Interview with Miguel San Martin, founder of Iyassu.
Who is the man behind a project, reshaping the beauty and wellness industry from Hungary?
Lived in a lot of countries in four continents, came to Budapest because of his vision, works on reshaping the beauty and wellness industry. What is his motivation? We asked Miguel San Martin, the founder of the IYASSU.
Miguel San Martin used to worked in the hospitality industry, and travelled the world. He found that people have same complaints everywhere: never know where to go to have resort to wellness or beauty services, difficult to find for example a good hairdresser or a cosmetician, where we can get what we are willing to. That was the reason why he decided to change it and founded his company, the IYASSU.
IYASSU fulfills the needs of the expats and tourists covering everything from haircuts to massages, to spa getaways and much more. It is a website, where you can find services, booking them 0-24, or pay in advance online. With IYASSU there’s no problem if you decide going to a hairdresser this day, just search for one salon and let’s go and enjoy.
Who is this man, behind this reformer company, and why is he living in Budapest?
- Where are you from?
I was born in Chile.
- When did you arrive to Hungary and what brought you here?
- Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Yes. I’ve been living in Miami for 10 years, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore, Brazil, Panama, Mexico. I think that’s all. I love travelling, seeing, living in new countries and because of my work I should travel a lot.
- Have you arrived originally to be an expatreneur or this was not your No. 1 priority?
No, my No. 1 was working for a company.
- What was the most difficult to solve when you started your company in Hungary?
Unambiguously the language. Hungarian is a very hard language, I didn’t understand. And the government. For example, everywhere in the USA there is also in every supermarket a customer service, here is not.
- How did you find a solution?
Just tried to find somebody who speaks the language. That’s all, that’s the best what I could do, because I don’t speak Hungarian.
- What are today’s challenges?
Based to related to the company is good trust in an innovative solution. They trust, we can solve. Yes, we can give you more customers. Yes, we can give you a more possibility for new personal customers; you’re going to have a professional photographer to take in, you are going to have 0-24 hours booking service done. So, I think there is a lot of to do with trust. First of all trust, and that will happen over the time. Because thing like this never have been done in Hungary.
- What surprised you the most about Hungary?
Aside from business the most surprising is that everybody is friendly. That is unique here, anywhere else this is not typical. Not related to the business everybody rushes. For example, in the supermarket, I have no time at the cassa to put my things, the cashier called the next one.
- What is your favorite Hungarian food?
- What about Hungarian wines? Do you have a favorite?
Tokaji. Everybody said this is the best.
- What is your favorite Hungarian word?
I have one, but I’ve forgot that. (Later it came to his mind: “Jó!” – that means: good!)
- What do you miss most from home?
Unfortunately, nothing. I go there to my parents, but that’s all.
- What’s your favorite thing about being an expat in Hungary?
There is a lot of freedom here. I travelled the world, but there’s no place with this much freedom, like here is in general, despite of what Hungarians say. I mean, one of the things that I love, I walk with my dog on the riverside sometimes, on the Deák Ferenc tér like everybody looks drinking wine, seems not having problem, you have couples, friends taking pictures. And that freedom is so hard to find. Yes, Hungarians usually oversee that. They don’t really appreciate it. But it’s such a great advantage. The quality of life is better here.
- What would you do different now than in the beginning regarding your business or career?
I should have start this earlier. I was balancing vacation with work, and I was afraid to quit my job.
- What are your hobbies?
Travelling. Meeting people, talking people.
- Buda or Pest?
That’s tricky. I mean Pest, because it has life.
- What is your personal credo, motto or quote?
Everything depends on balance in life.
- Do you have or plan to start any CSR activities?
With a hairdresser school we are going to do some activities. One of this is hairdressing homeless people. We plan it, how to do it properly.
- If you could go back in time to start your business in Hungary from the beginning, do you see the sense to work with a business management agency like Business Management Hungary?
Yes, for me the solution for my problem was that I’ve found somebody who speaks the language. In this thing you can help to find the right people.
Business Management Hungary