I was born on October 30th 1966 when the world was entirely different. The world was somewhere much simpler and more rounded, that is, depending on where you looked at it, everything was far away and information took a long while to arrive. As if this were not enough, I lived with my parents in a small town called Arroyo Seco until I was 7. Today, this town is a city (I want to make this point clear so that my old neighbors don’t get angry). I can still remember vividly an aunt, who at that time came from the US for Christmas, and I saw her as if she was an astronaut. Like all children, I had a passion for playing as much as possible, exploring the country-like surroundings and nurturing from all kinds of adventure stories out there while watching my body grow and measuring it to a giraffe stuck on the wall – this was a meter included in a children’s magazine called Billiken.
Later on, due to work purposes and for the sake of improvement, my parents were able to buy a house in Rosario and we came to live here. I still have the clear picture in my mind of coming to the city in the moving van. I was coming to a new world, full of fears and challenges. My parents were hard working and tenacious people. My father was a railroad worker during the day and a waiter at night. My mother was a housewife and the confectioner of the neighborhood so that she could generate extra income. They showed me that after childhood a stage of sacrifice and struggle would come and that’s how my years went by.
When I arrived in Rosario I attended a neighborhood school called “Gobernador Crespo” known as “Little Louse” (I’d bet you can guess why…). It was a school where there were people from all walks of life: humble people, even more humble people (we didn’t know the slums as they are today, they didn’t even exist!) and those, including me, who didn’t attend the other neighborhood school called “Colón”, whose level was a bit better but where middle-class kids attended.
My school had a school meal program in place which provided us with a glass of milk and an afternoon snack. It was there that I learned that every single dish holds a special appeal, that soup tastes good both in summer and in winter, that the word dessert can also mean peeling an orange and that an ice-cream on Children’s Day is a gift as well. I took many things from that time, particularly, I learned to value a lot of things that may seem little but which can mean a lot to many people.
Eventually, a municipal scholarship came, which meant a great educational leap to me: I was able to enter the sixth grade of primary school in Colegio Salesiano San José. What I learned from that stage was discipline, patience and I also learned to think… I was taught how to reason, understand problems and find solutions to them. Personally, I learned to love my country and I learned life values. I will always remember a big sign in the school entrance which was more than 30 meters long and had a phrase of General San Martín: “You will be what you must be, or else you will be nothing”.
Then, the time for high school had come. I still attended Colegio San José. At that time I decided to become an electronics technician. We must take into account that at that time (1979) we were starting to glimpse the progress made in electronics going from the transistor to the integrated circuit and the miniaturization of components. Studying electronics at that time meant to study a state-of-the-art science. I continued training in this discipline at school, which contributed to increase my analytical skills to solve problems. The examples of life that were most influential at the time were, for instance, the people who managed to reach Balseiro Institute.
When I completed my high school studies, I literally went out to the streets to earn a living. It was 1996 and we all know what it is like to be young and not to have much experience so as to make an impact with your resume. On the other hand, and most importantly, I always knew that I wanted to be free, to be my own boss. So, while performing various jobs, several years of my youth went by until the chance to access a business with great potential that was beginning to emerge came into sight: domestic alarm installation. Once again, I started with no experience in the field but with great determination to learn. Later, like in any business, customers appeared by word of mouth and I began to grow, I took on some employees and that is how I had my first successful enterprise.
The nineties were in full swing and I traveled to the USA to attend a Safety Fair in order to be updated on new electronic technologies. In that country and on subsequent trips I was able to see the first wave of the “dot.com companies”. I didn’t understand much about what that really was or the business itself. Everything was strange and new to me. However, I sensed that the internet was the road to a new economic era and greater access to knowledge.
From that moment on, I continued my business with the alarms while assessing how to make the leap to the internet world. One thing led to another and with a clear idea in mind of how to develop web sites, I generated a product which would enable the companies from my country to have web presence at an affordable cost. The business was based on the high quality people in Argentina, on an affordable-cost model and the use of templates. The sites generated were also sold to the USA. This stage took place in the early times of the internet when convertibility was still vigorous but beginning to decline. It was not a good time to sell web developments. Generally speaking, very few people here were aware of the potential of having a web site. The e-mail was hardly used and the prevailing communication channels were the telephone and the fax, it is hard to believe, isn’t it?
