Elena Gómez del Pozuelo

Elena is an entrepreneur from Madrid who has lived in the province of Barcelona for more than twenty years.

With a tranquil look and a calm voice, she conveys serenity as she talks about how and why she created bebedeparis.com and womenalia.com, two business ideas of which she is the founder and current Chair of the Board of Directors.

From her studies in law and her Master’s degree in EU law, she positively highlights the fact that she has learned how to get to the bottom of things. Her professional career beginnings in the early 1990s as a manager at the Spanish Mail Order Association, which would later become a pioneer of e-commerce.

She chaired the Spanish Association of the Digital Economy, adigital, for ten years and launched several highly successful projects and start-ups, which made her an important and pioneering digital entrepreneur in our country.

Elena created, together with her sister María, the first network of professional women in Spain. Womenalia.com is not only a business idea, it is a technological tool that adapts to the professional needs of every woman.

Today we discover a little more about it through an interview with CATERINA corporate house.

 

Ideas that work in the hands of entrepreneurial women

 

The idea of Womenalia.com, is it a business that also emerged as a solution to solve the problems of female entrepreneurs?

Well, not only for businesswomen but for any woman with a professional career. Some time ago I realised that women, in general, did not have a fixed course for their professional future. Life sometimes drives us to follow unknown paths like a cork in the ocean. We often get too carried away by our private lives that we don’t stop to think about where we want to go professionally. And both of them are compatible.

Indeed, it is possible to combine home management and childcare with a profession. Caterina Llull Sabastida achieved this in the 15th century.

 

Your start-ups are designed to make life easier for professionals, do you think this is the secret to success?

What is essential is for the women who have a goal, an objective, to see the steps that can be taken. To have a space where we can help each other to achieve our goals: to run a business, create a space or do whatever we each choose to do for our future.

That was our idea, to ease the way.

 

Your business is online, but I expect you still have to travel, right?

The short business trips I did make have been reduced to practically zero. I’m talking about two or three-day trips. This will certainly hurt the hotel industry. The convenience of being able to hold meetings immediately, online, for example, is too good. Before I’d have to go to Madrid several times a week, this is now no longer necessary.

Another very different story are the trips that lasted for a month or more in another city, where you have to integrate yourself to some extent in the life of that city, to live with the people there, etc. For this kind of trips, I think the type of accommodation offered by Caterina.house is a marvellous idea. Apartments suitable for professionals, for business trips of at least a month’s stay.

 

What features do you value most in your accommodation during business trips?

When you have to travel and live in a city for such a long time, even base your work there, staying somewhere that makes you feel like home is a great advantage. You don’t have that in a hotel.
Even if you have to stay in that city for at least a month, you have to be able to feel free to meet with someone in what will be your home.
It’s a great idea. To make it feel like home and provide everything a person would need during their stay.

 

Gaining people’s trust so that they buy from you is a big challenge in the online world. How do you achieve this in your business?

The companies that started with e-commerce were the ones that sold by catalogue, it was a spin-off, per se. After all, they were selling something that could not be touched. You have to give a lot of importance to after-sales service, do a good follow-up and make sure that those customers are satisfied with your services.

The client’s opinion is very important. In the case of CATERINA corporate house, for example, when a client leaves an apartment, they will surely recommend it to other professionals in the same sector or others with the same needs.

Think that when you travel, you often don’t know usually know anything about the hotel you’ve booked. This is why good photos, recommendations and, I insist, good after-sales service are essential.

 

How important is teamwork in your business projects and for women to be a part of them?

I have built many teams during my life and I feel very comfortable working with women. When I set up secretariaplus.com, 80% of the team were women. In any case, regardless of gender, the skills of each person are what counts. Teamwork is fundamental.

When it comes to team building, I choose candidates based on their passion, their desire to contribute something to the company but also, of course, on their knowledge and experience.

 

Has teleworking motivated women to start a career?

I believe that teleworking during the pandemic has been detrimental to women. I read a study by Malasmadres and it was women who took care of the children during this period.

When a woman goes to her work, she is 100% dedicated, I have been able to verify this with my team; but when a woman works from home she can perhaps dedicate one hour exclusively to work, for every three hours that her husband dedicates to it. The chores related to the house and the children fall on the woman. The division is not equal.

On the positive side, however, men have been able to see that housework is implicit in women’s teleworking. It is not a question of separate boxes, family and professional life are in the same box.

 

At bebedeParis.com, there is an added value, for example, their elegant deliveries. What value do you place on attention to detail with the customer in a company?

Our company doesn’t sell a product, that’s what marketplaces are for, we have to stand out for the quality of our service.

The quality of service is what should distinguish SMEs. We have to care for the details, like an artisan. The same should also happen with the apartments, to find the most suitable for the client and give a lot of service and attention.

 

Caterina House takes care of all the details. They also offer personalised customer service. In your opinion, what other factors should be taken into account, any suggestions?

This attention to details is very necessary nowadays, more than ever, I see it all the time with our website.

We have a video chat option where we attend to the possible client. It’s a very personalised and loving service, even though it’s chat, which helps the person to answer all their doubts. If that person comes to you, if they are there, it is because they want to buy from you.

I’m talking about both the existing customer and the one who wants to find out about the service being offered, the potential customer. The “hey, what do you need?” You know, I mean showing that they are looking out for you. That’s very important.

These details distinguish us from the big companies where you are attended by a machine or a recording. That kind of attention, so human and so personal, is not offered by a multinational company.

Interview by Rocío Corriàs – Writer / Storyteller

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