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Eduard Giménez: "Innovation has been the key to start our business"

08/01/2014 11:08

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Eduard Giménez, 30, born in Barcelona but living in Madrid through choice, computer engineer and entrepreneur. He came to the Innovation Center to talk to us about Emtrics, which is the company he founded in 2011 along with Íñigo Serrano that has transformed cumbersome traditional satisfaction surveys into something comfortable, dynamic and, above all, simple.

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Por Pilar Romero Barello

Today they are a team of five people present in both small restaurants and large hotel or catering chains. With a coffee in front of us, we sit down to listen to him.

Where did the idea Emtrics come from? And what is it?

The idea came from a trip to Toledo, where we took a train and a girl from Renfe conducted a satisfaction survey on us and was bombarding us with questions for 25 minutes! I then thought, "This cannot be". A survey needs to be something quick and easy. With Emtrics you just have to invest 30 seconds. When you end the interaction with the hotel, restaurant, etc., you scan a QR code or visit a website from your own smartphone, where we ask five very simple questions that are answered with three faces (red, amber or green), depending on your level of satisfaction. The business owners choose the questions, which are also available in 11 languages. These opinions, unlike other online platforms, are private. They are from the customer for the establishment. So, people are much more sincere and you are giving the business the opportunity to improve.

At what point did you decide you wanted to build your own business and why?

From childhood I thought, "If I can, why not?" My father worked for a large multinational and then he left to set up a frozen food store and in it, as an entrepreneur, I had my reference point. Therefore, while I was studying for my degree I already knew that someday I'd set up something. What I did decide was that before setting up anything, I'd get a bit of experience in other companies; first in Barcelona where I started a project that didn't work, then I came here to Madrid to work for Tuenti, where I was very happy, although I knew it wasn't my ultimate goal and Emtrics was created in 2011.

Is it difficult to be an entrepreneur in Spain?

It's difficult to be an entrepreneur anywhere. Of course, if you really want to be an entrepreneur, you are the type of person to more look for solutions than problems. It is certainly true that there are things that could be easier and others much easier. But, come on, if I could do it, anybody can. While there are always obstacles, a process that you have to do ... Hopefully someday governments will really get themselves sorted and help entrepreneurs. I think the hardest thing now is to pay the self-employment payments. It makes no sense having to pay almost 300 euros per month for the right to work.

What role does innovation play in your business?

Innovation has been the key to start our business. In fact, Emtrics would have been a paper survey before. And to show you to what point, when I had the idea, smartphones were not as popular as they are today and the initial idea was to implement it using a tablet that the restaurant gave you when they handed you the bill or the store had at the till. What happened? The price of the tablet was between 500 and 1000 euros and many businesses said they were interested in the tool, but couldn't afford or didn't want the expense. But suddenly, there was the boom in smartphones and everyone started to have one, which allowed us to eliminate that cost for the restaurant and we focused on developing good software.

Did you have to make a large investment to set up Emtrics?

We had to make an investment but not a large one. At least not on the scale required by other startups. We have always opted for a very light approach by trying to spend the least (testing with a little and acting quickly). We believe that money is a scarce resource and we must learn to manage it.

What barriers have you come across when selling/marketing your product?

Selling is one of the most difficult things. In fact, as a piece of entrepreneurial advice I always say do not assume that selling is easy. The profile of an owner of a small bar is what we find most difficult. And to deal with this, we have released a new product, which is a free version, so they can try it to first convince them. Mostly, the problem is that as these restaurateurs spend a lot of time at the bar and know their customers, they think they don't need any more information.

Tell us about your team. Who's behind Emtrics?

We are two partners at Emtrics, Íñigo Serrano and me. Íñigo is the CEO, he deals mostly with things like business development, strategy and the like. And I deal with the product and technology part, both in terms of design as well as development. We also have a sales rep, Juan Antonio, who works closely with Íñigo to attract new customers, open markets, etc. And then there are the engineers, Patricia and Jorge, who work with me on product development. In addition, we have also worked with external people, for the marketing side of things, psychologists who have helped us develop the surveys, how to present data. But five of us deal with the everyday work.

How do you see Emtrics in 5 years time?

We want to establish the business well in Spain and start to move on to other countries, trying to offer more features and better service to our customers, especially in hospitality, which is where we are going to focus the most, because that is where we are doing best. There is no need for the team to grow much, but we need to try to be very dynamic, to provide the best way for people to give their opinion.