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How To Grow Sustainably in High-Growth Categories

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In this insightful podcast, join us as we delve into the world of sustainable growth and quick commerce with Diego Tarek. Explore the challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning people's buying habits from brick-and-mortar to online commerce, and learn why business acumen and data visualization have become essential skills for marketers in this rapidly evolving landscape.

Diego shares invaluable insights on the importance of quality and customer experience, as well as the importance of establishing a purpose-driven company for long-term success. Learn how to distinguish your brand, strike a balance between short-term and long-term metrics, and avoid the creation of deal addicts through excessive promotions.

Throughout the conversation, we talk about how sustainable growth varies based on your place in the market. Don't miss this captivating discussion that will inspire you to think differently and drive meaningful impact in the marketing industry.

Scratch is a production of Rival 🚀, a marketing innovation consultancy that develops strategies and capabilities to help businesses grow faster. Scratch is 🎙️ Hosted by Eric Fulweiler, and he’s by joined Deigo Tarek in this episode.

Find Rival online at www.wearerival.com, LinkedIn 💼 , Twitter 🐦. 

Watch the video version 🎥  of this Podcast on YouTube .

Find Eric on LinkedIn 🌐 and tweet him @efulwiler 🐦

Say hi at media@wearerival.com, we’d love to hear from you 😊 .

Transcript

Eric: Hey everyone, before we get to today's episode, I wanted to share what I think is a pretty exciting announcement, we are opening up our rival amp community. So some of you listening have been part of AMP. From the beginning of the company, it has been our small, very small friends and family community around rival where we post updates asked for feedback, kind of share what's going on in the business. But actually, we think there's a lot more potential as we've grown as our community has grown, as we've met more of you to actually build and scale a proper community within rival amps. So what rival amp is going to be is it's going to be a community for challenger marketers on WhatsApp, we're going to share ideas and observations from the Challenger marketing world that we see and ask everyone to contribute to that share about challenger brands, marketing, news, industry events, job opportunities, ask for feedback, and input use each other as a sounding board, we think it's going to be really great. So if you are interested in joining in, or not already a member, please either reach out to me, if you know me, or go on over to our website, wearerival.com and you can apply from there, this is free. But we do want to make sure that we're adding people that are really interested and can really add value. That's it onto the episode.

Diego: They were almost constant, and always on promise and of deals, you know, promotions, everything with 20 3040 50% At some point, which I think just creates a culture of addicts, you know, like it's people become addicted to this. And this is where they come to expect, which is the worst thing that you can do. Because now that we have this market correction, and everybody's talking about profitability, well, you need to improve your margins, be at contribution margins per store per basket, be it you know, making sure that you can't necessarily offer free delivery all the time, because you had to cover the cost of your logistical arm of the company. So all of these different things, right? We don't do we we have one obsession. It's not speed. We know that speed is important, but our obsession is quality.

Eric: I'm Eric Fulwiler. And this is scratch, bringing you marketing lessons from leading brands and brands rewriting the rulebook from scratch for the world of today.

Hey, everyone, my guest today is Diego Tarek De Aristegui, apologise, I'm sure I'm not pronouncing that correctly, but fascinating conversation. Nonetheless, Diego is the CMO of Mano, which is one of the fastest growing quick commerce players in Africa right now. So it's a category and I mentioned this that I've been personally fascinated by here in the UK, where you've got so many brands, so much of money being spent in the space. So it's really interesting to hear Diego's perspective being the CMO of one of these businesses, and also how they're approaching growth and doing things very differently. I love I love just kind of hearing about what it's like to be the CMO of a business like that, and how much change and growth and an energy there is in the industry right now. I really liked how he talked about this kind of career defining moment. For him. He called it life changing actually, after spending some time in the agency world and with big brands going back and getting an MBA and why he thinks that type of commercial, fundamental business experience and understanding is so important for marketers, and then the main focus of the conversation is how Mano is approaching growth. And it's all about sustainable growth. So it's very different from how a lot of the other brands and businesses in this category are approaching things. I think it's very refreshing, and also gives them a very sharp point of difference in a very crowded industry. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Diego Tarek CMO of Mano. Hey, Diego, thanks so much for joining me. How are things down in Madrid?

