We talked to Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig, CEO at QuantoSobra on how they are serving the Brazilian market with software and he had the following to say about it:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: We’re fine. My wife just got pregnant, and the family will actually grow during COVID-19. I’m working from home, and we’re taking a lot of precautions.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded QuantoSobra.
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: I graduated from law school and became a lawyer. I started several businesses while in college, which went broke, and I lost all my money in the process. However, I learned some learns and realized that this is what I wanted to do professionally.
To clear any doubts, I asked an entrepreneur friend if I could work for him for free so I could learn about business management as well as see the daily life of an entrepreneur because I already knew the day to day life of a lawyer.
I started working with him, and he noticed some of my good qualities and told me that he wanted to be my partner. He knew I was not going to be his employee because I was an entrepreneur and that we just had to be patient, and the business would grow.
Indeed our business grew. He had a company (now a big one, but at that time it was only starting) and it experienced a lot of problems. I began by solving the lack of data to make decisions, and as a result, we created ‘QuantoSobra,’ an ERP to manage and help small business owners data-backed decisions. They have to generate data and use our software to run their own business.
How does QuantoSobra innovate?
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: We’re a SaaS started in 2012. By being on the cloud already shows we’re innovative. We have added a lot of features, and this has helped us gain a huge market. Now we are investing in a new product that will do the same.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: COVID-19 in Brazil exploded at the end of March, and most Brazillian SMBs had money that would only last for only 21 days (This is bad cashflow management for they had no money in the bank. They literally pay their bills using the money they earn in the month). We felt the heavy impact in April and May (Many businesses closed their doors in those 2 months). But things started to get better each day after May, and by July/2020, we were breaking sales records because several people who lost their jobs turned into entrepreneurship and started their own business; this huge amount of new entrepreneurs needed software, and we were there for them!
Things are getting better, and with our new product, we’ll use the PLG (Product Led Growth) strategy to grow faster.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: We’re not backed by venture capital, so we only make decisions based on our own money. We live and pay our bills with the money that comes from our MRR, and thank God we decided to have 6 months of our expenses in cash to be prepared for difficult times. So, the difficult time came, and we had the money to guarantee everyone’s job.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: I play tennis, pray and do Zikr (a Sufi Meditation and remembrance of God).
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: All the ERPS that target Brazilian SMBs. They’re many of them…
We plan to stay in the game with the new solution that we have already built and by thinking about the future of the ‘retail market.
Your final thoughts?
Stéfano Nonnenmacher Willig: We were prepared for a bad time. Thanks to this, we were ready, and when the market was good again, all our team was there to take advantage of that and grow. If we had fired people, we would have to hire them again. This would have consumed a lot of our precious time, and the good timing of the market could be lost.
So, be prepared! The world is getting crazier every day.
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