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Crazy Wisdom

Nov 21, 2023

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This in-depth conversation provides invaluable insights into running a tech startup in Argentina. Former Rappi executive, Lucas Assad, discusses the challenges faced by businesses in an unpredictable economy marked by hyperinflation and rapid changes in exchange rates. Using his experiences in managing Rappi and his present venture dealing with imported construction materials, Lucas explains the complexities of Argentina's entrepreneurial ecosystem. One must be street-smart and agile, adept at handling the unpredictable. Equally, there's a resilience brought out in entrepreneurs dealing with these trying conditions. This podcast also takes a detour, analyzing the complexities of the food delivery business, the competition, and unrest in the marketplace, especially in comparison to the USA.

00:02 Introduction and Guest Background
01:11 Discussing Entrepreneurship in Argentina
06:25 Impact of Government Policies on Business
07:51 Exploring Successful Latin American Startups
12:01 Challenges and Opportunities in Argentine Business Environment
19:59 Effects of Currency Devaluation on Business
24:20 Impact of Rappi on Argentine Market
29:33 Unexpected Encounter and Introduction to Rappi
29:58 Expansion of Rappi in Latin America
31:55 Competition in the Food Delivery Market
33:17 Challenges in the Food Delivery Business
33:30 The Importance of Perfect Delivery
34:33 Balancing Supply and Demand in Food Delivery
35:10 The Role of Restaurants in the Delivery Ecosystem
36:08 The Financial Aspects of Food Delivery
44:17 The Impact of the Pandemic on Food Delivery
45:34 The Future of Food Delivery Businesses
50:27 Transition from Tech to Construction

Key Discussion Points:

  1. Background and Introduction:

    • Lucas Assad, a friend of Nico (previously interviewed), is an entrepreneur with experience in both traditional business and the tech startup world. He transitioned from the pharmaceutical industry to tech startups, playing a significant role in Rappi's expansion in Argentina.
  2. Entrepreneurship in Argentina:

    • Discussion on the unique challenges and opportunities in Argentina due to political and economic instability. Examples include hyperinflation and rapidly changing laws.
    • The concept of being "street smart" (DNA in Spanish) in Argentina, highlighting the need for agility and adaptation in business.
  3. MercadoLibre and Rappi:

    • Insights into successful Latin American startups like MercadoLibre and Rappi.
    • The impact of these platforms on daily life and the economy.
    • Differences between MercadoLibre's evolution and Rappi's rapid expansion.
  4. Challenges of Food Delivery Business:

    • Exploring the operational difficulties of running a food delivery service like Rappi.
    • The importance of balancing supply and demand, and maintaining customer satisfaction.
    • The role of technology in managing logistics and enhancing customer experience.
  5. The Pandemic's Impact:

    • How Rappi adapted and grew during the pandemic, particularly in Argentina.
    • A notable surge in orders for products like ice cream and the importance of adapting offerings to consumer demands.
  6. Sustainability of VC-Funded Startups:

    • Discussion on whether companies like Rappi represent sustainable business models.
    • The role of venture capital in scaling businesses rapidly and the potential pitfalls of this approach.
  7. Lucas's Current Endeavors:

    • Transition from tech startups to a more traditional business model.
    • Lucas is currently involved in importing construction materials, aiming to capitalize on the anticipated construction boom in Argentina.
  8. Contact Information: