We talked to Danilo Castro on how MondoDX uses AR+VR+AI technologies as instruments for transformation and advancement in business and this is what he said.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Danilo Castro: We started working in the home-office (by March) when the first signs of the pandemic wave hit Brazil, sharing the housekeeping responsibilities and our daughter, who completed three years in the middle of this crazy time. We kept it this way until June when people became more aware of the measures to reduce the spread (masks, sanitization, social distancing), and I returned to the office with part of the team and later, in a scheduled format, all the team. But we moved to a bigger office, to adhere to the safe distance. Part of the team remains isolated due to personal restrictions of each one.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded MondoDX?
Danilo Castro: I have 20 years of working in delivering software and innovation as a software factory manager, architect, and consultant in various segments like manufacturing, banking, e-commerce, telcos, agribusiness, consumer-goods, talking directly with operations and C-Levels. I also founded right after my graduation a company that pertained a unique platform for predictive maintenance based on IA and have been awarded in an academy with other studies in the same field. Still, I always found myself between being super creative and innovative and focusing on ROI. I never saw a way in the companies and universities that I worked with a proper way to combine these two things that are always one: innovation. Time passes, and in 2018 I founded MondoDX as a channel to put into practice my vision and methods to deliver innovative technologies to corporates to transform their business without the harm to shake the very foundation that they fight to sustain.
How does MondoDX innovate?
Danilo Castro: The way we approach the corporate challenge, in a mix of tech consultancy, business co-creation, and software development lab. This is what we called internally “Lab as a Service”, a Third-Party Corporate Venture Lab, that brings our lightweight way of breaking and shaking things to experience and try for the corps, co-creating new digital products that leverage transformation for processes, departments, or even the core business of a company.
We tackle the problem in a “middle-out” manner, transforming from the middle-management to the operations (down/tactics) and the directories (up/strategic) at the same time.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Danilo Castro: We saw 3/4 of our projects frozen and delayed during our first product launch. We planned to grow by 10x, and we could only achieve 40% of it due to the demands that were held because of the period’s uncertainty. We improved our team during these periods and our line of digital products.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Danilo Castro: Yes, most of them related to self investments, both financially and personally. Focus on hiring and developing your team before letting them operate. Hiring or promoting when in need is the worst time to do it.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Danilo Castro: These times impose an extra difficulty of relaxation. Trying to stay with family and focusing on sharing love and companionship is the best remedy for us here. Also, having a part-time presence in the office with the team was very good to relieve work alone pressure and tension.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Danilo Castro: We have startups and big companies as competitors, so our business model could bring flexibility and thrive in the face of competition and touch a lot of competitors. Our plan to stay in the game is, by 2021, to look for more prominent companies to partner and invest in us to expand (commercially) our very successful and innovative model.
Your final thoughts?
Danilo Castro: Despite the propaganda about the benefits that working at home brings to people and how many opportunities are raised for digital business, there are so many people and companies struggling that seem almost disrespectful this ‘smoke curtain’ that keeps reaching everyone. This makes it worse all the problems we’re facing with the feeling that we’re ‘kind of failure’ since it is becoming “common sense” that working at home improves life quality and digital companies need to boost their revenue by 1000%.