“My personal motivation? I think that every human being has to contribute to make a change through renewable energy,” says salesmanager Eduardo Sebastián Viola. And so the born Argentinian is highly motivated to make his contribution in the wind and solar projects of Kooi Camera Surveillance in Spain.
“I see the Spanish looking to our products with special interest,” states Sebastián in the Kooi office in Barcelona. He knows all the specifications of the different camera systems by heart. Coming from Argentina he settled in Barcelona in 2001 and fell in love with Spain. First he worked for an auctioneer before he moved to an American company to transport furniture from Asia. But his heart lay with renewable energy. Transporting enormous windturbines throughout Latin America was the first step. But as salesmanager at Kooi he now protects the construction sites were windturbines are rising with the technically sophisticated camera system called UFO: Unit For Observation. “I find it an excellent challenge to contribute to the solarprojects in Spain this way.”
Sebastián has analyzed the Spanish market in camera surveillance thoroughly. “Our competitor is the manguard and CCTV. Especially in the south of Spain manguards are popular. They are part of the culture. However we don’t want to eliminate them. We prefer the combination of manguard ánd UFO. Every guard can make mistakes but our UFO’s can help them to do their job better. Besides the sites in Spain are way too big for a guard to see everything. But not for cameras.” That Sebastiáns playing field is the market of windturbines is a real bonus for the socially engaged Argentinian. “In Europe we want to reduce emissions of gasses, raise the share of renewable energy and improve the energy-efficiency. So we need a change en I think that every human being has to make a contribution to achieve this. Otherwise we don’t live here much longer.”
Together with his teammate Erik Daniël van Leeuwen (yes, he’s from Holland originally) Sebastián is convinced their experience and network will help Kooi to grow on the Iberian Peninsula. “Spain and Barcelona are my home,” he continues. “Argentinian and Spanish culture are much alike. I know the regional sensitivities but I think it’s an advantage that as an Argentinian I am totally neutral in this matter.” And he feels that every part of the country deserves another approach. Sebastián: “Madrid hosts all great companies, so we need to go there a lot. For people in the south it’s all about the relation which takes more time to do business. The Basks are more serious in business. They are very straight forward and know what they want. In Catalunya one prefers working with Catalans. So it helps if you speak their language. Erik and I are practicing Catalan to have this advantage.” In any case, being part of Spanish society Sebastián knows that relationships are built on trust. That takes time. So ‘tranquilo’ is the motto.
The two adventurers have strictly separated their areas of operation. Sebastián focusses on the wind projects while his counterpart Erik will be responsible for the clients in construction and infra. Dutch colleague Almar Kleefstra will take care of the Spanish solarfields.