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Peruvian Entrepreneur, Bootstrapping to $200 Million: Belisario Rosas, CEO of WEI (Part 5)

Posted on Tuesday, Dec 15th 2015

Sramana Mitra: You have chosen to grow it to a substantial level with profits. What do you want to do with this company? Is it something you’re looking to sell? Do you want to continue running it forever?

Belisario Rosas: Continue it. We run the company like a family business. We want to be one of the best places to work at. We’re very employee-friendly. We should be applying for those best places to work for, but we don’t want to have a just a plaque. We want to live it. I feel that we live it. Just trying to fill it with more people is not our goal. We want to keep it under control. I would never want to be in a company where I do not know every single one of my employees.

Sramana Mitra: How big is the company now in terms of employee size?

Belisario Rosas: We’re about 100.

Sramana Mitra: Are they all in Montreal?

Belisario Rosas: No, we’re now in Salem, New Hampshire.

Sramana Mitra: Everybody is in New Hampshire?

Belisario Rosas: Everybody is in New Hampshire, yes. When I moved to the other company, we moved to the north of Boston. We had three locations. We first started in my wife’s brother’s garage. Then we moved to a small thousand-square-feet facility. Then another office space with about 5,000 square feet. Then we purchased a building with 20,000 square feet. A year and a half ago, we moved to a 50,000 square feet.

Sramana Mitra: What else is interesting in this story that you want to share?

Belisario Rosas: Not only do I own this business, but in 1995, I also acquired the domains of Peru.com, Colombia.com, and Bolivia.com, and turned those into major portals. Four years ago, we sold Peru.com to the largest media company in Peru. We still hold Colombia.com and Bolivia.com and several other sites. A lot of them have to do with soccer. The company we formed was inter-Latin. I ran it with my brother.

Sramana Mitra: Are you active in what’s happening in the Latin American startups and entrepreneurship world?

Belisario Rosas: Yes. As a matter of fact, my brother ran Wayra, which is a startup.

Sramana Mitra: Out of where?

Belisario Rosas: Peru. He was very much involved in mentoring startups. We’ve been involved in a couple of investments and a couple of other startups.

Sramana Mitra: In the startups that you encounter over there, what trends do you see?

Belisario Rosas: It’s interesting. I’m more looking for the right people eventually with the thought of creating another company in Peru if I have time. You asked me what my intents are with WEI. As I’ve gotten good people in the business, I’ll find more time to myself to do these types of investments or mentoring still in technology.

Sramana Mitra:  Very nice talking to you. I would love to hear your efforts in Latin America down the line.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Peruvian Entrepreneur, Bootstrapping to $200 Million: Belisario Rosas, CEO of WEI
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