Diego:  Thank you, Eric. Very, very happy to be here. Well, Madrid, as you can see a bit warmer than perhaps the trend. But a bit cold. I think if it's just the hours is pretty warmed up. Very happy to be I mean, Madrid can't complain.

Eric: Yeah, love it down there. I've got my mid January in London set up here with my scarf and my hot tea. For those that are only listening and not watching. All right, Diego, I'm really excited about this conversation. I think what you're doing with Mano, we haven't had too many guests who are building businesses and brands in Africa on the show. Yet we did have masala Phillips who's the CMO of old mutual on recently, which was interesting. We've done some work with them actually down in South Africa. But really curious just to hear more about what's going on in your category on the African continent. And then also I love you know, in our prep call, which was a couple months ago now but I was fascinated just by kind of the very challenger approach it obviously it's challenger business in the category of quick commerce, but also the approach that it seems you and the leadership team are taking to building Mano. Seems challenger even within the Challenger category. So I'm excited to get into it. So could you maybe just give I would have given a brief introduction about you, on the in the in the pre recorded intro, but maybe just talk a little bit about, you know, the one to two minute elevator pitch of mono, and where you all are at in the journey of building this business?

Yeah, absolutely. I think, well, I mean, the best term they can find mine was quick commerce, right? So today we are, we are, we are a company that owns the entire value chain of what we do. So we source our products, we hold them in our drug stores, we then import products that are not necessarily available within the markets that we have. And from the beggars, the, you know, the store operators, the riders, all of all of that crew are actually manner employees. And I think this is quintessential to our to our recipe for success, because this is I mean, we really want to, to control the quality, and to end. And basically what we do is that anything that can actually fit within a backpack, or a box that can fit on the back of a motorcycle will be that will be delivered to a customer's home in under 30 minutes. That's pretty much what mono is today, where we are, we started off our first operation, and I'm gonna reason being because the CEO, actually lived there for 10 years. And he and the family business of the CEOs is a massive distributor and manufacturer of FMCG products headquartered in Switzerland, and you know, they have a very intimate understanding of the market, they have a very good contact of networks around and around the place it was, it was intuitive and natural and very logical to start off there. Right, in a sense, but perhaps not the most logical place to start a business or, or startup in Africa. People don't think about Angola as your first choice. And then in the second year of operation, which was 220 22, we've opened Nigeria, which is obviously a key market, strategic market and Africa, population size, digital readiness, you know, the number of, of youth are under the age of 30 by 70% of the total population, which is crazy. And here, we've been seeing really like amazing growth and auto in the two countries, we've grown triple digits from 2021 2022, into more than two markets. So that's a very good, very good sign. And today, we're we're at the stage where we really pondering the big questions, right, like, and I think this is going to be the theme of our conversation, how to grow sustainably, like what do we do next? Like how do we consolidate where we are? But also, what do we do? Where we look at for for expansion, because we have a big, a big plan of actually, you know, being an Africa Pan African focus company, where we're establishing different markets where we think that our, you know, are offering as needed.

Eric: And, you know, to the extent that you can share, what's the scale of the business right now, obviously, sounds like it's growing very quickly from the base of where it started. And how does Mano fit into the category of quick commerce within Africa overall? Like what are who are the competitors? Who's Who's the market leader? I got a sense of kind of how you, you all are doing things differently. But where do you fit into the overall puzzle right now?

