CFI.co Meets Enrique Gómez Junco: A Q&A Session with the Founder of Optima Energia, Mexico
What would you say most motivates you?
I like to be able to create something from scratch – something different, something better. I want us always to be the leader in what we do. I especially enjoy BIG challenges.
What excites you?
I am excited by entrepreneurship, new ventures and helping others to achieve their dreams. I want to take Optima Energía all the way to be the leading provider of energy efficiency solutions in Latin America. I want to keep Optima growing in fast mode, to build an organization that can do anything with the best talent in our market.
Do you think entrepreneurs are made or born?
It can be either. I know for a fact that we all need both. Having someone that can inspire you, someone that can teach you, someone that can share knowledge is crucial to the decision to initiate a project.. School programs, incubators, accelerators, mentors, are part of the environment that will help entrepreneurship develop.
“I like to be able to create something from scratch – something different, something better.”
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, part of a very united family. My father was a great example of hard work and honesty and had a huge commitment to our community. He was always a high level professional with the courage to create personal businesses even towards the end of His career.
Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced you?
- Mike Ahearn, ENDEAVOR Global Board Member and funder of First Solar, the biggest solar energy company in the world.
- Fernando Fabre, President of Endeavor Global
- Pedro Aspe, former funder of ENDEAVOR México, and co president of EVERCORE.
- Salvador Alva, former president of Pepsico Mexico, and President of Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey.
Are there any highlights from your youth you would like to mention?
I was fortune to participate in the pilot entrepreneur program at my university; the first company to be born was Tecnologico of Monterrey and they now have one of the biggest entrepreneur university programs in the world. In my years with Optima Energía (up to now 24) I have been fortunate to have had world class mentors, opportunities to assist to the World Economic Forum (WEF) as Global leader for Tomorrow (GLT), be selected as an ENDEAVOR entrepreneur organization that transformed me and Optima Energía. And that inspired me to create ENDEAVOR E + E, an organization that supports early entrepreneurs through mentoring, with more than 250 professionals helping entrepreneurs in nine different cities in Mexico.
Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy helping entrepreneurs and water skiing.
Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path to what you’re doing today?
At university the entrepreneur pilot program, and then ENDEAVOR: an accelerator program for high potential growth companies. It has been wonderful to have world class mentors helping my career.
What are the key attributes you look for in your staff?
I look for a positive attitude, accountability; they should place no limits on what is possible. companies are successful because they have good staff.
What are the most frustrating factors that have held back expansion?
Expansion is always painful, you need to make decisions regarding evolving standards and people that help you starting and crating with you your venture. Have not the right talent in place while you are expanding is painful.
If you could set up Optima anew, would you do anything differently? Why, and what would you do?
I would get help faster, have an independent board of directors earlier, make decisions faster with less heart and more brain, Identify opportunities that can be standardised, reproduced and go into mass production.
What’s next for Optima? What are you looking forward to achieving?
We will grow during the coming years by more than 50% a year. We will maintain our leadership in energy efficiency and be the company that will transform Latin-America into a continent of low carbon emission cities. i