Alejandro Betancourt inglés 

The last issue of the magazine Forbes España had on the cover the four geniuses behind the sunglasses brand, Hawkers, the corporation where I am the chairman of the board and feel very proud of. Hawkers created a guide for businesses based on the strategy of creating an innovating market and closer to the consumer, thanks to the opportunities of the digital transformation, which has revolutionized the fashion and accessories industry.

In the article in Forbes (http://forbes.es/actualizacion/8014/hawkers-ya-es-historia-del-comercio-electronico-espanol) it is explained how this entrepreneurship grew in an exponential way, pointing out figures which exceed any expectation in the traditional e-commerce, becoming the current model of reference for the startups:

- More than 4,5 million of sunglasses sold.
- Presence in 50 countries.
- 90% of the sales are done through internet, being profitable and removing the pillars of the area.
- From 300 to more than 100.000.000 millions of euros billed in only three years.

These figures have been reached leaving behind traditional strategies and staking for a global action plan which has changed the sector. The industry, dominated by giants with a lot of seniority and experience, did not show any innovation for a long time. These big people from the market did not believe in the feasibility of the pattern of business of Hawkers.

Hawkers has taken advantage from current interconnectivity and technology to contribute with a new strategy to a market which was left behind in the past. Normally, when somebody wants to buy sunglasses, goes to a store, checks the well-known brands, compares prices and makes a decision. We broke off these paradigms, creating an easy new channel of sales through internet, something which had never been done before in the area. By means of our online shop, we offer a brand of sunglasses with design, class, quality and with an affordable price.

Marketing has been one of the keys of success of Hawkers, focused on the consumer, through social networks. These social networks have helped as: an advertising tool to position the brand, an instrument for data collecting to make essential decisions, the means to campaign with influencers who dominate these platforms. Facebook acknowledges us as the company with the best advertising performance in Europe, The East and Africa and in Twitter we have accomplished to break records of organic trending topics.

 

“Hawkers does not sell glasses, it sells Hawkers”
Our brand is fresh, young, funny, rebellious and groundbreaking. We offer to live an experience and be part of a generation: the Hawkers generation. Two important references in the history of the modern marketing are: Inditex, Zara’s parent company and Swatch. The first one created a market of clothing design affordable and closer to the consumer. Swatch is the revolution in the market of watches. It is about a Swiss product, with good quality, an attractive design and much cheaper than any Swiss watch. From a more contemporary view, this is what we have done in Hawkers. We are still even nearer the consumer, just a “click” apart, we make easy the decision to get a brand with quality, great design and with a price which breaks with the tradition of buying sunglasses which currently cost at least 100 dollars or euros.

In Hawkers, this new corporation, we have broken records, we call the attention in the lists, we win awards and we have achieved to be the cover of Forbes in Spain.

Everybody is talking about us, analysts and experts in the area, just because we are succeeding doing something nobody had done before. We will continue breaking paradigms to become market leaders.

 

 


Alejandro Betancourt

    

 

Last Monday 6, four Middle East countries broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in an escalation that, despite it is only at a diplomatic level for the moment, it could bring big consequences if it continues moving forward without any agreement. Saudi Arabia, Baréin, Egypt and The Arab Emirates blame Qatar on supporting the “Islamic terrorism”.

Qatar, which is a small Emirate very rich in oil, says that the decision was taken to put them under responsibility in order to strangle them economically. It is interesting to point out what Professor Alberto Rojas, from The Observatory of International Affairs of Finis Terrae University, said when he was interviewed by the Chilean website Publimetro. He states that serious problem of this episode lies on “as far as the events are happening in a key area in terms of its energetic and political importance, even though it is not an isolated fact. Back in 2014, Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and Baréin, withdrew their ambassadors in Doha unilaterally, a fact that shows that this is a topic from the very past”.

The measures taken by Qatar’s neighbor countries, are not only limited to the breaking of their relations but also to the fact that these countries close their airspaces and the terrestrial and maritime entrances, largely affecting the air traffic of the region, which is a vital connector among Europe, Asia and Africa. Likewise, neither their citizens can travel to Qatar, nor the entry of people form Qatar to their territories will be allowed.

Even though this crisis set off two weeks after Mr. Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia, it is not believed that the world´s leading power would not help Qatar because the American Air Base there is relevant for the United States and it is the one used to fight against the Islamic State.