Diego: Wait, yeah, I mean, today, I think that we are definitely no longer a startup, we're scaled up. And I think that we were at a point in time in the company where we're trying to change the mindset that we're in, in a sense, I think that at the beginning, everybody was wearing every possible hat in the company, you know, and today, we're we're trying to get into a certain, you know, structure where we actually have pretty, pretty defined verticals. And we have leaders for every vertical that come with a certain background, so that experience and can add a certain added value, right. But you want to retain, I mean, we know that we're not yet this, this, we need to remain very much a group of people that can wear different hats that can come and contribute to different solutions. And I think this is one thing that is part of our, you know, key ingredient for whatever success, whatever growth we've actually experimented recently, so and in terms of size of a company, we're definitely today, resources wise, a model can reach an SME, right, small and medium sized company. But the way we work in the narrative of commerce in Africa, we're definitely one of the first players to come in with this business model. So we have in us we're not the first one, but we still have that first mover advantage, because it's a State, Nigeria, Angola, Ivory Coast, even South Africa, which are countries in North Africa, which are going to be you're starting to see players coming in with Alibaba global is a big company based on based out of Barcelona. But you know, expanding in Africa, I think we're very much at an at an infancy stage when it comes to the actual segment. So we we were developing the market, in a sense, we're kind of like educating our customers on the benefits of commerce. And really, there's, there's a very, I would say, effortful, but also a bit costly process of educating customers and making them understand that yeah, you can change your behaviour from going to a brick and mortar retailer and the physical retail space and actually start using this. And I think the biggest barrier is a trust barrier, right, I think not only from you know, do people feel at ease being online. But also, I think there's been for a very long time a, a, just a relationship of companies over promising and under delivering and really like conning people, you know, I think that the biggest conversation that we're seeing in Africa is, or another player that's coming in saying that we are we're going to offer you a delivery service in under 30 minutes, and we're going to actually deliver food and or groceries in pristine condition are actually hot and not cold, or, you know, like somebody else, orders a piece of a product and actually get something totally different, which is, I think there's nightmarish horror stories that people are sharing online, it's becoming a very trendy conversation. So we are at a point in time where we're trying to define the codes of what could commerce and what this industry can actually, you know, offer to people. And also not only from a customer point of view, but how a business should behave, right, how we should behave as a business, not only how it was a to our relationship with our customers. And yeah, that's kind of like, and when it goes, I think you, you mentioned the competitors today. We, you have a couple of regional players that have done interesting things have Jumia, I can mention, which is one of the biggest, and very recently decided to refocus on different things. But we're amongst our from our direct competitors were amongst the the only ones that are solely focusing on quick commerce, and deciding to really like invest 100% of our time and effort and resources in that in this vertical for the time being.

Eric: It's a category I've been, I guess, professionally fascinated by ironically, as a consumer, I have yet to use a quick commerce service here in London, I don't really know why that is, I actually just want to do it out of curiosity at this point to see what the experience is like, but just the explosive growth. And also, and I know we're gonna get into this in a little bit talking about how you all are different, but my perceived kind of lack of differentiation, it seems like there's so many. There's so much particularly above the line advertising, from these businesses so much about couponing and discount to try to get people on board. But I know plenty of people, one of our co founders may or may not be included in this who just kind of like goes between the different, you know, the different solutions of get air and gorillas and you know, all the other ones that exist here in London, because they're all doing different promotions at at a different time. And so we're gonna get to that. But the question I want to ask, and I don't know if this is a fair way to ask it, because it's so broad, but in a category that like this, that is so new, that's growing so quickly, there's so many players, there's so much that must be changing. And then in the African continent and these markets where it's growing so quickly, there's so much changing, I guess, what's it like to be the CMO of a business like this? And I know, you know, you spent some time in the agency world, you were at Diageo for a while. So I don't know if it's fair to say that this is kind of the first of these types of gigs for you. But I just be curious to hear a little bit about what it's like at a high level and and maybe it also be curious to talk about, like, what a day in the life or a day in the week looks like for the CMO of a business like this?

