eMBA Field Report: Diego, the “Rock” Star

As part of Endeavor’s annual eMBA program, MBA students from around the country are selected to work on-site with our entrepreneurs for 10 weeks. Babson College Olin Graduate School of Business student Vedanth Yelemane worked with Rock Content, a marketing strategy company in Brazil. Here, he reflects on lessons learned.

(R-L) Endeavor Entrepreneur Diego Túlio Tomaz Gomes, eMBA Fellow Vedanth Yelemane, and Rock Content VP of Sales Matt Doyon visit Diego’s hometown in Brazil. | Photo by Diego

Some people might complain about 70-hour work weeks, but for me at Rock Content, it was very exciting. I had the opportunity to meet great people from both the company and Endeavor Brazil, but among these interactions, one stood out: Diego Tulio Tomaz Gomes, Co-founder of Rock Content.  

My interactions with Diego, an Endeavor Entrepreneur, began in May 2018 when he excitedly told me about his company Rock Content and his current strategic problems. Even though I was not able to completely understand what Rock did at that moment, there was something different about Diego that moved me to accept the offer.

In any traditional job or internship, an individual is assigned to a team, the team is addressed with a problem statement, given a data sets to work on or asked to talk to few people, and then come out with a defined deliverable to solve the problem. But this experience was a little different for me. The project that I was assigned to me was in its final stages of completion, and this was even before I landed in Brazil!

I was trying to figure out what I would do for the next eight weeks, in a foreign country, in a company that I knew close to nothing about, working on a project that reached completion even before I started. Thankfully, in one of our initial conversations, Diego assured me that I would be helping him better his financial model and try to find and rectify any gaps in his plan to expand and grow the company.

What followed was the meetings with heads of different departments, during which I began to understand what the goals and KPIs of individual departments were, and how Rock did business with each of its clients. The experience was incredible. I was able to learn all facets of doing business.

As I was piecing together the new information, I discovered that the company’s model needed to be corrected. For example, Rock’s pricing structure was based on costs rather than value generated, and the customer success and operations strategies were structured to handle more clients rather than engaging more with each client. The last few days of my fellowship ended up in discussions on how we can better strategize to improve Rock’s offers to suit all the stakeholders involved.

One thing that stuck out from all these discussions was Diego’s willingness to consider all changes that I proposed and revisit the basics. Our hard work paid off with a co-authored blueprint on how Rock should change its business strategy, especially for its enterprise clients. The changes included crafting a new business model, pricing strategy, operations plan, organization structure, and KPIs for individual teams.

Over all I had a great experience in Brazil not just with respect to work, but it was heartwarming to know that I had made lifelong friendships during my short stay. I thank Vinicius and his team from Endeavor Brazil, and Freitas, Matt, Ed, Fafa, Tomaz, Leo, MC, Daphne, Clarissa, Fernanda, Daniel, Gustavo, Chuck, Silvio and so many others from Rock who made my stay memorable in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.