Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt López’s Strategy for Transforming an Idea into a Success Story
Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt López is a Venezuelan businessman with many financial interests. Betancourt also leads the O’Hara Administration, an international investment group. In addition, Betancourt is an executive or investor for other companies like Auro Travel, Hawkers and more. These companies have all become highly successful, due in large part to his financial support and business leadership.
Early Life and Career
Betancourt was born in 1980 in Caracas, Venezuela, where he grew up. He moved to the U.S. during high school and also attended college there. Betancourt graduated from Suffolk University with a major in Economics and specialty in International Trade.
One of his first positions was Director of Trade for Latin America and Executive Trader’s UK Delegation, where he specialized in the energy sector. His expertise in this field allowed Betancourt to provide analytical support for execution phase contracts (EPCs) by offering investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector. Betancourt also became the Directory of BGB Energy in 2004, which was a subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industry (KHI) in Venezuela.
Betancourt became interested in the ride-sharing sector after observing Uber’s rapid success after it was founded in 2009. Personal transportation is a mature industry, but Betancourt saw how Uber had the potential to disrupt it by taking market share from established players. He says this trend is occurring in many markets and is indicative of the way technology is transforming the business world. As result, Betancourt primarily invests in technology-based companies.
Betancourt founded Auro Travel in 2017, which is based in Spain. It provides point-to-point private transportation throughout that country and operates the largest fleet of vehicles in Spain. Auro Travel also provides operating licenses to other ride-sharing companies like Cabify and Uber. Auro Travel directly employs about 100 employees and coordinates the activities of over 3,000 drivers.
Betancourt plays key roles in the company’s operations, including the selection of key personnel and recommending improvements to its business model. For example, Betancourt is actively involved in the development, testing and marketing of Auro Travel’s mobile app.
Hawkers is a sunglasses company founded in 2013 and based in Spain. Betancourt became the president of the company in 2016, when it was worth about $60 million. One of the keys to Hawkers’ success is networking with celebrities and brands. For example, the company was able to persuade stars like Hip Hop singer Usher to wear its sunglasses in public, causing them to sell very quickly. Hawkers has also collaborated with major brands like Mercedes-Benz, the LA Lakers, Lewis Hamilton and PlayStation.
The Hawkers story shows how business competency can transfer between seemingly unrelated fields. Betancourt had no experience with the fashion industry before joining the company, but he quickly contributed to its success. For example, he recently adjusted the company’s strategy to account for the recession in that country. Betancourt also began expanding the company’s presence in other countries.
Future Success Story
JobandTalent provides a strong example of Betancourt’s strategy for turning an idea into a success story. This company was originally just a staffing marketplace when Felipe Navio and Juan Urdiales founded it in 2009. JobandTalent’s mission is make the labor market more fluid by eliminating barriers to the job search and hiring processes. Its platform is based on proprietary technology that matches jobseekers with businesses more quickly than its competitors.
Major capabilities of the JobandTalent platform include contract-signing, in-app messaging, payroll and scheduling, all of which reduces the time needed to hire workers while protecting all involved parties from legal risk.
Betancourt began investing heavily in JobandTalent in 2009, although the company had interested him earlier than that. At that time, Betancourt recalls that JobandTalent had an annual revenue of about one million dollars. Within five years of Betancourt’s significant involvement with the firm, it had “toppled the titans” of the staffing industry. JobandTalent was worth about $2.35 billion as of December 2021, with an annual revenue run rate of more than $1 billion. Betancourt expects JobandTalent to be worth over $4 billion with a run rate above $2 billion by the end of 2022.
Originally published at https://www.smbceo.com on May 25, 2022.