Diego:No, absolutely. So, you know, I think you're totally right. And it is this gig is by by far the most different and the most alternative that I've actually had the chance and pleasure you know, to to embark on. So I've been for the better part of my life part of like, massive organisations, so PwC that's kind of already like almost, you know, the size of a country in terms of workforce, then you had Leo Burnett, part of the public sees group and other you know, big nation and you have Jojo, which is also a big machine. Where, you know, a lot of one can learn fantastic things, but I don't think that people that they particularly prepare you for the roller coaster ride that is, you know, joining not only a start up or a scale up but a start up or a scale up of a totally new industry. That is Still trying to define itself, right? And so that kind of like I remember very well, when I got, you know, I was I was headhunted by by the head of people and culture there. And I had a conversation with the CEO, which, you know, we clicked directly because we, you know, we share a lot of different passions. I remember seeing, okay, wow, that's kind of like, a great opportunity. But the level, the level of risk is massive, you know, what I can, I was just, I think it was almost a year ago, when I decided to join, I had signed a contract with them. And suddenly you see these headlines by the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, you know, predicting the end of quick commerce as a business model, right. And you had comments on, on LinkedIn, on you know, VC forum saying the shittiest business model that has ever been created, a tonne of like, shit, how did I just do right? I'm just joining something that seems to be, you know, a sinking sinking ship, but it's actually it's not, you know, and, and I was seduced by the fact that the story, the strategy of why Africa, we can perhaps discuss it a bit later, but just to remain on the topic here is that the story like the why we're doing this in Africa makes total sense. So I think that, you know, being in a, in a fast growing, you know, category, which has been defined by like incredible stories, like gorillas that managed to raise and nothing became a billion dollar company, one of the fastest companies to reach a unicorn status. The kind of reality check that I've had to live with, just after joining was that it is today a segment because of, you know, the the pandemic, what happened during the pandemic and the growth rate that we'd seen, but with 2022, unfolding, the way they dried, and the massive market corrections that we've seen all the companies but specifically unclear commerce, I think that this this that we just had, like a me as a CMO, the first thing that I had to do right is to understand Alright, an industry obsessed by speed, right, where everything was about, you know, under 10 minutes, which meant, how do you, you know, what types of investments What are diverse, you know, costs, that how you ramp up cost was, you know, dictated by this obsession with speed, the fact of, you know, being one of the hottest investment opportunities at a certain point in time, you know, where people managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in such a short period of time. All of that was a, I think, was just a consequence of having, you know, I would say premature mindset or thinking about things in a premature way. Right, it's thinking that whatever happened during the pandemic was actually the this new this new normal, we're actually what we're seeing is that we need to go back to our to life pre COVID, with some behavioural changes and some correction that sounds so I think that the biggest thing that I had to do joining a company like this is trying to have the right mindset, right and sober up. So what I tried to do is like, okay, sober up from this obsession with speed, which I think is the wrong obsession, right, it doesn't really matter that much at the end of the day to the customer. And I kind of had the right, the right mindset and try to define not only the marketing strategy, right, and what we need to do, but try to define the culture in the company through that through a different lens. And that was, I think, one of the biggest challenges as well. So the second thing is that, yeah, we are at a point in time, we're trying to fight the perception, right. And it's exhilarating, because I think that's what challenger brands do, right, that are challenge. What incumbents are doing, they're challenging a, I don't know, a questionable behaviour, right, or questionable codes, or even their challenging perceptions. So I think that one of the things that excites me the most and you know, my day, is basically really involves two different things, right, like, running the business, to helping to run the business, making sure that whatever we need to do, and really using logical, critical thinking to take the right decisions, and trying to reach those goals in a sustainable way that we need to reach. Right. But the second thing is, okay, how do we try to really change our perception and that narrative outside of just what we do, right, so how do we really create a an entire different narrative for the entire category? Because we know, right, if people see the entire category differently, it's gonna benefit us right? And we want to we want to champion that, that, you know, that that objective that mission.

