BUSINESS

From the tatami to the cloud

Two Spanish karatekas hold the reins at Numintec, a technology company looking to take Latin America by storm

Numintec’s general manager Jsoé María Torres.
Numintec’s general manager Jsoé María Torres.

Discipline and hard work. Those were the two values that José María Torres and his brother Francisco drew upon when they competed on the tatami across the globe. José María Torres, who was brought up in Súria in the province of Barcelona, started to take part in karate tournaments when he was 16 years old. He participated in five European and two world championships and represented Spain at the international level on many occasions. He also received a Royal Order of Sporting Merit gold medal distinction in Spanish.

Now the brothers are in charge of Numintec, a technology company that offers customized cloud telecommunications solutions in Spain and Portugal and is now looking at new markets to venture into.

Perhaps he didn’t make the same money they would have in other sports, but 14 years competing internationally allowed José María to “see the world” and acquire values that he now applies to management. Torres, who is the general manager of the company, explains that when he gave up competing, he started working as a sales director for a sportswear firm, while giving karate lessons to policemen and bodyguards

With the money he saved, he and his brother decided to go into business and set up Numintec. That was back in 2003 when the company focused on activities such as interactive voice response (IVR), which allows interaction with a company’s host system through a telephone keypad or speech recognition by responding to prerecorded messages. “We started it up with the idea of competing with telecommunication companies,” José María explains.

The company was originally called Numintel but the brothers decided to change the name to Numintec because the technology firm specializes in cloud computing for the management of companies’ communications without the need for them to install any special equipment.

“We’ve moved onto business intelligence,” José María says. “We replace companies’ servers and virtualize their communications. We offer everything that can be done with a telephone call.”

The system allows clients to obtain the “maximum amount of information” from each call in “real time” with a system that is sufficiently flexible so as to be used anywhere with any type of apparatus. “To obtain all the information we provide in the moment would take months with any other system,” José María explains.

Numintec has annual revenues of six million and employs 50 people directly and double that figure if indirect hiring is included. “We’re not worried about turnover. We’re going for big projects and looking into new functions for companies,” José María says. One of the strengths of the company is the cost-saving it affords, which can be as high as 80 percent in the case of transforming cellphone calls into fixed-line ones.

Numintec’s customers include social shopping site LetsBonus, Spanish cosmetic surgery group Dermoestética and the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona. It has offices in Spain and Portugal but most of its customers are overseas.

“We're planning to go international next year and to continue expanding in Spain and Portugal. We’re looking at Latin America, but such decisions need to be taken with calm,” José María explains, insisting that Numintec is only interesting in countries that “offer legal security.”

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