Welcome to the In The Clear podcast, I am your host Justin Recla and today we are speaking with the CEO and Founder of Divine Human Ventures, Angel Ribo. Angel has been in business for 30 some odd years, he’s known as the CEO confidant and he is helping businesses bridge the gap between your local market and the global economy, so if you’re a business owner that’s trying to expand into the global arena you definitely want to pay attention to this interview today as well as Angel is doing some amazing things in the world by giving back and helping train young entrepreneurs in Latin America. We connected with Angel at an event out in San Diego and he is doing a lot of good in the world and I’m super excited to have him on the show, so please help me welcome Angel Ribo to the show. Angel thank you for joining us.
Thank you, thank you very much for your kind words, you’re very generous, thank you.
Well Angel, you are by far the definition of generosity. The work that you’re doing in the world, not only with businesses but with young entrepreneurs that you’re out there teaching and promoting entrepreneurship is one, just hands down kudos because that is such an undertaking and I know it’s one of your passions that you are really a driving force in Latin America for that education. Can you share a little bit about what you’re doing and what you’re about?
Of course, so the name of the organization of the foundation is Wisdom for Kids. What we do is we help under privileged kids in Latin America become entrepreneurs using the local resources. Throughout my life as you said before, I’ve been traveling so much for so many years to so many countries both in the Latin America and Europe and eventually I became very familiar with the different levels of poverty and development of the different countries.
I personally lived in Latin America for more than 10 years and I was able to see poverty all over the place, all the time. So as I was helping so many entrepreneurs and corporations with their businesses at the same time I was facing the challenges of kids that would come to me and would try to sell their services or their products, and not always in the lets say, in the best conditions possible.
So in 2015 I had this amazing revelation in which everything that I had done throughout my life came together and it very clear to me that I had to use all the talents I was given, all the experience I had. And all my geographic and cultural differences to start helping all those kids become entrepreneurs in Latin America.
That’s absolutely amazing and I know prior to the show we were talking and you’ve done business in 33 countries?
33 countries. Folks, I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of different countries to be doing business in and that’s absolutely amazing. So tell me a little bit more about why people call you the CEO Confidant.
Yes, they call me the CEO Confidant because what I share with them is typically, is definitely business strategies and tactics that are not that fully available for everybody. International and going, you know bridging this gap to go international and gaining this exposure and this expansion means that you have to go through different, lets say discomfort zones.
Because when you go internationally, you think of going to different areas in which they have a different culture, the business actually driven in different ways that the business are run following different strategies and tactics and also when you do business in a different area you tend to be concerned about what’s going to happen to my corporation legally speaking. Will I be able to really be able to tackle all those hurdles.
Will I be able to find the right people to do business with me. Will I be able to speak the same language that I’m able to speak locally. So companies knowing my experience they come to me and they ask me for help so that they can use my experience and they can use my already developed network of business partners in Europe and Latin America to expand their businesses.
Awesome and in your experience, what kind of business is really kind of ripe for expanding globally right now?
Well, every single company that thinks that it’s leaving money on the table. They have made such a big effort to develop those products and those services they already have all those assets and they think that they have already touched a particular ceiling. They cannot really [inaudible 00:05:41], they are sure and certain that there will be international consumers that they would be able to benefit from the same values, from the same assets that they have already developed. My experience is that the companies and CEO’s that have come to me are not different.
Let’s say it’s not specific industries, but specific CEO’s. It really depends or comes down to the mindset of the CEO. If the CEO really thinks that I’m going to be able to deliver value to that particular market, those millions of different users or consumers in that particular economy, then it’s worth the ride. It really depends on the mindset, it doesn’t depend on the company or on the industry.
I can completely agree with that, that it’s that’s you have to have a certain mindset to be able to take on a challenge of growing globally like that and that is something so new to a lot of different people. So who are your favorite type of businesses to work with?