Eric: So I want to dig into that sustainable growth, what that means how you're doing it. But you mentioned a couple things. I just want to I just want to come back you mentioned Thinking about and trying to have an impact on culture. And also, you mentioned running the business as part of what you're excited about in this role and what you do. And, you know, you don't hear that from every CMO. And it sounds like that's more of a priority for you. And I just be curious kind of what that looks like, if that was something that you were looking for in a CMO role or has kind of developed, just based on the nature of Mano, and how the executive team is structured. But, you know, if you're, I don't know, if it's like a formal remit, or just what you're passionate about, it sounds like you've got a bit of a focus on the internal culture, and actually, you know, maybe not broader business operations, but how you're thinking about building the business overall, not just within marketing, and bringing the product to market. So what does that look like?

Diego: I mean, yeah, I think it's, well, there's two things, right. I think there's the the reality of the business today, right? I think that so the more each person, let's say, the more the leadership, or even each person at the company has the ability to understand the machine as a whole. Right, the stronger we're going to we're going to be. So I think that's true for any business, I think that, and especially, it's a necessity, for companies that are still, you know, building themselves, right, like perhaps thorup, scaleups, whatever you want to call them. So we don't have the luxury to have, you know, only specialists, we don't have the luxury to come and say, Yeah, we're going to have just somebody that only understands finance, or somebody that only only understands marketing, but has absolutely no clue about, you know, business fundamental, has no business acumen doesn't understand commercial operations, doesn't understand any of these different things. So, I think that this is something that if, and, you know, they say, right, at the end of the day, people invest as much as people invest as much in the team, that's, you know, working at a Starbucks scale up as the actual business model their product that you're offering, and if not more, so that's something that I've learned. I did an MBA here in Madrid not too long ago. And one of the reasons I did the MBA and this is perhaps this is more my personal, you know, I wouldn't call it passion. But I decided to do an MBA because I, I remember being at a disadvantage in some conversations in the past, right? When I was at agency world, I learned things from you know, sort of types of people that were just amazing, right, like I had really great mentors overall. But we we we felt and you know, that kind of like an overall problem of the of the industry of the advertising industry is that they seem to be at a disadvantage today when it comes to consultants that have a better understanding of how you know a business runs you know, business models and it can provide add more value and now they're getting into the creative realm so they're buying off I mean, think that Accenture if I'm not mistaken, Accenture bought Drogo. Five. And then David Droga decided that the best marriage would be with a big consultancy firm not necessarily with a with an advertising or media company in order holding earnings. So and I remember being in front of clients right and I think you've you discuss it with Aaron North just didn't watch your your podcast, I found him hazing is that this idea of like feeling a bit powerless, because you're you're, you're, you're, you're recommending something, but you're kind of constrained to only the communication part of it, right? Even not, perhaps the marketing part of it, per se. And then you have, you know, somebody else making a decision. So I hated that, you know, not being perhaps it's me being a control freak, but I hated not being able to take decisions and bring to life things that that, but I also felt that I was at a disadvantage from, you know, understanding or adding value to C suite or to decision makers. And this is why I decided to do an MBA, which was a life changing experience and I any marketeer that can go into broadening the their skill set, either through an MBA or you know, going into data science, you know, things that are not necessarily natural, you know, to the world of marketing or traditional to the world of marketing, I highly recommend it because I think it makes the entire difference.

Eric: I totally agree. And I think it differentiates you as a candidate, but also allows you to approach the role of the CMO or whatever marketing role you're looking for, and take it to be so much broader than just advertising or communications and actually do the role that I think marketing fundamentally should do which is basically how do you connect the value of your product to the needs of the market, as broad as that and part of that is brand part of that is comms part of that is marketing. But it's so much more. And actually, you know, I see I see that a lot. I think the MBA route is interesting. And certainly one way to do it also, you know, a lot of the people that we've interviewed, you see a lot of them come up through like the big marketing, lead CPG organisations like the Unilever's and the P and G's, which are basically like an MBA it through how they do things, although a lot of those people go to MBAs as well. But you know, they're running p&l as they have holistic responsibilities as brand managers, part of which is marketing. And that's something I've, I've really enjoyed about how my career has evolved, you, you know, coming up in advertising agencies, because I always felt that I liked advertising. But what I loved was figuring out how to build and grow a business. And advertising was way to do that. So when I, you know, with Vayner, first had a GM or role. And then my last company where I was chief marketing and Commercial Officer. And now obviously, here is the CEO of rival. That's the stuff that I get really passionate about. So I think that's such a good, particularly for, I guess, really, at any stage. But certainly, if you're thinking about kind of the next phases of your career, I think getting that experience one way or the other, is such a good shout. So coming back to the main topic, sustainable growth. So let's start with how do you think about either define or just kind of your perspective on sustainable growth? And what does that mean for Mano? Oh, and how you all are thinking about building the business and brand?