At a first glance given to this situation, we find out that the immediate response was to rise the oil prices half a percentage point. Now, in the medium and long terms, there are many possible consequences due to the fact that Qatar has become closer to Iran and has got apart from its strategic and historic partners, such as its neighbors from The Gulf.

This circumstance is being understood as a kind of punishment, by isolating Qatar to be away from Iran, increasing at the same time the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, what would result in a war conflict and a disagreement among OPEC country members.

Therefore, there are two very different and important strands: If it is simply a diplomatic dispute, this could break off agreements about production quotas and would bring an increase of the quote in the world, causing a decrease in the prices. If this situation went to a higher level and there were any kind of war conflict in the Middle East, it would result in a shortage of the production and exportation from the area and would turn into a raise in the prices and that is something that the market is not granting at this moment, after having the immediate impact. If this happened, the price of the oil barrel would be something that I do not even want to anticipate.

How important Qatar is for the oil market is immeasurable. It is the country with the highest per capita income in the world, besides, it is the biggest worldwide liquefied natural gas exporter and has a sovereign fund with interests placed in companies such as Volkswagen, Barclays or Tiffany & Co., as it can be seen in this chart done by Bloomberg with some of the global investments of this Qatari fund.

 

  

 

When Tarek Fadlallah, a chief executive officer of Nomura Asset Management Middle East, was asked by Bloomberg, he said “there will be consequences for people, travelers and businesses. Apart from that, it puts the geopolitical risks in proper perspective; it is difficult to predict what will occur”.

Regarding Venezuela, this analysis is relatively simple. It is obvious that an escalation of this conflict in The Middle East would bring consequences not only for the international relations but also for the economic level and the direct result will be reflected in the price of the oil barrel: if oil goes down, the crisis will stand, but if it goes up, Venezuela might get foreign currency incomes which were not planned.

 

Alejandro Betancourt

 ALEJANDRO BETANCOURT 

 

What Venezuela and the world witnessed last Sunday June 11, was a sports show which is the consequence of the effort and talent of a group of people who, believing in their capabilities, earned the respect of the world of soccer. A sub championship which looks like a real championship, a defeat that, even though it was painful, set strong basis for the beginning of a cycle which starts setting foot in history that, if it continues being managed this way, it will be able to write full chapters full of emotions and success.

Among all articles I read, getting to know the advance of the Vinotinto Sub-20 in the U20 World Cup in South Korea, I cannot forget a description which said something like: “Venezuela plays, it likes itself, scores goals and has fun. But it is also good at defending and it grows when it is cornered by the game”. In this sentence some management basic concepts are reflected, which I believe were the pillars of the achievements of this team, such as their work capacity, the confidence in the strategy applied; their efficiency and commitment, besides showing being strong in hard times.

The work capability of this team was clear when they played games which went to extra time, and until they were decided with the so called penalties, when the players showed their resistance and strength not to fall until getting victory. Their confidence in the strategy and among the players was clearly seen because they never played differently, the players made a very devoted tactic job and that “soccer without the ball”, which is not understood by everybody, made these main characters glow with labor work, dedicated and concentrated in their task. The effectiveness got by this team was the awards as goals to what was already said, but with a lot of ability to finish, as well as to defend and to calm down the situation in hard times.

Comparing the team with a corporation, this company was totally and completely synchronized in all their divisions, departments or management; nobody avoided their responsibilities and all enjoyed with the same level of commitment and leading role.

It is obvious that we would not be talking about a successful formula if we did not refer to the leadership got by this group of big competitors, talented Venezuelan teenagers who were prepared for this championship. In fact, some analysts agree to place “the preparation” of this team as their big secret. This team gained knowledge with major leagues in international scenarios in order to have a background which gave them maturity to face the challenges of this World Cup, with the experience acquired of one who has survived and won thousands of battles.

The journey of this Vinotinto Sub-20 to be prepared for this world championship was never so organized, planned, intense and accurate, that is why the players reached such a high level. In fact, those who were still in pain due to previous lesions, as Soteldo, a number 10 whose physical capacity was half percent in Korea, showed all the bright in their performances.

I want to insist on the leadership because it was clearly seen full of experience, patience and group management. It was never taken for granted when victories were too obvious and warned when it was necessary to give instructions for each penalty kicked in the most intense moments, this says a lot about the head coach Rafael Dudamel as one with a great personality and group managing, what was noted, for good, in the achievements of this team which represented a whole country

I want to end with a managerial principle: “if something works, don´t touch it".

 

Alejandro Betancourt