Clemente Canales Turpaud of nearway tells us how it manages and controls operational processes in the field.
Tell us about yourself, your career, and how you founded nearway.
Clemente Canales Turpaud: I am a Civil Industrial Engineer. In my first 20 years of work, I was in different industries (banking, television, telecommunications, among others) and different areas (administration and finance, operations, commercial, and CEO). With four teenage children, 12 years ago, I decided to find my own path, so I resigned from my position as Director of Clients at Movistar and began exploring some areas of interest to start with. It was crazy, very risky, and a process full of adrenaline, dreams, and fears.
Between several trials and errors, in 2010, together with my partner, we created a platform so that people could answer forms from their phones (they could do it from very old phones since we used USSD technology). Sometime later, we began developing on Android and iOS, listening to our clients, and we realized that much more than forms was required. This is how today we have a comprehensive platform that is constantly evolving.
Do you have small habits that had a significant impact on your life and your business?
Clemente Canales Turpaud: Yes. I had to develop some. Perhaps there are two that stand out: one -is very small, but it has been very useful. I use my agenda a lot to “force myself” to do important tasks. That allows me to better plan the important things I want to do (and I’m not always in every day). Another practice to “force” me has also served me: inviting other people to an activity that I know I should do, but nobody forces me. I mean, something that I think is important to do, but nobody asks me to do it since I have not declared it. Then I call a meeting for a certain day (it can be with a client or with the internal team) to show them the project or idea already developed. After that, I can no longer escape from myself, and I am forced to do my best to come up with a good job. In short, I have always thought that having ideas is “easy,” and the difficult part is putting them into practice. That’s why I have some habits that help me in this difficult task.
How does nearway market its products/services online?
Clemente Canales Turpaud: Our platform is 100% on the cloud. We activate our clients’ services (wherever they are) from a digital console in the cloud. Since our inception, we have provided remote support through our support engineers. The sales process is carried out through a proactive search for leads that reach our digital platforms (www.nearway.com, LinkedIn, and Twitter, mainly) and the recommendation that our clients make to their acquaintances. Our platform is very flexible, and we can digitize our clients’ processes in a few days (through configurations). We do that with our business operations team.
Soon we will have the possibility that future clients can hire, attend to and pay for the service without the intervention of people being necessary. That does not mean that we will become cold and distant. It will be the answer to the need to deliver packaged products for specific problems. But obviously, we will keep our platform flexible to continue tackling more complex and changing processes.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Clemente Canales Turpaud: We use various tools, but without a doubt, HubSpot is the heart of our business management system. We connect our distributors, our email marketing campaigns, Google Adwords, and other initiatives through this platform. We also use Linkedin quite intensively.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Clemente Canales Turpaud: Our internal motto is very challenging: we want everyone to work at nearway and no one to leave. This forces us to think and rethink many aspects of our offer for the people who work at Nearway. From the most obvious, such as remuneration, to the most difficult, such as culture. Obviously, we are looking at what is happening in the market to keep up to date. Regarding hiring, before filling a position that we need, we ask ourselves if there could be someone in our organization who wants and can do it. This has forced us to be more “patient” in some cases since the person must be trained and face new challenges (and surely we would have found someone in the market with that knowledge), and of course, that takes more time. But we make sure that this person (and the rest of the team) perceives that they can effectively grow professionally in a startup and already know our processes and culture. Everyone is happy. Obviously, that is not always possible, but we have it as a first option. The best way to retain an employee is to feel that he is doing something that he enjoys, challenges him, and knows is important to the organization. And lastly, 90% of the rent increases that we carry out is the product of our initiative. And we can do it multiple times if our business allows it.
How are you financing your growth?
Clemente Canales Turpaud: Currently with its own resources and some bank credit lines. From time to time, we have resorted to capital increases.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Clemente Canales Turpaud: We have competitors in many areas (attendance control, digital forms, among others) and many countries. To face them, it is our obligation to be in permanent movement, improving what we already have and looking at what we should add to give more value to our proposal. We are in the world of process digitization, and we know that this is already huge. To go fast and with quality, we rely on partners that are strong in certain areas (BI, IoT, digital signature, image recognition, among others) in order to assure our clients that Nearway is not only good and safe but also is contributing with new technologies to support their business.
Tell us the success story of a client of yours.
Clemente Canales Turpaud: For me, success is something very broad and comprehensive, encompassing the personal and professional spheres. Impossible to separate them. And I must also say that I believe that success is when the sum of joys and failures is positive. And when I feel that I am being faithful to my purpose, faithful to what gives meaning to my life. I feel successful because we have created a company that adds value to our clients and continues to grow. And I love what I do (and that doesn’t mean there aren’t hard times along the way). I feel successful when I see the family that we form with my wife, where there is a lot of love and our children have values and are great people. I feel successful when I hang out with my friends from school, college, and jobs I’ve had in the past. And I have a lot of energy left to continue enjoying life.
Your final thoughts?
Clemente Canales Turpaud: If you want to do well in your business, look for what you are passionate about. The money comes later.