Diego: Yeah, I think Well, I think it's important to Well, I think that sustainable growth is always relative, right? So there's never like an absolute formula, or you should be doing this and not that, I think that really, it's about who, where you are, what stage the company is at, you know, where you are, as a company, the resources that you have at hand, the type of people that you have at hand, and even very importantly, the state of the market, the environment that you're operating in. And we are operating in a very complex, difficult environment much more tight than it was before. Specifically when it comes to you know, access to funding, etc. So, it kind of forces us to look at to I mean, there are decisions that are imposed on us. And then there are decisions that we make that we take. So I think that today, to go back to, you know, one of the the codes that other players have been building when money was aplenty was that everything was subsidised? You see what I mean? Like, I think that was people were, one, there was a growth strategy that was clearly unsustainable, right, this kind of like promising. If you if you couldn't hit, then minister under that would mean failure for some businesses. So that meant you had to open an very high number of dark stores and strategic locations in urban environments, that was simply not, you know, cost effective is just rent was, you know, unsustainable, the number of staff that you had to actually employ was unsustainable for the actual demand that was happening or the stage of the, you know, the lifecycle of that segment that industry at a time. So I think that that's something that when we look at growth, right, we have a very clear principle, like, we need to make sure that we break even and become profitable somewhere, then we decide to move on, right, because we never want to leave an operation behind and, you know, at risk are exposed to, you know, not being able to reach what we call autonomy, you know, from necessarily having to inject some capital. So, if we decide, for example, to expand too fast, that means that we our resources become, you know, more scarce and we can necessarily attend to a problem somewhere where we know, we've been there for a year and a half or two years, you know, we have loyal customers, we have a reputation to preserve, we have a lot of things to take care of. The second thing is, I think that unfortunately, the codes that players have been establishing in the market today was beyond the fact that you know, speed is the most important, you know, benefit is the fact that they were almost a constant and always on promise and have deals, you know, promotions, everything was 20 3040 50% At some point, which I think just creates a culture of addicts. You know, like it's people become addicted to these and this is what they come to expect, which is the worst thing that you can do, because now that we have this market correction, and everybody's talking about profitability, well, you need to improve your margins, be it contribution, margins, restore brobasket Be it, you know, making sure that you can't necessarily offer freedom We all the time, because you have to cover the cost of your logistical arm of the company. So all of these different things, right? We don't do, we, we, we have one obsession, it's all speed, we know that speed is important, but our obsession is quality. And the fact that our customer has to deserve a good customer experience, and they have to be satisfied throughout time, right. So that kind of like what directs our efforts. And if that means, all right, we need to do less deals, because we need to kind of, you know, preserve that perceived value for what we do, right from one, you know, the actual the the effort that the writer doesn't the service that the writer provides. And, you know, this entire operation in the underdog story that makes this convenience of delivering something to your doorstep possible. But also the fact that, hey, we're, we want to offer you good products, important products, things that you might not necessarily find elsewhere. And there's a there's a cost to that. So we understand that sometimes it will be we'll be able to, you know, when it's justified, you know, when there's the there's an argument, I mean, for certain type of customers that, you know, we know are extremely loyal, we can, you know, think about these tactics and approaches, but what we try to do is really maintain the quality throughout. And this is our bet to, you know, being able to not lose, no reduce our churn, make sure our retention rates are high. And at the end of the day, when that retention more and you know, congruent to the company that we want to be and expand to the markets where we want to expand.

