Alberto Pardo dreamed of becoming a pilot as a child in his hometown of Colombia. Now a successful adtech, digital transformation and e-commerce entrepreneur, Pardo, nicknamed “Banano”, has a long history of soaring not only in the blue skies, but also in the media world. He is the founder/CEO of Adsmovil, a global digital advertising solutions company, and co-founder/CEO of Nuestra.TV, a free, bilingual video-on-demand streaming platform.
In this interview, Pardo talks about his love of flying, how his childhood was instrumental in getting him into the digital industry, and why being a CEO is like being a pilot.
You have finally fulfilled your childhood dream.
Exactly. I graduated from a university in Colombia with a degree in industrial engineering and came to the United States to do an MBA. The first thing I did when I finished my master’s was learning to fly. I got my license and I’m a private pilot. I have a crazy love for airplanes in my head. I follow every community on the web and social media about them.
What about being a pilot so appealing to you?
My child does not know that I want to be a pilot, but I see other children, not just my son – they are fascinated by airplanes. Planes mean more than just going from one place to another. Flying is about using imagination, creating, exploring, traveling. I have traveled a lot in my life. I have lived in many places in the USA as well as Latin America. I’ve been a pioneer in many ways. This is all very relevant to my early airplane dreams.
Tell your readers about your childhood.
My family lived in Bogota, Colombia. In 1983, my father gave me an apple.
Years later, I co-founded a startup called DeRemate.com. I was working in a big company in a telecommunications company in Colombia with a good position and salary. A few friends of mine called me and said they were trying to copy eBay for Latin America.
I threw everything aside and decided to start this venture. It’s been consistent ever since. I am starting a company and selling it. In the last 22 years, I’ve been part of three or four startups. One of them was DeRemate.com. The second is Adsmovil. I built two or three more that still exist or are already sold.
You have recently launched the bilingual video streaming platform Nuestra.TV. How did that happen?
We decided to launch it in the United States. The US is the most developed and largest market not only for digital but also for TV. We want to be part of the transformation that television is currently facing worldwide. The US is leading this process, but it will happen everywhere. We are in a good niche as the US Hispanic population is the fifth largest economy in the world.
In the future, we will expand to other markets, maybe Spain and of course Latin America. Currently, we are very focused on this market. Nuestra.TV offers movies, series and other video content for the family.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
There is a Spanish saying: When, hand the biggest negotiation hacerlo es no or sometimes it’s best not to do it.
Very wise advice. What are the similarities and differences between your love for the sky as a pilot and your job as an entrepreneur and CEO?
When you want to be a pilot, you need training. Part of my business education was doing an MBA and part was working at DeRemate.com.
When you become a pilot, everything is in your hands. You are the one in control. If you crash or land, it’s your decision. When you are a venture CEO, you are responsible for making the right decisions.