Riga, Latvia – Yesika Aguilera, Tespack Co-founder & CMO gave interview to Ieva Riekstina, Consultant at Pedersen & Partners in Latvia at the Digital Freedom Festival.
Yesika was recognised by Forbes 30 Under 30 twice, named a “Tech & Energy” industry disruptor, and one of the Top 200 Leaders of Tomorrow Globally. Participated in the St. Gallen Symposium, debating with prime ministers, top entrepreneurs and higher education (HE) leaders on how to achieve global growth with entrepreneurship and HE. Was also named one of the Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs Under 30 in Spain and appointed Mentor for the Queen’s Young Leaders to support leading social entrepreneurs and NGOs across 53 commonwealth countries. Advises on tech, personal development, entrepreneurship and PR in the programme lead by Her Majesty, the Queen of England.
I believe in doing something you are passionate about and this is what we do at Tespack, creating the #FutureOfEnergy. Everyone seeks happiness, but there is a misconception on achieving this through money or fitting society’s expectations, like getting awards, receiving titles or pursuing something that is considered to be success in the eyes of others, but the truth of happiness is reaching your full potential and doing what you truly love, without trying to fit into society’s expectations (otherwise I wouldn’t be in the tech industry according to stereotypes).
Ieva: How did you end up working in the field of technology, when your background is in education and marketing?
Yesika: I obtained my degree at the age of 22 but have been working in the education industry since I was 16 mentoring and training people — a hundred ambassadors of the University were under my charge. Additionally, I used to work on HR and Marketing until the other founders of Tespack contacted me and offered to move to Finland to focus on the marketing side of the company and that’s when my tech journey began.
Ieva: Whose idea was it?
Yesika: Our CEO Mario Aguilera was in the special forces and used to commute from the base camp to rural areas to train, and carry heavy car batteries to stay charged while on the trainings. This was time-consuming and not sustainable because one or two days had to be wasted just for travelling to recharge the batteries. Mario’s background is in solar energy, so he knew there was a need in the consumer sector and wanted to provide reliable, durable and yet stylish mobile energy products that helped people work anywhere in the world.
Once the project had initiated, after 8 months I was offered by the other founders to move to Finland and to be in charge of the marketing side, but sacrifices had to be made as we all had to bootstrap and live from our savings. In my case, I left my job where I was already an expert, had appeared in newspapers at a very young age to go onto something that was new to me. However, staying where I was wasn’t scary anymore and when something is not scary, it is because you have reached the comfort zone and that should be scarier in itself. I also got encouragement from my Mom who has always been a strong role model for me. She was the first telecommunications engineer woman in Bolivia, lead a hundred men, and this was 30 years ago! She told me that life is about discovering yourself and experiencing life outside our comfort zone, and that my potential was a lot higher but it was up to me to reach it.
Ieva: So, you moved to Helsinki?
Yesika: Yes. I decided to move because it was time for me to pursue something new and see how much I was capable of. The first 6 months in Finland were really tough, as I had to learn a lot about solar energy and tech. Because if you want your brand to be the best in the market then you need to know your tech inside out. At that time, what I thought was my biggest weakness turned to be my strength — the lack of knowledge about solar energy made me the master to educate the market in the simplest way. But I fell in love with tech so much that I am a solar tech expert now. I have also been learning about coding in my spare time (just because a new world was shown to me with endless possibilities).
Ieva: Currently, everyone is talking about learning technology. What is your take on this?
Yesika: Technology is an intrinsic part of our lives now and will be even more so in the future, however it does not mean that you need to learn how to create technology in order to benefit from applying it. If you only have engineers and no sales or marketing people, then how would you sell this technology or build a brand? Like I said, I’m a true believer in following your passion because you’ll always be the second best if you don’t pursue what you love. Don’t get me wrong I’m still studying about the latest Energy trends, but I’m not going to go directly into designing circuit boards, because my forte is in training people, creating a brand, growth hacking and developing partnerships, so I invest my time in learning to excel what I’m best at and love doing the most.
Read full interview here.
is a Consultant at Pedersen & Partners, based in Riga, Latvia. Ms. Riekstina is an HR management and recruitment professional with over twenty years of experience in the Technology, Telecommunications, Banking, Insurance, Finance, Plant production, and FMCG sectors across the Baltics. She has placed C-suite, management, functional, and operational executives across these industries. During her extensive career in the MTM industry, she collaborated with several local and international IT companies where she worked as HR and Administrative Manager, Senior Consultant, and IT recruiter and was in charge of HR strategy, recruitment, policy development, process redesign, and talent transformation. Prior to joining Pedersen & Partners, she served as an IT Recruiter for the Latvian branch of Accenture, the biggest IT company in Latvia, where she supported the corporation’s expansion to over 10 countries through highly-specialised IT positions recruitment, training, and integration.
Ms. Riekstina has a unique but multifaceted educational background, combining Mathematics, Psychology, IT, and business. Her academic credentials include an MBA from Riga Business School and two Bachelor’s degrees: one in Educational Psychology and another in Information Economics from the University of Latvia. She speaks native Latvian, and fluent English and Russian.
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