Typically, CEO’s that run businesses that they might have had some international connections before, so they have been in that particular area, maybe as tourists, maybe they have some friends that have been there before. Second, they are sure that expansion and growth is kind of their obsession. They want to take risks, but they want to take calculated risks. They know that they have to change, they know that they have to embrace additional challenges to grow their businesses and to be able to not to leave money or cash on the table, but also being able to diversify, diversify their risk in the domestic market.
So those are typically the CEO’s that come to me. I have to say also that when I talk to the CEO’s I use terms and if you asked me what’s the number one lesson I’ve learned with the CEO’s, with other successful CEO’s I would say those who use extensively acceptance. Acceptance is a big thing. The CEO’s I work with, they typically think that working with their local teams, working with their external consumers, customers and partners, using acceptance or knowing that everybody brings differences to the table.
Everybody might have different ways of seeing the business, but at the end of the day they both, or they all together want to bring a particular value to the market or to the consumer. Those are the CEO’s. The CEO’s that believe in cooperation and collaboration. Those are the CEO’s that tend to be extremely successful when they are going international.
I absolutely love that because that goes hand in hand with one of the concepts that we preach about and that is transparency. So my next question is transparency international, how does that play into the business arena?
So as soon as we started discussing about how to go to a particular area, or even when we started discussing, which area is going to be the best area for me to go internationally speaking of CEO’s, we started talking about, and I bring to the table my knowledge about a particular market, so I personally go. I really believe that the main difference between companies succeeding and maybe not being so successful internationally is if they are really willing to personally go to those particular places.
So number one, I sit down with them, we discuss, which areas we want to go to and I personally ask them to go with me to those particular areas to make sure that those are the areas in which we want to go, and we meet with local partners. So what I’m trying to say Justin is that it’s extremely important that those collaboration relationships are developed face to face. Are developed by trust, shaking hands and working hand in hand, in developing a strategy for the local market.
I absolutely love that, that relationship piece, a lot of times some of the push back that we get around the transparency piece is that it doesn’t help established relationships and it’s not true because especially what you’re talking about here in the face to face portion of it, that transparency piece is so much easier to see when you’re face to face, ’cause you can actually get to see how the person responds, see how they interact, see how they handle questions, see how they operate under pressure.
That is such a big part of the transparency piece and the fact that you were able to walk your clients through that when they’re expanding into new areas is huge. So there’s a lot of people that won’t even take that leap but knowing that they’ve got somebody like you that can help bridge that gap is gigantic.
Thank you. Let me tell you a very specific example. I remember helping a company expand internationally and in that particular area there were many partners, so many companies, independent companies that were helping this specific American company to go to that area and expand the business. I use a very controversial approach because collaboration is everything for me and as you said transparency is one of the qualities.
I would bring all the different partners in that particular geographic area, all those partners together. I would bring all the business development force, the sales people, inside sales people, the directors, the managers, I would bring everybody together to a weekend all together for sharing experiences and deciding how we were going to support that American company to go to that area and in the owners of those partners would say “Oh my goodness, are you really sure that you want to bring us and you’re going to ask us before anybody else how we are going to develop business all together?” Can you imagine that Justin?
But you know the funny thing is as soon as they tried, as soon as they test the model, as soon as they see each other, there’s a higher good, which is eventually the corporation that we are helping expand the business. They all forget about that. When they see the value, when they see that we’re all together for developing that business and adding value to those corporations or to those consumers, then everybody forgets and all the defenses go down immediately. I love that and that’s the way it works.
Yeah, that kind of connection is neat and that’s one of the reasons why I was so excited to have you on our show is because of that connection that you have. I know that there was an immediate bond and immediate connection between what you’re doing and the clear business structure and even bigger than that, my eight year old daughter, she just had her birthday with her mission as well and what you’re doing in the education of young entrepreneurs in Latin America, I think that’s huge and when we get back I want to talk a little bit further because I know we’d talked about the three pillars that you have. So real quick, we’re gonna take a quick break, we’re talking about transparency international and the three pillars of business with Angel Ribo, we’ll be right back.