We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Hernan Orihuela. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Hernan below.
Hernan, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today One deeply underappreciated facet of entrepreneurship is the kind of crazy stuff we have to deal with as business owners. Sometimes it’s crazy positive sometimes it’s crazy negative, but crazy experiences unite entrepreneurs regardless of industry. Can you share a crazy story with our readers?
This might not qualify as crazy, but last year we were approached by one of our established clients, a large distributor of steel pipe for the Oil & Gas industry. They were trying to secure a contract to supply 100 km of line pipe for the construction of a trunkline in West Africa. The supply chain was disrupted, and the prices for transportation were skyrocketing, which made it even more crucial to find ways to lower the overall cost of the offerings. Our client’s principal and I began working around the clock, running multiple scenarios to find the best offer—one where the price was low and the delivery was met. After numerous days of work, we thought we had achieved that; our offer provided the most value and met delivery times.
Unfortunately, a few days later, we found out that the project had gone to another company—the reason: A significantly lower price. We had thrown the kitchen sink at this proposal, having to reinvent processes and budget a large capital purchase of equipment. I could not believe that someone else was offering something comparable for significantly less cost.
I didn’t want to dwell on this for much longer, so I picked myself up and started focusing my energies on chasing other projects. Suddenly, a few weeks go by, and I get a phone call from someone in our client’s organization. It turned out that the company that won the contract did not have the technical capabilities to get the job done and was fired. We came in, and within three days’ notice, personnel and equipment rolled into the job site, and the rest is history. Four months went by, and the project was completed without issues.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I worked for a Swiss inspection group; that’s where I got my start while still attending college. After relocating to Houston, I stumbled into the Oil & Gas industry. It was hard to miss, given that O&G is an integral part of the state’s economy. I was very fortunate because the industry welcomed me with open arms despite having an accent and perhaps even having funny looks.
Professionally, I am the proudest that I help build a company that consistently delivers value to its clients. Once a client awards us a project, that project becomes ours; we take ownership and work relentlessly to complete it on time and successfully.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
It is simple; we always do what we say we will do, even if we will not be profitable in a particular project or endeavor. Building a reputation takes years; destroying it takes seconds.
Do you have any insights you can share related to maintaining high team morale?
This is probably one of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner; you have to be a leader to your team. My advice is to lead from the front – by example. If your team sees you working hard and even harder than they do, they will respect you. Unfortunately, the bigger the business gets, the more difficult this becomes as new employees might not have the chance to work directly with you. And while keeping a good poker face during difficult moments is an asset, it is always good to keep the team informed about the company’s challenges.
- Website: www.innova-es.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/innovaenergyser/
- Facebook: https://twitter.com/innovaenergyser/
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/27008775/admin/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/innovaenergyser/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/InnovaInspection
Manolo Grajeda with Lux Photography