profile. Nitya explained to us what are the most important characteristics according to her to be a perfect salesperson.  

The Sales profile is extroverted and curious. Someone cheeky and shameless who is not embarrassed to ask lots of questions and able to entertain the relationship with the clients through a follow-up. A good salesperson also needs to be able to control their frustration so that if you don’t sell you are not discouraged.

Then, it is important to be flexible and to be able to adapt yourself. However, being able to express yourself and to share your opinion is also important. It is crucial to be able to learn and unlearn, and these are two things totally different according to Nitya. Every person can learn from anyone : juniors, seniors, interns and colleagues from any department.

“There are some things that look good to me, but maybe they aren’t. Sometimes there are new things better than the old ones, and we need to be able to change.”

 

Her daily life in Quipu

Once the acquisition team found people with the needs we cover or people who are looking for our services, these potential clients go to the Sales Team, and a Sales Development Representative listens to them and tries to get to know their business and needs. The aim is to teach them how the software works.

 

Nitya has lots of memories in Quipu. One of her best memories, although, is her first sale. Every time they close a sale, they celebrate it and communicate it to the others by ringing the bell. This is such a satisfaction for her because the whole firm learns of the good news and applause fills the room. She also remembers the first time she called the clients to talk with them about the product, her first demo, etc. Although it was a lot of pressure, it is now a good memory for her.

“In a startup, you have plenty of memories, and they are really good.

This is not a monotonous job, you are in contact with all the teams of the startups.

Things happen every day, this is nothing boring.”

 

As a Sales Manager, Nitya has to make sure the whole Sales Team has all the tools needed to develop the business. Everything needs to be 100% clear so the Sales Team can work. They need to know the pitch to tell to the clients, theirs needs, etc. Individually, they try to achieve common goals.

When Nitya was asked to describe Quipu in three words, she answered that, above all, “eQuipu” is the most important for her.

 

“I could say words like technology, simplifying, etc. But these words you can also find them in many other firms. For me the most important in eQuipu is the energy, vitality, movement, connection, etc.”

 

If you are eager to develop your career in the Sales department of a growing startup and to join this Sales Team which is facing new challenges every day, apply here!