Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

Entrepreneur before the boom

Emili Rousaud (Barcelona, ​​1966) is an entrepreneur avant la lettre , who with 33 years broke into a business as uneasy as electric and anticipated a business that was not even identified then. Energy Factor (in its beginnings Energy Factory Group) was the first independent electricity retailer in Spain and was created taking advantage of a first legislation to open the market, which began with the large consumer companies and was extended to reach families.

“I was an entrepreneur when that word was not used or linked to the glamorous and innovative aura that he acquired later,” he recalls. Today there are a hundred marketers, but when Energy Factor was born, 20 years ago, it was a market to explore. “There were those who reproached me for not having an electric pedigree, and even the Ministry of Industry He told us that liberalization was not intended for companies like ours, but for traditional power companies with the idea that they would start competing in prices. ” And when the Energy Factor promoters went to Catalana d’Iniciatives In search of financial support, his project was kindly refused, on the grounds that the future was on the internet. As if the internet were something magical and not a channel for doing business, either in the electricity sector or in the fashion sector.

“You can't go public without earning money and without having at least a turnover of 1,000 million”

After graduating and taking a master's degree in Esade, Emili Rousaud had a good job in the communication and advertising management agency Bats, today integrated into the group WPP. At 28, he was already CFO. “The problem is that when you reach that position at that age, you realize that you don't have much travel left. I was well paid, but I had more concerns, ”he recalls.

Because, he says, "I was very excited to be an entrepreneur." His father had business in the auxiliary automobile industry, although the vocation came mostly from the example of a great-grandmother, a great entrepreneur who after overcoming the war set up clothing stores Nelly, highly appreciated in high society, with establishments in Via Laietana and Serrano Street, in Madrid.

"When you create a company you assume an economic risk, but also personal, and the fundamental thing is to have faith," he admits. He, for example, patiently endured the "effervescence" of his career partners, all climbing in international groups, some that no longer exist as Arthur
Andersen, and buying towers in Sant Cugat. "I looked like the fool, the one who has left everything to start from nothing, the one who goes by motorcycle, the one who has to live in Gràcia …". And, in addition, a lot of family pressure because "it required a lot of dedication." But with time the satisfactions come: "Today we have 300 direct jobs and almost 700 indirect jobs."

Rousaud undertook the Energy Factor adventure accompanied by his brother Román and Jordi
Ricou, friend from school. For different reasons, the two ended up leaving the project. The partner that contributes financial muscle to Factor Energía has changed several times: first it was Copcisa, then Iberdrola, again Copcisa … Until two years ago the current stability with the pension fund of the Canadian state of Ontario, with 50%, the US fund JZ International, with 25% and Emili Rousaud with another 25%.

The latest expansion plan has already reached a turnover of close to 400 million euros. The next step could be to go public in the alternative stock market (MAB). “But not as we are, we have to gain size. It is not understood that some companies go to the market without earning money and without having a volume of at least 1,000 million. It is only explained if the partners are anxious to make cash, ”he reasons. "Energy Factor has been making money for 10 consecutive years and yet we think that before going to the market you have to reach 1,000 million euros, which we hope to achieve in five years," he adds. “In two years a great company is not made. I have taken 20 ”, he concludes before predicting that a consolidation process can be seen shortly in the marketers sector.

As an entrepreneur, he says he would like to be remembered for having contributed to the fight against the climate crisis. "It was one of our first goals and that is why we are now focusing on promoting self-consumption."

In the institutional sphere, its activity is also intense. Vice President of Pimec, vocal in the plenary of the Change of Commerce of Barcelona and board member of the Barça. He declares himself very Barcelona, ​​although for a while Factor Energía had a box at the Bernabeu. “There it is very good to invite someone to watch a game. In Madrid they work differently, personal relationships are very important in business, ”he says.

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