Interview with Sancho Lerena about the current business changes

This year, no sector has been spared from the business changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which have almost always been painful ones: millions of dollars in losses for theaters, which still do not know where or when they will premiere their films, a dying tourism sector, the world of hospitality ruined, parents who fear taking their children to school, bankrupted real estate companies… and a lot of glances towards heaven waiting for an answer, from the Most High above or from the extraterrestrial ship that will end us after this fateful 2020.

At this time it is best to turn around in search of the eyes of the experts to understand the business changes that are to come. And I am not referring to some religious and enlightened person on duty who proclaims the end of the world is coming from the corner of a square or some people who enjoy talking about conspiracies on TV as well as they may talk about ghosts or whatever. I mean real experts.

In our case, in the business and technology sector we have many experts to ask for an answer, but we must set some filters first, of course. We are not interested in any tongue-in-cheek brother-in-law with access to Wikipedia, and neither Bill Gates, he no longer picks up our calls. That is why we have chosen to have a small discussion with Sancho Lerena, CEO and founder of Ártica ST, the creator of the successful Pandora FMS monitoring software. Does he sound familiar?

When I decided to meet with Sancho, we both avoided the crowded tables at Starbucks for just the cliché and preferred to stop by the new location of the company. As many of you know, Artica ST moved its headquarters from crowded Gran Vía to the more accessible Pérez Iglesias Business Park. I was lucky enough to be able to visit both at the time and perhaps I would choose with this new one, in a more diaphanous location.

Once there, I greeted the charming employees, who always have nice words for me, and went to Sancho’s office. It would take him a little bit to arrive, but he did so with the demeanor and class that characterize him and offered me one of the two cups of steaming coffee he carried. That’s how working becomes nice! Like in an advertisement for nougat.

To start things smoothly and not go so straight to the point, we caught up on literature and science fiction, so when the conversation was in full swing we began with the questions that had really led me to meet him.

Could you tell us what your relationship with the business world is?

I feel more like an engineer than a businessman. Being an entrepreneur was the only way to do things “my way” and to be able to create a product, something that requires a long-term vision, incompatible with the reality in which we live. However, I have always been a free spirit and ending up setting up a company was something unavoidable in my life.

What do you think the state of the business sector is right now?

In major crises is where you have the opportunity to show what you are made of. Especially in our sector, companies that know how to innovate and adapt in an agile way have the best growth opportunity in decades. We are living in a moment of historical change.

What do you think are the essential elements for the business change we are experiencing?

I would summarize it in the concept “business resilience”, and that in my opinion should include the following aspects: higher focus on essential business lines, improving financing capacity in different ways, knowing how to integrate remote working in the organization, internationalization and R + D + i as a medium-term strategy.

Based on your knowledge, are the predictions favorable or unfavorable for 2021?

Absolutely optimistic! 2021 is going to be a historic year.

When I finished the talk, I had no choice but to smile. Not because of the comfort coat of the interview’s approach or because of the ease with which the interpellations and replies had followed one another, but rather because of the joy that comes from hearing an expert clarify everything in such a simple way, of course, finally, with optimistic overtones. You see, it is not that you have to spur your horses and go out to throw flares into the streets as if the team from your region won the league or something, no, we are not talking about that at all. However, you do get the warmth of that light finally outlined at the end of this black tunnel that we are all going through, on foot, swimming, in uncomfortable heels, or squatting and saddened.

When I left the new Pandora FMS facilities, although it was bitterly cold, I was walking at an accelerated pace, because I had been given strength. I did not think of Pandora FMS as a top product that is sold on the five continents for companies to manage their own technology and avoid crashes and failures in their systems. I thought of it as a new way to get out of all this viral mess going on where everyone from the fairgrounds to the automotive sector or the construction sector itself has taken the brunt. It may seem like a hackneyed political slogan but, together (it seems that) we can!