Martínez (GBM Digital): “A bad idea can work if it’s well carried out”
The Grupo Bursátil Mexicano has been in the Mexican financial markets for over 35 years, but it was a little over five years ago when it forged closer links with everyone interested in investing, thanks to its digital platform. Javier Martínez Morodo, one of the 33 innovators in the ebook Hablan los protagonistas ( The key players speak), is convinced advantages of exploiting the boom in information technologies to transform the socioeconomic landscape.
Tell us about your project
For more than six years we've been making inroads into the digital ecosystem through a platform for buying and selling shares, and we've built up a large store of know-how for interacting with customers online. Today we run the company's whole innovation project in this area, as well as marketing, user experience and web development.
Why do you consider yourself to be innovative?
We're always on the lookout for spaces that have been overlooked by the traditional market, but it's also possible because at GBM, we set out to be an organization that listens at all levels. In fact, many ideas have come from employees who are not necessarily at the executive management level. We try to involve the whole institution in decision-making and new projects.
What is the motivation for your project?
We want to do things differently, because the financial sector in Mexico is still rather traditional. The digital focus helps us be sure of the projects we're going to launch due to the interaction we have with the users.
What's the DNA of the Mexican entrepreneur?
These are people who are very proactive at the strategic and ideas level. They have a very clearly defined view of all aspects of the implementation. This is important, because a good idea poorly carried out is worth nothing, whereas on the contrary an average idea that's well carried out can be a total success. I think another characteristic of Mex
ican entrepreneurs is that they want all their projects to have the greater goal of helping solve problems in the country.
How has GBM been involved in the entrepreneurial/innovative environment in Mexico?
GBM is a member of the Mexico Fintech Association, Association, where we contribute human resources and some financial help to the congresses we organize. We've also taken part in activities run by some educational institutions, such as the Anáhuac University and Tecnológico de Monterrey, de Monterrey, and initiatives focused on the issues of structure and innovation in digital and financing areas. We've sponsored some Startup Weekends, events focused on.
What's more, we've launched the first Survey on Digital Finances in Mexico 2015, which is very useful for anyone wanting to set up a business. The survey will help people to do market research, design business plans, and in academic and journalistic investigation.
What areas of opportunity do you see for the growth of the fintech sector?
I've seen a lot institutions open up. One example is the Department of the Treasury, which has adapted the regulation to the digital media; this is a process that will take some time but which is already underway.
Elsewhere we have the issue of the financial culture of the Mexicans. I think in education we should all support the generation of content and communication so users can understand the benefits of all the initiatives available in the financial sector. I certainly believe this will be one of the sectors that sees the greatest disruption due to the penetration of banking products, new business models around P2P loans (peer-to-peer), crowdfunding(mass financing), and bitcoin (digital currency), among other trends.
What has been the role of public and private agencies?
The government is very important in the area of financial inclusion. The National Banking and Securities Commission and the Bank of Mexico have focused on encouraging financial culture and incentivizing certain activities in the sector to aid the penetration of banking and other services.
People who in the past used to think of savings as a destination for their money, today consider options like investing in a business or putting money into peer-to-peer funding or crowdfunding. For example, there's a massive financing project in real estate which doesn't require a great investment. Briq offers the opportunity to make small investments in real estate developments with returns that may be much more attractive than investing in promissory notes or government funds.
What trends do you see in the pipeline in the fintech sector?
Depending on the extent of the offer of digital financial products, traditional banking will change. A case of a business model that springs to mind is movie hire, for example –at one point it was difficult to imagine that could ever change. But now we have online streaming, because there was an offer that met the needs of the users, and it replaced the traditional business.
What advice would you give a prospective entrepreneur in this sector?
The most important thing is to believe in your idea, and for it to have some transcendental meaning for communities, for Mexicans, for the country. To get ahead, all entrepreneurs need a lot of willpower; sometimes you feel you're floating on air and others you're down in the dumps, but if you have the motivation to see you through to the very end, the go-getting spirit will never be extinguished.
Finally, you need to analyze the data to make decisions with real numbers.
The technological tools bring even more opportunities for inclusion that involve official agencies, private companies and entrepreneurs in a dynamic that enables the consumers to have more knowledge of their environment, and to ensure that their financial decisions –and in consequence their life projects– are on the right track.
The event held on 21 January was an opportunity to hear the players featured in this eBook. Click here if you'd like to download the entire eBook Hablan los protagonistas: 33 innovadores mexicanos ( The key players speak: 33 Mexican innovators).