by Juan Ignacio Jacome
2nd-Year MBA, Business Marketing Academy
All of us at business school are used to hearing different success stories of CEOs and entrepreneurs that took a chance and developed a new product or service. Most of these stories originate and develop in the United States, but thanks to IGOE (Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness) and the Latin MBAA, Kelley students had the opportunity to meet CEO Daniel Hatkoff and listen to his story about transitioning from a private equity firm in New York to a start-up in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Hatkoff went from New York to Brazil on a work assignment. Once there, he quickly realized that Brazil was a country full of business opportunities, but most importantly, it was a country he felt comfortable living in and investing time and money in. Hatkoff started to learn Portuguese, studied the Brazilian culture and began to search for ideas. After three months, Hatkoff noticed that Brazilians have a general discontent with mobile phone companies and the service they provide when a phone is damaged or broken.
His entrepreneurial spirit made Hatkoff overcome many bumps along the way and successfully launch www.pitzi.com.br; a site that continues to grow in the Brazilian market and is now thinking of expanding to other Latin American markets.
As part of the visit to the Kelley School of Business, Hatkoff had lunch with the Kelley MBA IGOE fellows where he answered questions in a smaller, private gathering. Later, Hatkoff also met with professors of international business and entrepreneurship.
For me, the whole experience was very special. As an IGOE fellow, I was involved in organizing the event. This gave me the opportunity to interact with Hatkoff during his stay. I saw firsthand the incredible passion and commitment he has towards his project. Listening to professors and Hatkoff interact and talk about the problems Pitzi has encountered from the start gave me a new view of what it takes to create a successful start-up.