Ruben Rojkes Constructor
Interview with Ruben Rojkés, founder of Avanco
1. What was the motivation of Engineer Ruben Rojkés to start when he created Avanco?
AVANCO is an acronym that comes from advancing by building. I am a civil engineer and construction is a passion for me. I decided to move forward in life, building, creating, that’s what I’m passionate about. When I ask myself, Ruben, what is what makes you fill the most fulfilled about your work, I am not passionate about buying and selling only, I need to build, manufacture, develop a product, that’s what I love.
2. What obstacles did you face in the first years of your business?
The lack of owned capital, I had to motivate investors and banks to join my projects, but in order to tempt them I had to offer them an important participation in the Real Estate business. It was hard but it definitely helped me in the beginning.
3. What was your first successful project?
It was the first building I built which I launched almost 28 years ago; it was a very small building, in the street San Luis 77. It consisted of only 11 units with one or two bedrooms, with a lobby and two upper floors, without elevator. I sold it quickly. It was my first work, and thank God, all the works I have done have been successful and completely sold.
4. What is one way in which operating a business today is the same as 15 years ago, and one way in which it is different?
When the activity began it was in the year 92 (My son Diego Rojkés was born, today he is an architect!). At that stage, Argentina was emerging from a hyperinflation and it had 10 years of exchange stability, where one could finance a project in US dollars without any risk for the buyer or the seller. It was easier than now, more predictable.
It was a period in Argentina when mortgage loans existed and it was easier and less risky to finance, buy materials and pay wages.
Today it is very difficult for people to accept financing in dollars, there are continuous changes in prices, salaries, services, and one is looking for an index of activity that allows us to finance clients and continue working. In my case is the CAC, which is an index of price variation of the Argentine Chamber of Construction
As of today mortgage credit does not exist in Argentina.
5. How do you manage the balance between family life and your work?
I think family must be considered as the most important COMPANY we have, that implies that we must take care of it, dedicate time to them, correct if one makes a mistake, enjoy it. My family is my support, my motivation, I enjoy it very much, and I always try to make time to share with them. I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. Even though my children are grown, we still share a lot of good times. I always make time those moments, with trips, meals, or playing sports with them.