Alejandro Betancourt: Why Flexibility and Adaptability Are Keys to Success
He credits flexibility and adaptability as the keys to his success during periods of economic uncertainty. For example, he has based branding strategies for his businesses on social media, especially during the last decade. His flexibility has also allowed Betancourt to expand his portfolio through the use of technological innovation.
Adaptability and flexibility were crucial to Betancourt’s transition from energy to technology. He believes that entrepreneurs must understand how quickly the world is changing, including its markets, culture and technology.
For example, business correspondence routinely occurred via fax 25 years ago, but the latest generation of business owners don’t even know what a fax is. Beginning in the early 2000s, people started making posts on social media platforms like Facebook, followed by pictures on Instagram in 2010. Today, business leaders are using short-form videos to exchange ideas on TikTok. According to Betancourt, “Just talking about social media at this point, … we have to constantly adapt if we were looking to create an impact into the market…” He adds that investors must adapt to constant change if they are to add value to their portfolios.
The Hawkers story provides another example of Betancourt’s adaptability under adverse conditions. Betancourt became involved with Hawkers in 2016, when the company was struggling financially despite annual sales of about 60 million euros. As a result, the company was unable to expand into the larger markets necessary for its long-term survival.
Betancourt saw that online marketing via social media was inexpensive at the time since major corporations weren’t using it. As he recalls, “You could exploit that in the sense that you could reach customers in a very efficient way and convert that into real sales-if the product was right.” Betancourt also conducted a highly successful round of funding that raised about 50 million euros, allowing the company to exceed 100 million euros in sales for 2021.
Betancourt founded Auro Travel in 2017, after Uber began succeeding in its ride-sharing business. He saw that a huge market existed for these services in Spain, although the number of vehicle owners who could enter the market in that country would be determined by the relatively small number of commercial driving licenses available in that country. Betancourt adapted to this limitation by purchasing 2,000 of these licenses long before he needed them. Not only was Auro Travel successful in filling the ride-sharing market in Spain, but it was also able to sell the licenses it didn’t need to other companies.
Betancourt continues to develop flexible marketing endeavors, believing that good ideas are the product of constant invention. In particular, he is quick to adapt new technologies to this purpose, especially communication channels. Furthermore, Betancourt makes it a habit to surround himself with the right people needed to push his agenda forward.
Betancourt’s Latest Investment
Betancourt’s involvement with JobandTalent illustrates his flexibility with investments. Juan Urdiales and Felipe Navio founded this company in 2009 as an online job search platform. Like similar companies at that time, JobandTalent could find job openings online by performing a Google search and making recommendations based on the user’s criteria.
The technology that the JobandTalent platform used was still fairly rudimentary at the time of Betancourt’s involvement with the firm in 2013. He recognized that no job platforms were performing other required functions like interviewing applicants, performing payroll and regulatory compliance. Under Betancourt’s direction, JobandTalent upgraded its platform to become a complete digital platform for employment services.
JobandTalent also began charging subscribers for its services, meaning that employers were now JobandTalent’s clients rather than people looking for work. This was a new business model at the time, causing the company to grow quickly. JobandTalent is now a one-stop-shop for companies needing flexible hiring services. Betancourt was also instrumental in implementing the platform’s advanced data-matching algorithm and state-of-the-art tools that it uses to match job seekers with employers in a fluid economy. Its online format was particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly increased remote work and social distancing requirements.
Originally published at https://www.finyear.com on June 22, 2022.