My first month in Monterrey, Mexico has given me everything I was hoping for and more!
The Mountain King
Monterrey in Mexico has two r’s and is therefore spelled differently than Monterey, California. While its homophonic, American brother is situated on a waterfront, Monterrey is cuddled amongst the magnificent hills of Sierra Madre. Thus, the city stays very true to its own name – el rey del monte means “the king of the mountain.”
Monterrey is also another type of a king – one that dominates Mexican business. It is the third largest Mexican city and the home of the biggest and most profitable companies in Mexico, such as Pemex, Cemex, OXXO, etc. and the headquarters of many multinational corporations. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the most powerful engines driving the city’s progress.
Helping Build a New Business
This summer I am interning at a startup real estate investment company called Inmobiliaria Enexa, which was founded by a parent company, Endeavor Entrepreneur firm Vialux. Vialux builds cell phone towers and leases them to telephone operators. The land underneath the towers is usually rented, posing large operating expenses. Purchasing and owning certain lands can be financially beneficial in the long run due to minimizing renting expenses.
Which properties should be owned versus rented? What are the additional costs associated with ownership? How profitable will the business be in 10 years? What is its best strategy over the next 5 years? These are all questions that I am helping answer through building complex financial models to understand and project real estate profitability. I quickly realized that sitting in a conference room and challenging various assumptions together with the Enexa team and the CEO himself, Oscar Odriozola, is quite the real world business experience!
The Global Endeavor Family
There are five Endeavor eMBAs here in Monterrey representing four countries – Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico, and Portugal and five different business schools. In between discussing our internships and how to bring the most value to the entrepreneurs, raving over the delicious Mexican food (La Nacional and La Mejico are excellent traditional restaurants) and sightseeing (Grutas de García is the most amazing cave I have ever seen), we have gotten to know one another and have become friends. The Endeavor staff here has been extremely welcoming and has ensured that we have both productive and fulfilling summer experiences. In addition to helping us with structuring out internships, they have been introducing us to Endeavor mentors and entrepreneurs through one-on-one meetings and social events, such as start-up drink gatherings.
On a personal note, my summer experience so far has helped me grow significantly through getting me out of my comfort zone both intellectually and physically! I have for the first time built a real estate profitability model, led a business meeting solely in Spanish and rock-climbed the tall dry walls of el Cañón de la Huasteca!