Alfredo Atanacio, Founder Of Uassist.ME, Featured In CNN
Just Last week, in our little piece of Paradise, El Salvador, was recorded, for the very first time, CNN’s series “Fuerza en Movimiento” or “Moving Force”. This series began in February 2014 as a part of CNN’s business section for CNN in Spanish; it basically shows the biggest and most important growing economies in Latin America, featuring some of the most successful entrepreneurs and their businesses. This was a first for us; El Salvador was the first country in Central America to appear.
Moving Force features these entrepreneurs in a “Round Table”, which is a very interesting recreation of a medieval image, but comes to show us that this men and women are our “knights in their shinny armors”, that they are willing to push for a bigger more creative economy, and they are here to stay.
It came as no surprise to us here at Uassist.ME that our founder, Alfredo Atanacio, was invited as a part of the panel, to talk about all the obstacles that entrepreneurs face in our country, but also uncover the secret to investing in new businesses.
During the interview, Atanacio talks about how his workforce has helped him accomplish his dream and how much he loves his business and the business model he has used. Uassist.Me is a company that offers virtual assistants for anyone that wants to outsource. Starting out with only 4 employees (including himself) and 2 clients, he now helps employ close to 100 Salvadorians serving over 300 clients: “We have clients in every continent except for Antarctica”, he says; he also highlights the quality of the Salvadorian workforce: “We get hired from India, and they are our biggest outsourcing competition.” “This only shows the quality of the Salvadorian workforce”. The businessman also explained how one of his biggest challenges has been that most people don’t know about El Salvador “We should invest more in campaigns about El Salvador, most people don’t know where we are or think we’re a jungle.”
About his business model, Alfredo insists that new technologies have made it easier for people to start their business as everyone has access to the same tools. “Nowadays we have access to the same information available in the USA, Japan or India. Starting an Internet based business is cheaper than starting a pupusas* restaurant”. He emphasizes how a company is only as good as its employees: “I use the same internet, the same computers available in almost every home, I am in love with my business model and it’s so easy to replicate.”
Before wrapping up he makes a point about how every government should invest in education: “Teachers should be role models for their students, but nowadays most students know more than their teachers; preparing our teachers should be a priority” and the importance of learning languages, specially English: “The English you learn here is very basic, it’s not the English you need to make business in the world…”. Finally he encouraged governments to invest in new businesses and promote entrepreneurs, both local and foreign: “It’s those little programs, they cost a few million dollars but leave remarkable results.”
Uassist.ME will be celebrating its 5th birthday on September 16th with the airing of this episode of the Moving Force series on CNN in Spanish. Don’t miss our next post and a link to the video.
*A “Pupusa” it’s a Salvadorian meal made out of corn tortillas filled with cheese, pork or beans.