Later on, the fall of President De La Rúa occurred along with the end of convertibility; and again our peso was worth not even one peso. By that time, my costs were in dollars and my income in pesos. My house was half paid, the country was in a critical condition, there was a lot of uncertainty and U$200 was all I had in my pocket. I called a close friend living in the US. Even though he was not able to help me financially speaking, he was able to provide me with a place to sleep and a dish of food. I wanted to see if I could do whatever it was available over there. I set off.
As you can imagine, you can’t do much in the US with just U$200 and even less without a car to travel the long-distance cities. That’s how I borrowed my friend’s lawn edger and started to knock on the doors in his neighborhood. The owners of the first house that accepted my service (I must tell you that their garden looked like the Amazonia and I had to work from 8:00 am till 6:00pm) started to ask me questions about my activities in my home country. I told them about my latest entrepreneurship, which was the development of web pages. They invited me for dinner that night and they talked about an NGO devoted to help women suffering from domestic violence and with which they collaborated. This NGO needed to make its own web site so, after that night, they introduced me to the NGO’s director. She told me that she wanted to post the content of a yearbook of their activities and contributions to the community to a web site and she asked me for a quotation. The next day, I told her that the work would cost U$700 and that it would be ready for the following Wednesday. She stared at me and asked: “Which Wednesday? Didn’t you forget to add any zeros in the quote?” I felt a chill down my spine because I was afraid of losing the job and she said: “Let’s do something. If the work is done for next Wednesday, I’ll pay you U$1000.” Needless to say, it was ready before the agreed time. From then on, my luck changed. One job brought another… and with the money I collected there I was able to stabilize the situation in Argentina and invest in some computers in order to design in the living room of my house, which was our big office.
Then, the Twin Towers attack took place and everything changed again. The country of freedom and respect was now full of controls, wars and a strained environment. Although I was improving economically, I had the feeling of failing my country. There was a business that I could do from here and it was an opportunity to bring genuine world-class work, but I couldn’t see it at the moment.
I’m sure you must have heard that popular saying that goes “every baby is born with a loaf of bread under his arm”. I always joke that my daughter was born with a server under her arm. One night at 5:00 am the phone rang. It was my wife telling me that she was pregnant. Imagine her fears and doubts… I was 8,000 km away, she was here in a country that was barely emerging from the crisis and with an uncertain future. That call was a relief for me, a lighthouse that led the path to follow and made me decide where I wanted to bring up my daughter. In my country, Argentina and in the city that gave everything to me, Rosario. It was at that point that I started to think how to combine elements in a new enterprise that could be run from Argentina, that was worldwide in scope and that enabled us to think big. Out of a lifelong experience, selling hosting arose. I remember registering the name Dattatec.com the following night. It all started by purchasing a reseller plan from a company in New Jersey.
A further step, a new challenge…
It is said that one should never sit back and do nothing. And as if the responsibility of leading the company that I founded 13 years ago weren’t enough, today I’m embarking on a new challenge together with my family and people who have been with me for a long time. By the end of 2014, BordeRío Bodega & Viñedos was born as a result of a firm belief that the creation of genuine work and added value in our country was possible.
As small challenges have never appealed to me, we’ve chosen the city of Victoria in Entre Ríos province to plant vines and to work on the land. Yes! Wine produced in Entre Ríos.
A land with a long-winemaking history shaped by hard working immigrants who were able to position Entre Ríos as the fifth national wine producer back then, in the early decades of the 20th century. After bad decisions taken by the governors of the time and outrages against thcome people from Entre Ríos, wine production was banned in the 30s, thus destroying the industry across the whole country except for the Cuyo region.
Today, with responsibility and enthusiasm in reestablishing the wine-growing river-basin region of Argentina, I don’t sit back doing nothing, instead, I walk the path to this new enterprise called BordeRío Bodega & Viñedos. I once again dedicate myself to a new challenge but never leaving behind these 13 years of Donweb.