We recently caught up with Pedro Paulino, founder of Gearcloud, one of the fastest growing digital companies in Brazil about his road to entrepreneurship and the road ahead for his company.
Q1. Firstly, a very warm welcome from Ideasmakemarket.com team. Tell us something about your background.
I was born in the City of Maceió – Alagoa`s State in Brazil, which is very beautiful and full of beaches. I actually grew up in two different cities in Brazil, in Belo Horizonte and São Paulo. My family used to travel a lot, so I often met with people from different cultures. Nowadays, I live in Maringá-Paraná.
I started working with IT when I was 12 (Today I`m 25), formatting Windows XP Computers to begin with. Later on, I began to study English (Still very expensive in Brazil), but we didn`t have money. So I began dog walking with the dog of the school’s owner, so that she lets me study among other students. Studying English allowed me to meet lots of new people and to study and understand IT in a better way. I worked with Aisec in some events, and have also been a speaker in one of them. I have been also supporting the Gnu/Linux community as a speaker in some events, like Flisol; Supporting as a volunteer in some entities like Parque do Japão, which is the largest Japanese Garden outside Japan, and it is located here in Maringá- Paraná – Brazil: We did some great networking activities with some entities. I`ve been a volunteer teacher for an entity called Fundação Isis Bruder, which supports children by providing them food and study and also helping their families.
Q2. Our readers would love to know about the journey of Gearcloud. How and when did you come up with this idea?
That’s a funny history: One day, I was sitting, playing Gears of War 3, when suddenly I had the Idea to create a Startup based in Cloud Computing Technology: Few days later in college, my Professor Marcelo Bonfim asked us to create a business plan to a Startup that we should create. It was then that I created the business plan of Gearcloud and my Professor told me that was an excellent idea and supported me in the initial period. As you can see, the company is named Gearcloud, because I`m a great Gears of War fan and since Cloud Computing was the main idea, I decided the name as Gearcloud.
Q3. Tell us something about the business model of Gearcloud and who your target clients are.
The business model of Gearcloud is quite simple: Develop and support any Cloud Computing technology like hosting, Daas, Iaas and new open source based hardware for Cloud, in order to create an ecosystem where companies can have the latest technological trends in Cloud Computing without spending more money, generating value for their clients. We have Microsoft as a Partner, for Windows Azure, but looking forward to partnership with Amazon and Softlayer. In Brazil specially, Servers and Cloud technology is very expensive, but supporting them with the actual roles of Cloud, we can help companies to have a better understand of what Cloud really is and support the companies in their ideas.
Our target clients are statups, and companies which need to replace all their hardware in order to attend their clients.
Q4. How have you funded your business? How do you manage the team dynamics in your company?
I founded Gearcloud completely alone two years ago without any money: Now we are beginning to create a new team culture in our company and developing the team dynamics with the newbies. I am gathering new people for our team.
Q5. What are the challenges that you have faced while setting up your business? Any mistakes you have made in this journey?
Challenges : Lack of knowledge (especially in business)
Find the essential team: Lack of love and willingness in some IT students is a real problem.
Mistakes: I had to learn how to manage money: I didn’t have any idea how to do it.
Q6. If you are to list down three things that an entrepreneur should keep in mind, what would that be?
Persistence (Keep moving no matter what)
Patience (You`ll get there, eventually, in the right time)
Willingness (To start your idea)
Q7. How do you feel about the startup culture in Brazil and of BRIC nations in particular?
Start-up Culture in Brazil and BRIC nations are blooming like I`ve never seen before: Great Ideas solving great problems are coming up, but we still need to develop entrepreneurship culture in every aspect of our society, not only in startups or companies, but also in our homes , families and colleges too. We need more people to help us how to create new things, not only to follow the actual ones. Have you ever seen someone saying that wants her or his son or daughter become a Software engineer or Computer scientist ? We need to change that culture, especially because IT is in every aspect of society.
Q8. How do you foresee the future of cloud technology and cyber security? What are the measures small enterprises should take in this regard?
The adoption of cloud computing for the companies is like realizing your son is going to college: You maybe be afraid because he`s going far away from your family, but it will be good for him. As soon as you realize how necessary Cloud is to your company`s future, soon you`ll adopt this culture.
Small enterprises should take in regard about security: Check If the company which provide their Cloud is trending for new risks, virus, and to give them the best advices about security for the cloud and the company: Now we have some clients who had problems with hacking and invasions, because their last provider didn`t advise them about risks , and they did not even care about it, because it’s not their responsibility. Now they need to rewrite an entire application , because of security holes caused in their system.
Q9. Work-life balance is an important aspect of any professional’s life. Being a startup, must be putting additional pressure on you to maintain this balance. How do you manage it?
I manage this balance by doing some volunteer work, in local entities like Seicho-no-ie and Parque do Japão, which are local entities: Basically ,I work out of Gearcloud to balance life and work, and also because it is fun!
Q10. What would be your advice to young MBAs and entrepreneurs in the making?
Please, take this idea of entrepreneurship out of your head, and start it now! Don’t let the great ideas go away because someone said that’s not going to work or you don’t have money, or knowledge: Get rid off those people and start gathering people who want to make the World better in IT,arts , music, etc. Only you know how many people your idea can help.
Keep faith, study a lot and drink lots of water!
Everyday do something new, study something new: If , before you sleep, you read about 1 hour of how to speak Japanese, soon, you will speak Japanese too! Create this culture of always learning new things. And NEVER give up about your idea!
Q11. One last question, when can we see Gearcloud entering other geographies?
In 3 years , we hope to see Gearcloud crossing seas , especially in India, which , in my opinion, has an amazing IT culture !
Team IdeasMakeMarket.com salutes the entrepreneurship spirit of Pedro Paulino and we wish Gearcloud the very best in their journey.
Do check out their website: http://gearcloud.com.br/