Eric: And is that your point of differentiation? From a marketing perspective? Is that what you focus on for positioning and promotion? Or what is what does the brand that people see look like? If that's kind of the internal way of thinking about it?

Diego: Well, precisely, it's we don't talk about not? Well, the conversation that we're having, and the conversation that we want to spark, with with the community and the stakeholders at large, is the fact I mean, just explain a bit the purpose that we have, we're purpose driven company. And I think this is critical. And it's it's kind of elevating the conversation from here, you get the fastest delivery, and you get the best prices, which I think this is where a lot of the other players we're stopping at, right? And we're trying to elevate the conversation and not talk about these things, but talk about a human tension, or how do we address how we are addressing human tension and where you're addressing your human truth. And what we found. And this is something that's very true in Africa, is that good quality service seems to be reserved for the privileged only. So you're in a very chaotic environment where infrastructure is poor. And the vast majority of the population really goes through hell to get their groceries, the salt, like in Europe, where you have metros, public transportation, buses, electric bikes perfectly, you know, segmented roads, that's how rich, there's a brick and mortar every five minutes, you have options, you know, no, I think there is somebody necessarily wants to get goods to sustain the week for families take on a mission, you know, it's a quest, and then they come back, and so definitely not pleasurable there. So what we're seeing is that we'll we want to fight that monster, you know, and we want to fight the monster that so far, right? The Good, good quality was only reserved for the privileged and you have to have money to be able to have a show first and something to do to supermarkets get it back or, you know, get access to like very expensive premium locations that provide you the best person the best service, but that's only like 10% or 5%, of population that can afford it. So we went from that tension. And we created our, our, our belief, and our core belief is that we believe that know, the type of service that makes life better, or that improves quality of life shouldn't be for everyone. And that's how that's how we think about the business. Everything that we do, right from a culture creation internally, like how people should think about the relationship with customers, and what we're doing as a company, to the communication that we're doing, and to the actual price points and everything that we're doing everything from, you know, commercial, from operations, from customer from after sale services. Everything that we do is directed and influenced by this idea of, we believe that the type of service that makes better or improves quality of life should be for everyone. So we don't discriminate. Location, economic background, social, whatever that sounds. And I think that this is, this is where we want this is how we differentiate ourselves. That's our point of difference.

Eric: So I know we're coming up on time. I think the last big question that I like to ask you, and then we can wrap up is, you know, there's obviously a balance between long term and short term and I think it's interesting you haven't once once mentioned long term as a substitute for sustainable and I don't think that at has to be, I think, particularly within this category, being sustainable, focusing on quality, this kind of purpose led mission of bringing people the access and opportunity and experience that before was reserved for the few. That's not That's not only a long term thing that's also short term helps you stand out. At the same time, you know, you're venture backed, you obviously have targets and, you know, growth objectives and things like that. So I'm trying to think of like a sharp way to ask this question. But I guess how do you balance those things of wanting to focus more on you know, what I would say maybe as the healthier, more purpose led sustainable way of doing things, versus the commercial realities of being in business, and particularly a VC backed business in an industry that's so aggressive right now?

