Luis Alberto Yapur Nicholls started his first business with $5,000 USD and a credit card. The former Marriott director built his corporate catering company from 1988 to 2001, before selling the business to a large international group. Shortly afterwards, Luis founded Aliservice, his second business in the corporate catering industry. After only 10 years of being in business, Luis has built 7 distribution centers throughout Chile, owns 120 transportation vehicles, employs 4,200 people and averages 350,000 services a day.
“We have two different core concepts we cater to,” explains Luis. “Traditional or classic line of service, or a complete restaurant set up.”
Their customer segments include: the mining industry (Chile’s largest industry), health clinics, public hospitals, private schools and private businesses.
How has he managed to maintain such a large network of operations? “Without good people, this business doesn’t work,” explains Luis. “Two of my core challenges is to constantly be looking for good team members, and to then align our team with a common vision.”
Luis’ attitude echoes long time Business Guru’s Jim Collins’ thoughts on what makes a good company great. “You are a bus driver,” states Collins. “The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who is going with you.” However, “leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with ‘where’ but with ‘who’.” For both Jim Collins and Luis the thing that makes a good company great is to put the right people on the bus.
What are some of the characteristics Luis looks for when adding employees to his bus? “Commitment, autonomy, capacity and independence,” says Luis. “We don’t need yes men, we need committed people that are empowered to make their own decisions.” Do you have the right people on your bus?