By Gaston Taratuta
When I was 22 years old, the Rolling Stones came to my home country, Argentina, to play for the very first time. It was 1995, and at that time there was no internet, so tickets were sold in person in Buenos Aires. I immediately asked myself “who will sell the tickets in the rest of the country”? I’ve always had an entrepreneurial nature. I’m an opportunity seeker and at that moment I found one.
I contacted the production company of renowned businessman, Daniel Grinbank, who was in charge of organizing the show and offered them a service that they did not have: ticket distribution in other regions of Argentina as well as Uruguay, a neglected market of music lovers with a lot of potential.
They accepted and I sold thousands of tickets for them. That was a first spark: seeing opportunities in markets that others dismissed.
Ten years later, in my early days with IMS, that spark was lit again. I realized that the leading digital platforms of the world–Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, among others–focused their business plans on the most important markets in the world. Once again, I found myself asking a vital question. “And how do they meet the demand in the rest of the world?”
The answer was, they didn’t. So I started to create a company to represent the platforms in emerging markets. As Malcolm Gladwell, a writer I admire, would say, I found the advantage in the disadvantage.
Fast forward to last Thursday night, when I had the privilege and honor of returning to my home country to accept Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in front of a room of accomplished professionals in Argentina.
This would not be possible without a global solid team. Also, I want to share this prize with my partner and friend, Ignacio, who with courage and faith shared this journey with us for almost 12 years.
I want to take this moment to encourage other entrepreneurs to go after what they believe in, regardless of the barriers in their way. It is vital, now more than ever, that the world’s entrepreneurs are building companies and systems that create positive change.
I want to remind people that overcoming challenging situations builds character and makes you stronger. It makes you a competitive player and it gives you courage to go after what you believe in.
My familiarity with markets outside of the US and my understanding of the people being left out of the digital ecosystem and the hurdles they face when aiming to compete at a global level allowed me to spot the problem that Aleph exists to solve.
Our purpose is to equalize the global digital ecosystem. Our business model is allowing us to do for the people of emerging countries what ecommerce has done for the people of more economically developed countries, bringing great products and services to people. More importantly, we are fueling opportunity and growth, giving life to ideas, businesses, and economies.
I felt the vibrance of our mission when I visited our office in Buenos Aires this week. I’m incredibly proud of the achievements of Aleph, of our hardworking team who cares deeply about the change we are setting out to create.
Aleph, being a global company aiming to equalize access to digital advertising, was founded with an empathetic mindset that is and will always be central to who we are. Knowing that our solutions are reaching people, brands, and businesses with massive growth potential inspires our day to day.
For me, personally, success is linked to purpose. My purpose is to make sure I am always available to the people I love –– first my family and then my chosen family, those long lasting relationships I have built over the years called friends.
With this award, I’m honored to shine a light on my team and Argentina’s entrepreneurial community. I hope it inspires others to dream big and seek opportunities where others aren’t looking.