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Meet the Xceptionalists: Guibert Englebienne, www.globant.com

Kevin Kelly

In my latest book, DO! The Pursuit of Xceptional Execution, I interviewed entrepreneurs from around the world. They are the leaders of some of the most compelling global brands and companies, ranging from one to 3,000 employees, with turnovers from $100,000 to $130 million. I call them the Xceptionalists. They hail from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Bologna, Italy; from Des Moines, Iowa to Galway, Ireland. They run app companies, consultancies, clinics and sprawling technology corporations.
In 2002, a group of software engineers wanted to create a Latin American company that could be a global player, make credible technology from the region, import opportunities and export software. The result is www.globant.com
THE GURUS TELL US THAT FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL – DID YOU START WITH A STRONG BUSINESS PLAN?
“We did not have a clear business plan. … We didn’t have any crystal ball but agreed where we wanted to put the bar and worked hard to achieve it. As a service organization, our attitude was to listen to our customers’ needs and adapt.”
HOW IMPORTANT WERE YOUR INITIAL CUSTOMERS IN GLOBANT’S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT?
“Our customers were our best advertisements and thankfully when they moved from one job to another, they kept referring us and we got another opportunity. One of these customers moved to Google. This was to be a huge milestone in Globant’s history. After a year of an exhaustive selection process, we were chosen as the first company in Google’s history for outsourcing software development. This was a significant victory for us. …Our customers now include LinkedIn, Yahoo, Zynga, Dreamworks, Sony, Southwest Airlines, EA, Salesforce, Cisco and Autodesk among others.”
WHAT SORT OF LESSONS COULD YOU GIVE POTENTIAL ENTREPRENEURS?
“Entrepreneurship is about freedom. … As a leader you have a responsibility to look after others, to be a role model. We can be very proud of what we have achieved with the company, but also the success that many of the former employees have had since leaving us. The true impact of Globant will not be Globant per-se, but the dozens of companies started by people who, working with us, learned how through hard work and ultra-competitiveness you can create long-standing organizations. It requires hard work, but it doesn’t require magic. We like to talk about importing opportunities and exporting software. An example of this was creating an office in Antarctica which was to go on to developing software. We wanted to show there are opportunities everywhere to make a difference. In that context my advice to potential entrepreneurs would be:
• Try to solve a big problem, avoid niches.
• Be extremely passionate, this is the journey of your life.
• Create a founding team that can help you make it happen. It is very hard to create a story on your own.
• Focus, focus, focus.”
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON XCEPTIONAL EXECUTION?
“Xceptional execution is setting a goal, getting the right team together and working very hard to achieve it. Execution brings confidence.”
GLOBANT TAKEAWAYS
• It is never a bad time to start a company. This company began in a crisis.
• The founding team had a mix of complementary skills.
• They had a dream with no business plan and limited working capital.
• Started by leveraging their friends.
• Values playing a major part in shaping the culture.
• A company is a social lab.
• Entrepreneurship requires hard work but not magic.
• Dream big and, after each achievement, dream bigger.
• Be extremely passionate, this is the journey of your life.
Taken from Kevin Kelly’s new book “Do the pursuit of xceptional execution” Kevin is an internationally acclaimed leadership and motivational speaker and best selling author. For more informationwww.kevinkellyunlimited.com
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