Gustavo Garcia Brusilovsky He had never thought of him as an entrepreneur, and yet this is a facet that has given him great satisfaction. With extensive experience in positions of responsibility in large multinationals such as Procter & Gamble, McDonalds or IBM, the new century marked a inflection point in its trajectory. It was the year 2000. García Brusilovsky worked in Paris, the former European headquarters of the technology giant, and it was becoming common for some of his colleagues to abandon ship to found their own startups. “I had not yet grasped the concept of starting a company from scratch working in a company the size of IBM, but I came to the conclusion that if my colleagues left, I must be missing something,” he recalls.
With no more baggage in these struggles than several frustrated intrapreneurship attempts, he tried his luck with his own business, but, with the bursting of the dot-com bubble, he was unable to obtain financing, so opted for a plan B: find a project already in progress that appeals to you. In 2001 he joined port, a German auction portal for companies, as a retail partner. After the sale of the firm in 2005, he finally managed to lead his own company. He called his former boss in Portum and together they co-founded BuyVip in 2006, an online outlet for fashion brands, in which Gustavo served as CEO. The success was such that in 2010 Amazon acquired the startup for 70 million euros, a milestone “made in Spain” at that time only comparable to the sale of Tuenti to Telefónica.
Then came the creation of Klikin, a startup that developed a digital reservation, payment and promotion management platform to connect local businesses with their customers, and history repeated itself: another large corporation, this time Repsol, noticed her and, at the end of 2017, it acquired a 70% stake to power the Waylet payment application. Last week the energy company announced that it was taking over the remaining 30%.
An example of collaboration between a business colossus and an emerging company that García Brusilovsky hope it serves as a precedent and strengthen the relationships between these two types of companies. “Repsol has had a combination of human capital that has known how to do things outside the book, support from senior management and humility in making the decision. Other corporations should look closely at what they have done and replicate it because that way they would take advantage of all the talent that exists in Spain, where what is lacking is an adequate financing structure, “he says, convinced that our country has a quarry the same as that of Silicon Valley. “The Spanish – he continues – is very creative and has less and less fear of failure.”
The real brake, in his opinion, is access to capital: «We would have to reorganize how we are supporting the entrepreneurial network and European recovery funds, if used well, are a historic occasion». It also misses “a European initiative that shows that the union is strength, so that, regardless of whether you are in Spain, France or Germany, you have access to capital that is a little more European, not so local.” And he criticizes that the rules of the game are the same for large companies and startups, for example, with regard to the taxation of “stock options” (supplementary remuneration to managers or employees through company shares).
The Klikin chapter closed with a happy ending, the entrepreneur is 100% focused on Fashionalia, the marketplace of fashion brands that he confused at the end of 2016. In the distant future he would like to dedicate himself to a “personal project that I want to do to leave my children.