Monday, January 24

Beyond the crisis: young entrepreneurs continue to bet on Argentina

The destinations most chosen by the million Argentines living abroad are Spain and the United States. The trend is such that according to Globofran – a regional company specializing in migratory investments – 40% of the inquiries they received in 2021 to settle in the United States come from Argentina. But not everyone thinks like this: young businessmen from different fields continue to bet on Argentina.

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Juan José Debuchy, CEO and founder of Humber.

In 2007, the plan Eduardo Bastitta was to settle in the United States. I was 26 years old and wanted to start a business. But a talk with his current partner made him change his mind and they decided to start a project in Argentina. At present, Bastitta has 41 and Plaza Logística is a benchmark in the development and operation of multi-client logistics parks, received investments from the IDB and the Financial Institution for Development (former OPIC) and has developed six multi-client logistics parks in Buenos Aires.

“We always had a strong confidence in the long term of Argentina. The country has incredible capacities of talent, human and natural resources. This not only has to do with my love for Argentina, but also from the rational side we always trust that long-term investments like ours made sense, although the country always had economic difficulties ”, says the CEO of Plaza Logística, a company that has invested more than 300 million dollars in Argentina.

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Joaquín Aguirre (39), CEO and founder of Centralo.

The 2020 Annual Report of Logistics Operators, prepared by CEDOL and published recently, reflected that last year – marked by the pandemic – the industry had an increase of 4.8% in terms of covered square meters used for the development of the sector’s activities in Argentina, which set a record that is expected to continue.

For industry experts, the pandemic highlighted the importance of logistics, both for supplying people, as well as for the movement of the economy and the generation of employment. In particular, Plaza Logística has 45 employees and generates more than 200 indirect jobs from the services provided in the parks, in addition to the 6000 employees of the clients who operate in the complexes. And he goes for more: “Plaza Logística never stopped investing and growing. We invest at an intense pace, and we aspire for that trend to continue. We do not lose hope that the situations that put Argentina in moments of instability will be resolved ”.

Juan José Debuchy, CEO and founder of Humber, thinks and outlines an accurate formula: “Entrepreneurship in Argentina requires resilience and a bit of a hard head.” With these values ​​and his scarce 36 years, he developed a technology company to improve agricultural logistics, getting fully into a sector that moves 77,235 million dollars and means 24% of the national GDP (Agricultural Foundation for the Development of Argentina).

Humber enables growers to source trucks for harvest in a more efficient manner. Debuchy, an agronomist by profession, acknowledges that Humber allowed him to combine his passion for technology with the field. “Working in the sector, I detected a problem that was becoming mature: the difficulty in hiring a truck to distribute the load of products. Agricultural logistics is very backward in technological terms and, beyond that, it has an exponential impact on the country’s economy. Humber seeks to provide solutions in the value chain ”, he says.

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Humber, which involved an initial investment of $ 40,000, has been in operation for five years, has five offices throughout the country and grew 40% this year, which they expect to close with a turnover of $ 10 million. Debuchy redoubled the bet: “We embarked on a road with obstacles, due to the difficulty in obtaining financing, however we achieved very good results. The objective now is to grow and reach other countries in the region with our service ”.

Companies or startups are not only an accolade for the local economy or boost cutting-edge industries, they often also come as bailouts for sectors hit such as retail businesses with the pandemic. The Argentine Chamber of Commerce revealed that 70% of these decreased their sales even at the beginning of 2021.

Central is an application to make the purchase of products more efficient by gastronomic establishments or food stores. “We are a kind of cooperative managed from an app. The shops have no cost, we charge a commission to the wholesalers when they sell from the platform ”, he details Joaquin Aguirre (39), CEO and one of its founders.

The idea was conceived three years ago and began with 10 stores in the North Zone of Buenos Aires. With the premise of empowering merchants to have technology at hand when thinking about empowering their businesses, the startup underwent an unprecedented transformation during the pandemic:

“We had been growing sustainably, but as a result of the pandemic we expanded exponentially at the federal level. Today we supply 20 thousand businesses that include warehouses, kiosks, supermarkets, bars, cafeterias, rotisseries and dietetics, among other businesses, ”says Aguirre, from Centralo, which projects to reach 4000 million pesos in sales this year.

The development of Centralo is such that they began to offer the service of direct sales to the final consumer and they are thinking about the regional landing. “The way of doing business and consuming has changed. Our idea is to continue investing heavily to collaborate with the economic upturn in food stores and also so that final consumers can take better advantage of their income, both nationally and regionally ”, he concludes.