Diego: Absolutely, I think this is where, while that context is very important, right, I think that we cannot have the same expectations today that we had perhaps before. So there's, there's a very different type of conversation that's happening in the boardroom, there's a very different type of conversation that's happening outside the boardroom. So I think that people are just looking at things and using a different language than before. So it kind of today makes, what I'm trying to say is that there's a bit more realism. You know, overall, I think that people are becoming a bit more realistic, and they're going back to the fundamentals, like, oh, you know, not becoming unicorn in 16 months is okay, you know, what I mean? That's not what you're here is, what you want to create a sustainable, I mean, would mean sustainable is that it can sustain itself. So it has to be able to generate more profit to more revenue, more profit, and then cost at the end of the day, and that's what we're, we're, that's the Congress. That's the big conversation we're having today. But secondly, I think that if we need to today, you know, really pay attention in our face at our stage is unit economics, I think that we need to get really granular and look at the business in a very granular and good manner away. So how is our you know, from everything that we do, from performance marketing, to, you know, the promotions that we do on certain categories, the decisions that we take, you know, from legit, from an operations point of view, all of these different things are really just a consequence of very clear KPIs at the unit economic level. So if these are in the green, that's okay. Because that is clearly a statement that the business is healthy, the operation is healthy, we might not be at the stage, or we might not be at a stage right now, where, you know, we're generating enough excess cash to be able to expand to three countries at the moment. But that's, that's, I mean, again, we should be okay with that. At the end of the day, as long as the unit economics are good, as long as we're able to make sure that we're whatever we're doing, we're doing well, we're not compromising on the fundamentals. I think this is where you gain the respect of of your investors and end the boardroom. And I think the company as a whole

Eric: Alright, Diego, I gotta let you go. Thank you so much for making the time and being here fascinating conversation. And I know our audience will be very interested in it as well. Two quick questions, because actually, I realised I forgot to ask you the icebreaker question in the beginning. So let's do that. First. I was waiting for the what is one, what is a challenger brand that you are particularly curious about or passionate about? Right now.

Diego: So I'm gonna be, you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go for one of the big ones. And it's very popular one is Nike. So I think that, you know, despite the size and scale of Nike, today, they're still a challenger brand, they still have challenging conventions, they still are challenging the status quo. And they're doing it in such a consistent manner. You have a lot of big companies, I think added acid flick about it this way, if you felt that they changed their purpose 1520 times over their tenure, while like has been true to, you know, turning every man into an athlete. And I think the evolution while meaning consistent, they've done something beautiful, is that they've been able to, you know, reinterpret and help as well. They were part of the popular conversation at every point in time, right? They were the first one to say you don't need to be a professional to be an athlete. And then they went into service, you know, they were first ones to actually celebrate not only, you know, Michael Jordan, etc, but the average Joe and then now with the last campaign dream crazy. They've they think they've evolved from championing athleticism, to, you know, inspiring people to become champions of the human race, which is amazing, right. And I think that taking a stand specifically in a world where there's so much noise and so much action, you know, there's so much chatter happening from a certain side of, of the aisle that having a brand like Nike coming in balancing that conversation and saying, You know what, no, we we stand for Something that we think is correct. And right. It's just beautiful.

Eric: One of my favourite business quotes is from Phil Knight, the the founder of Nike. And it says that the best way to stay number one is to act like a number two. So I think that challenge or ethos has been within Nike, since the very beginning. Alright, actual last question. Now, Diego, what is one thing that people should do differently after listening to this conversation today?

Diego: So, I don't know, I think, you know, I love to read, I would suggest a book, which is called range. And it just makes the case for, you know, having more generalists in, in the world today. Because I think as a society and as a species, we're obsessed with specialists. You know, we're obsessed with Mozart, you know, these kind of prodigies that from two years old, they've done only one thing, and they're just brilliant at it. And I think that as a speed as a human race. I think we're much more we're engineers to be generalists, right? And the more you can be a generalist, I think this is where the more creative you can become, the more value you can add. So that's, that's if you have to read one book, read range, and I Neff more generous these

Eric: a second that recommendation to get book. Alright, Diego, I'll let you go. Thank you so much for joining us. Hope to hope to meet you in person in Madrid, at some point soon.

Diego: Fantastic. Thank you for having me. A pleasure.

Eric: Take care.

Eric: Scratch is a production of rival. We are a marketing innovation consultancy that helps businesses develop strategies and capabilities to grow faster. If you want to learn more about us check out we are rivals.com If you want to connect with me, email me at Eric at eric@wearival.com or find me on LinkedIn. If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe, share with anyone you think might enjoy it. And please do leave us a review. Thanks for listening and see you next week.

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