Founder Spotlight: Mario Berta of FlySpaces
Providing the right space and reaching great heights
By Michaela Villaroman
To ensure efficiency and innovation in any venture, it is necessary to have both the right materials and the right people present for the job. But another important element that contributes to the quality of work and output is having a suitable place to get the task done. An office space that is conducive to productivity will no doubt inspire creativity and encourage diligence.
The Philippines is currently among the top-ranking countries that have continuously been successful participating in the global property market. There is an ongoing increase of demand for office space and the Philippines takes great action in providing for it. BPOs, who seek to rent a work space for their companies, often look to the country for potential offices. The need for office space has reached such massive heights that new establishments still undergoing construction are already flooded with pre-committed agreements with companies who are in dire need of a place.
Most look for office space in the Philippines because not only does the country offer a significantly cheaper rate compared to other countries, but also the workforce available is cheap and effective, too. These factors fuel the already enticing conditions that make the Philippines seem like a great spot for businesses to settle.
With demands going off the charts, there is a great scramble among companies looking for their own place. The cost of space in the Philippines may be less than that of the other countries, but it is also prone to inflate exponentially as a result of the growing scarcity of venues.
WHAT THIS MEANS
For businesses, this is really bad news. Considering that most startups are not completely established yet, they are only just beginning to get a handle on what they need as an organization. Their starting period is prone to change; they need room for development and adjustment.
Startups need flexibility in their work space to be able to discover what they need and what they don’t; they need an office that could adjust to their liking and necessities. Most offers in the market bind companies to contracts that would commit them to a space for years. It also costs a lot. These contracts usually limit startups as they are tied into agreements that are not suitable for their state. They need a place that would push their growth, not limit it.
SMEs share a similar problem. The size and need of SMEs oftentimes do not call for a permanent or enormous space. Like startups, the ideal office they need is one that could be tailor-fit to their wants. But where can you find an office space that would entertain distinct requests of companies?
COMING UP WITH A PLAN
Mario Berta offers a great solution. As founder and CEO of FlySpaces, it is clear Mario knows quite a lot about the entrepreneurial field. His experiences in his career ranges from him training sales and operations teams all over the globe to managing and leading numerous businesses to success.
One of his major feats is establishing Easy Taxi, a mobile application that specializes in booking taxis. He was CEO of the company and he helped it claim the title as Asia’s biggest taxi application operating in over 9 countries. Easy Taxi is backed by the largest ecommerce incubator in the world, Rocket Internet. It was here that Mario first thought of the idea to try and set up a company that would cater to office space needs.
“In Rocket, I had to find a lot of office spaces myself,” he shares, “It was painful to find office space as a startup. There were so many demands and they shortlist companies; startups are not very welcome as they have a high chance of failure.”
Mario then worked on his idea and was joined by his co-founder and COO, Guillaume Martin, who saw his vision and wanted to be a part of it.
Also having worked as a government consultant in the Philippines, Mario thought to set up base camp in the Philippines first. He also remarked how it was the market he knew the most and that his team was already here. Having started in Manila, the company has since then branched off to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong, and Jakarta.
FlySpaces has indeed proved to be a successful venture for Mario. It addresses the growing need and demand of many clients. FlySpaces has been focused on empowering businesses by providing them with short-term work and meeting space solutions. Gone are the rigid contracts and steep rates of down payments. The company provides its clients with spaces that cater to what they need and what they want.
This innovative idea has supplied entrepreneurs with a great deal and opportunity. It is quite evident that FlySpaces has Mario’s own principles embedded in its core values. “We want to make an impact on corporations and help them save money,” Mario stated, “we want to be recognized as a true regional brand to go to when you look for office space.”
Businesses do need a lot of hard work to maintain. It takes a lot of effort for Mario and his team to keep FlySpaces delivering its quality service to clients. He shared with us the key factors he kept in mind when he started the company.
He explained that the ingredients to triumph are the team, concept of micromanagement, and relationships. “One, the team has to be very solid because you can have the most amazing technology in the planet, but you need to have a team that executes well. Second is the concept of micromanagement; the employees still require a lot of training. And three is relationship. The employees have to love you; the partners have to love you; the suppliers have to love you; and the clients have to love you much more than anyone else in the world. Everything is relationship related,” he shared with us.
With all these in mind, it is apparent that Mario has it all set. He jokingly said in his interview that his current life goal is a billion dollars. “Not to own a billion dollars in the bank, but running a billion-dollar company is fine,” he laughed.
It seems though that at the rate they’re going, it could be the plausible in FlySpaces’ future. We can definitely expect them to achieve greater heights!