#BOFaces – Meet Gustavo
Have you ever wondered who the people behind BlueOrchard are? As part of our #BOFaces series, we are happy to introduce Gustavo Jesus Muchotrigo Lugo,Head of Analytics/ Latin America at our Lima office. We have interviewed Gustavo to better understand what drives him and why he enjoys working in the impact investing industry.
Gustavo, what do you like most about working at BlueOrchard?
I would have to say the diversity of thinking within the company. Through my (not few) years at BO, I have had the chance to meet many people with different professional and personal backgrounds, with different goals and different styles to do things. From their examples, I have built my own criteria about how to better address challenges that may appear and to look at them from different angles. And with every new colleague who joins the company I continue learning.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The one advice that comes to mind the most, was given to me here at BO, we were at a snow-walking activity in Geneva, and I had to jump from a certain height and I said (apparently out loud) “what if I fall?” and someone said “you remind of my kids asking the same thing, and I always tell them this: ‘if you fall, you get up, and that’s it’. This stuck with me until now, whether I fall or make a mistake, I know I can always get up and move on.
What do you like most about working in the impact investing industry?
What I like the most is having the opportunity to serve a greater purpose that far exceeds the goals of a single company.
What is the most memorable experience you have made during your time at BO?
I was visiting a microfinance bank in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The area is rated a very dangerous urban slum where most commercial banks avoid doing business. I visited an end-borrower of the bank who was a recipient of a special loan product directed to micro entrepreneurs. The borrower was a mother of four, and her eldest son (34-years-old then) was born with mental disability, so he was absolutely dependent on his mother. Her worst fear was that someday she will not be there for her son, and she hoped that her other children will take care of their brother when that happens but she was absolutely certain that they would not be able to do it if they did not have the means to take care of themselves first. That’s why she took out a first loan and started a small business of making dresses for babies, she bought a second sewing machine for one of her daughters to help with the business; with this income she sent her other daughter to nursing school and helped her other son buy a taxicab. I was really impressed and touched by her story, especially because of her determination in facing the challenges life put in her way. She did not need any ‘aid’, she only needed an opportunity and I felt that with my work at BO I was playing at least a small part in enabling that opportunity for her.
What is the most valuable advice you can give to people interested in impact investing?
Do not stress yourself trying to make an impact ‘on the world’, the world is and will be too big for you anyway; it’s better if you try making small changes around you and teach others by your example.