VOLUNTEER CONSULTANT

Enrique Martinez

  • Age: 33
  • Job title: Sales Executive
  • Country, city: United States, Miami, Florida
  • Job title: Vice President of National Society of Hispanics
  • Professional qualifications: MBA, Certified Professional Engineer (PE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers Member, Member of Accountants ALPFA.

Brief career history

Started working as an Aerospace Engineer for the United States Army Aviation Research Center after obtaining my Bachelor's and Master's in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. Due to my expertise in Aerospace Engineering and my ability to communicate effectively between soldiers, engineers, finance personnel and higher-ranking Army officials, I was promoted to the equivalent higher rank of Major. In that new role, I was acting as a Contracting Officer as well as an Aerospace Engineer. Because of my involvement in the design of several of the Unmanned Air Vehicles (drones) in service right now, I was promoted to work as a Strategic Advisor for the Army and the Pentagon. While in the Army, I was able to obtain my Masters in Business Administration(MBA).

Several years later I moved from the Army and the Department of Defense to start working as a Sales Director for an Aerospace company. Due the type of business development work I was doing while at the Pentagon, a Manager at AT&T asked me if I would be interested in joining them to develop their portfolio of businesses, which I accepted. For the last two years, I have been working at AT&T as a Sales Executive managing a total of five accounts, each spending between $2 million (USD) and $60 million (USD). 

Aside from my professional career, I also have been an active member of several organisations. I am currently the Vice President of Corporate and Government for the National Society of Hispanics MBA, a math tutor for high school students, Entrepreneur Business Development Consultant, a career/motivational speaker for MBA graduate students, but most importantly a father.

Key areas of expertise

Entrepreneurship business development, strategy development, international business strategy, engineering, sales and negotiations.

Where/how did you come across Grow Movement?

Through the internet – a connection of mine was recommending Grow as a way to help people in need of business development skills.

Why did you decide to join Grow Movement?

I have always felt a need and a responsibility to share with others all my skills and talents that I have been fortunate to develop throughout my career.

Your entrepreneur

  • Name: Thandizo Edgar Sonkho
  • Business name: TES Investments
  • Age: 30
  • Gender: Male
  • Country, town: Malawi, Limbe
  • Family/children: None
  • What does the business do: Sell and install solar panels
  • How many employees: 3
  • Key customers: Trying to target farms and big businesses.

What was your first phone call like?

Rewarding. We were able to talk about each other’s goals, expectations and metrics that we will use to measure our success. Initially, the phone call was difficult to set up given that my entrepreneur did not have easy access to the internet. Once we were able to agree on a time, it was initially difficult for me to understand the different accent but it only took me a couple of minutes and several “May you please repeat again?”s to finally get my ear honed for his accent. Part of the problem was also the poor phone communication with background noise.

What approach did you to take to identify the problems facing the business?

In order to identify the business problems, we agreed to spend half of our second meeting understanding first what is the problem that the company is facing and then the strategy that the company was following to overcome those problems. Therefore, most of our second meeting involved a long session of questions and answers with an open and honest understanding that the goal is to make the company profitable.

What business tools did you use?

Some of business tools that we have been using are: 1) Microsoft Excel; 2) Comparison Analysis to compare the typical purchasing power of citizens in the United States and their solar sanel buying behaviour; 3) Financial Analysis of the company revenue and cost statements; 4) Cash Flow Analysis.

How many sessions did you have?

Right now we have had about six sessions.

How long were the sessions?

Each of the sessions lasted between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

What preparation did you do?

I would spend about two hours each time analysing the data from the company, data from other countries, economic data from the country where the business will be done, feasibility analysis of the company value proposition in that specific country, contacts that the company can reach out to, and competing technology.

How much email interaction did you have?

We will write to each other at least once every two weeks.

What objectives did you work on?

The main objective we worked on was on finding the perfect business proposition that will attract sales in the country where the business is going to be done and make the company profitable.

How did you manage being able to consult when you didn’t know the industry or the country?

Although no internet data compares to the actual life experiences of being inside and interacting with the people of that country everyday, nowadays there is a wealth of information available. I spent several hours each week looking for more information specific to the country such as: a) average citizen salary; b) political stability; c) the country’s economical stability; d) geography; e) cost of goods; f) cost of living; g) methods of transportation; and h) weather.

What cultural challenges did you face?

Working with my partner Thandizo in Malawi has been great. Although it took me some time to get used to my partner’s accent, the biggest challenge has been scheduling meetings when there is six-hour difference between Malawi and the United States.

What was the hardest thing about the project?

The hardest thing about this project is managing work with this great initiative

What professional benefits did you get out of the project?

Some of the professional benefits I got out of this project are being able to meet an entrepreneur from another country that has very different business conditions as well as social conditions in that country.

What personal benefits did you get out of the project?

Personal satisfaction that I am able and capable to help in one way or another to the personal and professional success of another entrepreneur.

What impact did you have?

Being able to stop the entrepreneur from pursuing a business concept that is highly unlikely to be have economical success given the costs associated with bringing the materials, the purchasing power of people in the country and the current economical crisis in the country.

What would you say to another person who was thinking about becoming a consultant for Grow Movement?

It is a very rewarding experience and, just as with any new job or venture, you need to keep an open mind to learn from the entrepreneur and patience to overcome any obstacles.

How would you describe your experience at Grow Movement in five words?

Rewarding, Analytical, Creative, Energising and Goal-oriented.

  • Ashridge Business School
  • MCA
  • Cass Business School
  • Institute of Leadership and Management
  • Bull Dog Trust
  • Westminster Business School
  • UK Aid
  • Turkish Airlines
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