What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur? “I love creating something new; something I’m proud of. I love knowing that I have the ability to impact the world,” explains Alberto Patron, CEO and Co-Founder of Condor Technologies – a global technology and services company focused on telecommunications in Latin America.
Alberto teamed up with some friends to form Condor Tech in 2004 after being laid off from Ericsson during the 2001 crisis. Alberto realized that there was a huge opportunity in the Latin American telecommunications industry because established players (from USA and Europe) weren’t always able to meet the needs of their Latin American customers. “They had great products,” Explains Alberto of the traditional vendors, “but they were trying to fit USA and EEU products and commercial schemes to Latin American problems. It wasn’t working.” The problem was that in some cases their entry-level products were still too big for most of the operators in the region. In addition, the sizes of deals made in Latin America usually didn´t allow them to commit to the necessary product customization required to adjust to local regulations or requirements. That’s where Condor Technologies steps in. “We provide the flexibility and service of a small company, but have the ability and expertise of a large multinational.”
While the business has been a success, running Condor Technologies has been a bumpy road for Alberto. In 2006 Alberto lost a friend and partner to the business. “Not only was he a dear friend, but he was a vital member of the Condor team. It wasn’t easy for the company to overcome his loss.”
Then, in 2012, while undergoing a particular critical period in the company, Alberto nearly lost another friend and partner, this time to a rare genetic disease. His friend needed $1 million USD to undergo a bone marrow transplant treatment in Boston, Massachusetts. “The entire company plus a group of friends started a solidarity campaign to help him” says Alberto. “2012 was the darkest and yet the most transcendent year of my life.” The entire country rallied to the cause and in the end they were able to raise the money. “It regained my faith in mankind. People from all over the country gave something even when they themselves had so little. Each contribution, no matter how small, made the world of a difference.” Alberto reflects on a quote from Mother Theresa, which the company uses as a guide, to describe this:
“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
Yet, Alberto is eternally grateful for the lesson 2012 provided. “It really taught me about the power of contributing with whatever you can and how everything makes a difference. When I find myself in a dark place, I always think back on that time as a source of hope.”