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Santex Stories: Our first Employee

This year was Santex’s 20th anniversary, a moment to celebrate but also to look back and remember how we got here. On this opportunity, we invited Martin Yevara, our very first employee, to chat and talk about the passion, trust, participation, and courage involved in beginning the journey of Santex.

Today, Martin has two children, Martina (13) and Joaquin (9)and continues to work in the software industry with local clients. For the last five years, he has worked as a multimedia content producer for the Argentine Sports Federation.

During the interview, Juan Santiago (Santex CEO) joined us and told us some of the highlight memories he shared with Martin from that time:

"Martin had an exceptional sense of design and great command of software development principles. Beyond that, he combined those skills with a conductive thread of business approach in everything he did. He understood what the purpose was and the reason why a project was being done.”

Juan Santiago - Santex CEO
Martin, how did you get to Santex?

I received a call from Juan, while he was living in the US, to work for a website design project. Actually, Juan’s mother and brother Alfonso were the ones that contacted me for this project.

Juan was very satisfied with the delivery and asked me if I had any friends that could join me for other projects. So we first contacted a designer and later on software programmer as well.

As our team started growing (by that time we were four members), I looked for an office where we could all work together and found a small one at Maipú street, in the center of Córdoba.

But many more projects came very quickly, so the team kept on expanding to the point where we decided it was the appropriate time to move into a new office with two floors. Actually, Juan’s mother and Alfonso were involved during the whole process, renting the place, buying furniture for the quickly expanding team and more.

As the company grew, so did your role and responsibilities?

That’s right. At the new office, I was no longer designing or programming. I was the Operations Lead for a team of 22 people, I was also in charge of recruiting. I remember creating the job ads in the newspaper among other things!

However, when my daughter was born, 13 years ago, I began to see my life differently. Even though I was very satisfied with what we had accomplished, I decided it was time to turn the page so I moved on to other opportunities.

Do you have any anecdotes from that time that you would like to share with us?

Yes, many! I always remember having to develop new ways to provide solutions that would sometimes exceed our level of knowledge at the time.

What else? I vividly recall my first meeting with Annett, one of the original founders of Santex. It was held through an old telecommunication device and after 20 minutes of her talking, none of us understood a single word of what she had said! We were all looking at each other and asking “¡¿Qué dijo?! Those were some challenges of the early days in long-distance communication.

Do you think that your experience at Santex influenced your professional life outside the company?

Of course. First of all, it made me realize that you can work for foreign companies without the need of being a big multinational enterprise.

Secondly, it exposed me the most common challenges faced in the development world. The dynamics of particular software tools that quickly become fashionable and then customers want to use them no matter what. These trends force you to have to continuously update yourself, which often demands a lot of time and effort.

Today you work by yourself or do you have a team?
I always work with one person, and if we can’t solve something I hire someone else for a specific job in a project.
What did you like most about your time at Santex?

I really enjoyed the relationship with the other guys, the talks with Juan and Annett on the phone. All of the personal relationships.

What did you consider to be pain points?

I would have liked to stay with Santex, but at that time, the company was growing exponentially, and given I was in a managing position, it required big efforts.

I don’t think this was something that hurt me, but I did feel sorry because I told myself “Look all we have accomplished, where we are, and I have to leave because it’s affecting my personal life. I want to do other things, be at home with my family and not be stressed out”. So it would have been nice to find a way to see that.

Perhaps if the company would have been more structured back then, I would have had a different perspective.

When you left, the company was still called “Mi Equipo Web”?
Before I left, we have been starting to flirt with the names “Santex América” or “Santex Standard”, but we continued to use the “Mi Equipo Web” logo.
I think that for the last few clients I worked with, the company was already introducing itself as Santex América.
Do you think that the values we promote today are the same that the company had at the beginning?

Yes, passion for sure. None of this would exist if it wasn’t done with passion. To do things right you must enjoy them. Sometimes it isn’t comfortable or ideal, but you do it anyway. You get enthusiastic and embrace the challenges. After all, it is not all about the money but all those hours you spent with your other team members on a daily basis. You even start thinking “this is great, let’s keep going”.

Sometimes you do things because you have to. Sometimes they are small but with time they become huge and a lot of other things begin to drift in. At the moment you don’t realize that, but you are sowing a seed of something that is going to be a big tree.

That day, on our first talk with Juan, I thought it was a joke when he told me we would work online and remotely (especially considering the internet connections we had 20 years ago). So I even considered, in the beginning, to say no. But fortunately, I got excited about the project and said yes.

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