Would a wall eliminate collaboration? Absolutely not. Technology is lowering all barriers and Swapwink has experienced that firsthand in the last month with Craig Jarrell making his presence known in the Yucatan. Craig is no native to Mexico. He moved to Merida, MX from Nashville, TN a little over a month. The motivation of this move was to be with his girlfriend, Scarlett, who is a native of Mexico. Craig has been involved in sales and business the last three years, since graduating from Savannah State University in Savannah, GA. Not new to business, but new to business in Mexico, Craig wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to contribute to the Mexican economy or his bank account. Craig says, “I have several vehicles to still do business in the United States, but I wanted to get involved with some people in business in Mexico. I wanted to find people I could learn from. That is exactly what I found at Swapwink.”
Swapwink is a smartphone application that believes everyone wins with their platform. The founder, Alan Irazoqui, says, “What we’ve done is developed a model that creates a win, win, win situation.” That model is a free communication channel between businesses and customers using coupons. The customers get the deal, the coupon. The business owner gets information and tools to track and grow their business. Swapwink brings the two together getting results for users and businesses. Win. Win. Win.
However, the challenge in Mexico is that digital coupons have not yet been adopted by the masses. Paper coupons are much more common with businesses south of the border. Juan Allison is the expansion leader for Mexico. He says, “It is very challenging for business owners to understand that this technology is where the future is going for Mexico. The result is multiple in person meetings with business owners to help them grasp the concept of what Swapwink has created for them. It is for this reason Alan has always had the vision of launching in the United States. Alan comments, “The U.S. is used to using digital coupons. We have to get to the United States if we want to grow exponentially.” That is where Craig Jarrell comes into play. He is leading the expansion into the United States starting with Nashville, TN. When asked why Nashville, Craig responded, “Nashville is a booming place right now. It is the place to be in the United States. There is so much energy there it is unreal. We want to be in the heart of that energy. Plus I’ve been around Nashville for most of my life. I know the area very well, and I am very fond of some of the local businesses there. We will build very quickly in Nashville, and that will allow us to gain momentum in other parts of the country.
One may ask, how did this all come together? None of this was preplanned before Craig moved to Mexico. Nothing was arranged, it all happened organically. A guy, who happens to be fearless in sales, moves to Mexico, and happens to meet a company who desires to have a presence in the United States. Coincidence? Not according to Craig or Alan. When asked about how the two partnered up, Craig said this, “I wasn’t surprised at all when I ran across the opportunity. When you know what your purpose is in life, things related to that purpose tend to find their way to you. You meet the right people, and you see opportunities that most people don’t see. I knew that if I was going to work in Mexico, I wanted to work with a team of entrepreneurs in a startup company where I could have an entrepreneurial role. I’ve been an entrepreneur since I finished college, that is what I enjoy. Fortunately, that is exactly what I found with Swapwink. I knew what I was looking for, and they did as well. So it’s no coincidence that we crossed paths.”
Swapwink will be launching in Nashville October 1st, and they are eager to get businesses results in the United States. “Our mission is to help businesses grow,” says Alan. For a business it is free to sign up, and it is even free to create and redeem the first several coupons. Why wouldn’t a business want to experiment with a new marketing channel? It’s like having a new toy to play with that can bring in new customers. What business doesn’t want that? Swapwink has intentions to have a major impact on the business community in Nashville. Only time will tell how well they can implement the current strategy. However, the team at Swapwink believes with consistency and persistence they will win, maybe not immediately, but definitely.
In conclusion, we should not let go of our desires simply because there are obstacles in the way. There will always be obstacles to overcome. Truly the only walls that affect us are the ones we build in our minds. We can all play our part in helping each other be open minded and unite countries around the world. We are playing our part at Swapwink by uniting the United States and Mexico. Even though currently small, we know that everything starts small. Even humans start out at the microscopic level. Nonetheless, as we continue to learn and grow, we know our efforts will have a large impact, larger than we could ever imagine.
Craig Jarrell- North American Expansion Leader