We talked to Mariano Focaraccio of Drixit Technologies about digitization and automation, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mariano Focaraccio: We are doing well. Thank you for asking. We are all safe and healthy, and luckily I have the privilege of being able to work remotely, and that doesn’t affect my day to day activities. Like everybody, my family and I had to adapt to a different reality, but it was manageable. I can definitely assure you that it was a challenging year, but we stuck together and used it as an opportunity to grow in other aspects.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Drixit Technologies.
Mariano Focaraccio: I am a Software Engineer, strongly focused on product design and business development. I studied alongside Martín Giachetti, another one of Drixit Technologies’ founders. We started our first company together back in 2014, a software factory that provided services to companies in the US from Argentina. Later on, I became CEO of its spin-off, Gitcolony, a platform created to manage Code review workflows for development teams in order to guarantee high-quality code and no bugs.
In 2016 Martin and I joined MURAL, Martin managed technology, and I was a product Director, and after two years, we decided that we wanted to work together again in a startup of our own if we had a good idea. So finally, in 2018, while I was waiting for my food order together with my brother, we were discussing new technologies and IoT, and we realized that we had unveiled a world that needed to be explored. So after some time, both Martin and I left MURAL and partnered up with Maximiliano and founded Drixit Technologies. In 2019 after 1 year of R&D, we designed Drixit as you know it today.
How does Drixit Technologies innovate?
Mariano Focaraccio: The successful exploration of new ideas is crucial for any business; improving, enhancing processes, and bringing new and improved products and services to the market is part of our core identity. That is why we developed the first digital PPE (personal protective equipment), an IoT solution that combines software and hardware to digitalize and automatize industrial environments in order to have safe teams and efficient processes.
Pen and paper are very good inventions, but in 2020 one cannot rely on them to ensure industrial safety, and that is what we see today. A handwritten list manages and keeps track of processes, employees, and assets. Sometimes, many lists, managed by different people that are not connected with each other. This is what is known as analogical processes, and as we know, analogical processes are nowadays outdated. In the digital world, companies and employees cannot afford to lose hours managing teams and security when it could be done in seconds. An employee should be connected throughout their entire working journey, in industries like oil & gas that can mean the difference between life or death.
Our solution allows you to take our company’s safety, “ Golden Rules” to the digital world. Not only by doing this you can prevent and mitigate accidents, but you are accelerating the response time after an incident occurs. Every incident and event will be hosted in one platform, and out of that, you can access data and analytics for your operation both in real and historical time. Information is key in decision making. You get to know what happened, when, and why, and that is brought to you by the power of innovation.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Mariano Focaraccio: It is commonly said that crisis brings new opportunities, and that was our state of mind across this year. Luckily, we were already used to working from home, so the Covid 19 pandemic didn’t disrupt our everyday work. We had to focus a bit more on team building and clear team communication and try to make the team as comfortable as possible with remote work both physically and psychologically. During the pandemic, we tripled our team and are looking to grow more.
Thanks to our team’s hard work and the confidence of our clients, we were able to help other industries continue operating as well. Our innovative digital PPE has functionalities that give us the opportunity to track and measure social distancing. Our contact tracing solutions allow companies to provide safe environments for their teams and accelerating isolation if a Covid 19 case occurred. So far, in terms of business, it was a very good year for us.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Mariano Focaraccio: This year’s situation really taught us to be customer-centric. Industries were facing changing scenarios, and they were by far more complicated than the years before. Along with the pandemic, oil had a major decrease in their barrel’s prices, so it was time to be really present for our clients and stakeholders. We did this by implementing creative spaces for co-creation and mutual growth. Although we always had customer centricity among our values, this year has really taught us how working with our clients and empathizing with them is the best way to develop innovative solutions.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Mariano Focaraccio: I spend time with my family and wife without being connected, which is the best way to get away from work stress and anxiety. I like to watch series at night and sometimes I do yoga and exercise at home. I also like playing tennis, which really helps to leave stress behind, but it was available in these last months. I’m trying right now to catch up with all these past months without playing.
I would play tennis regularly in a pandemic-free world, but tennis was not allowed sanitarily until recently in Argentina. So, I did indoor activities that made my mind wander off, like playing video games or watching TV shows and movies. I started yoga, and I can confess I am not very good at it but still trying. I learned how to cook and was able to find the time to read more.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Mariano Focaraccio: Our main competitors are Triax, Romware, and Estimote. We plan to stay in the game by constantly innovating, bringing the best in IoT, software, and hardware in order to use technology in a human-centered way. Our long-term view is to achieve safety for industrial teams, boost operational excellence, and create a unified journey for industrial teams, connecting and digitizing deskless workers. We will be launching some improvements that were created towards this vision in the next months, so I invite you to stay tuned!
Your final thoughts?
Mariano Focaraccio: Well, as we already talked about, I think it is very important to stay customer and human-centered, using technology as an ally to create a better world. Digitizing, automatizing, artificial intelligence and IoT have arrived to boost experiences, allowing us to innovate and improve everyday life for all of us and for every industry. It is our chance to take all these possibilities and start creating a better future.
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