Erik Villalpando
Managing Director
wizlynx group

Success Story: wizlynx group Mexico

By Jan Hogewoning | Wed, 09/09/2020 - 12:16

It is hard to believe that more than 10 years have passed since the start of Wizlynx Mexico. Back in April 2009, I received a call from the wizlynx group headquarters in Switzerland, inviting me to open a subsidiary in Mexico City.  I was honored and surprised by such an amazing offer but knew it was challenge to start a company from scratch. I had no experience as a manager, as I had always worked as an IT engineer. This process was intimidating and I had to learn and play several new roles. Thinking back, however, I recognize the skills obtained through this process: negotiation, organization, adaptability, resilience, positivism and integrity, among many others.

To launch our virtual office, we first needed an international law firm for logistical and legal guidance, as well as accounting and financial advice. It was challenging to juggle different roles, from delegating my work as an IT engineer, looking for new clients and staying on top of the administrative tasks that come with opening a new company. One thing that did come easy for me, however, was engaging my contacts within my network as they were very aware of my IT capabilities. I leveraged this to open doors. I hired my first two staff members in 2013 and before I knew it, we had seven staff members. The need for physical offices brought us to the Mexico City World Trade Center (WTC) building in 2015. 

We organized and hosted workshops, bringing together all managing directors and sales teams from the company globally to strategize where the company was headed in the future.  We continued growing and the demand for our cyber security services drove more hiring. In 2018, we required not one but two WTC offices and in 2019, we celebrated our 10th anniversary, honoring our loyal customers and network contacts vital to our growth. At the same time, we launched a “capture the flag” ethical hacking competition called “PwnTillDawn.” This was the first event of its kind in the company and focused on local university students to attract young talent. It was so successful that the company requested a follow-up event to be held in Mexico City but this time for students and professional hackers.  

PwnTillDawn events helped accelerate the growth of the company (almost 50 percent over a few short months) and attracted unique talent. Locally, we hired five new employees that were not only in the competition but that were also among the best participants.  This continued growth in staff and sales meant we were once again running out of office space.  Instead of renting a third office at WTC, we decided to purchase office space, which would be a global company first. My skills and experience were challenged again with the search of the perfect office space, real estate negotiation and managing a renovation. As a result, we moved into “Cyber Chalet” at the beginning of 2020. 

After 11 years of learning and adventure with Wizlynx Mexico, I feel very lucky to be a part of this company. I can honestly say there has not been one day in 11 years that I have not learned or experienced something new. My advice for other managers would be to not be afraid to do new things and take risks. Trust yourself and your skills and embrace the ability to learn, even if it seems incredibly challenging.

Supported by our global team, we continue to exceed client expectations by successfully delivering only the highest quality services. I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to work for this company and am grateful to work with such a strong and dedicated group of colleagues. I look forward to our continued success as a team.

Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst