Brazilian entrepreneur and civil engineer Haroldo Jacobovicz is passionate about the transformative power of information technology. He founded Horizons Telecom in 2010 after years of working with information-solutions.
Horizon Telecom is now one of Brazil’s most respected telecommunications suppliers utilizing a 100% fiber network, advanced equipment and multi-point redundancy for stability. In 2020, the Horizons Datacenter launched to bring enhanced connectivity and cloud capabilities to businesses and organizations.
According to Jacobovicz, his career path followed a windy path rather than a straight road. As a serial entrepreneur, Haroldo Jacobovicz also founded e-Governe Group, Horizons Telecom and Horizons Datacenter. Each of these companies served an important function providing solutions to information technology problems, bringing together talent and strategic resources.
While working in an analytical data-driven industry, Jacobovicz also sees himself as a naturally intuitive person and credits that to his success as an innovator.
“There are things that catch my attention without much rational explanation. I just see potential,” he told an interviewer at Inspirey. “When that happens, I look for people who are in the business to help me understand better, contribute ideas and get involved.”
His intuition led him to pursue an unorthodox decision to invest in the first Hard Rock Café in Brazil in 2013. After the original investor group pulled out, Jacobovicz took a larger hands-on role than planned and worked to hire a team and get the business established before selling it in 2018.
While most of his ventures focus on providing information technology solutions to businesses, Jacobovicz enjoys developing innovative solutions to a range of challenges. He said he gets the most satisfaction out of seeing how his business solutions improve the daily lives of people.
How Early Experiences Molded Haroldo Jacobovicz for Success
Haroldo Jacobovicz was born in Brazil and his parents were both civil engineers. He said watching them create lasting physical structures inspired him from an early age. His mother, Sarita, was a trailblazer as the only female civil engineer in the state at that time. She did this while raising Jacobovicz and his brothers.
Following in his parent’s footsteps, Jacobovicz pursued a degree in civil engineering at the Federal University of Paraná. Jacobovicz quickly realized that he can create something of lasting value beyond buildings and bridges. His parents inspired him to take their creativity, problem-solving skills and work ethic and apply it to his own business ventures.
As an avid reader and researcher, he developed an interest in information technology and its role in the future. Along with three friends, he founded his first company, Microsystem, while still in college in the early 1980s.
They saw an opportunity to help small businesses automate their inventory and cash management. As a company, Microsystem lasted only a year, but the experience taught Jacobovicz some valuable lessons including the importance of pitching the right customer audience for the solution.
“What I learned from Microsystem wasn’t that what I was offering didn’t have value, it was that I would have to find the right audience who was ready to appreciate it,” he recalled.
Larger companies already saw the value of automation. Esso (now Exxon Mobil) hired Jacobovicz to join their engineering team.
“We learned that small businesses weren’t ready, but large enterprises were,” explained Jacobovicz. “That was how I ended up at ExxonMobil initially.”
He quickly worked his way up to become a market analyst and later the head of commercial tactics and new business at the company’s Brazilian headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. After one and a half years, he decided to move closer to his family and accepted a proposal to come back to his hometown, Curitiba, to be part of Itaipu Binational, a company held by Brazilian and Argentine Government. After almost four years there, he realized that big companies – both private and government – were now seeking for information technology solutions.
However, at his heart, Haroldo Jacobovicz is an entrepreneur. He built on all of his experience to found more companies including Horizon Telecom. He said the transformative power of technology continues to fascinate him.
Success Built From Daily Habits
Looking back at his accomplishments so far, Haroldo Jacobovicz said if he could give his younger self advice he would tell himself to study more. At the time he felt pressure to earn money quickly due to coming from a large family as the eldest of four brothers.
He wished he’d better balanced earning with education. He said he would encourage himself to spend more time studying languages, to gain the cultural experience studying abroad and may have even invested in earning an MBA.
He found other ways to commit to lifelong learning as an avid reader and researcher. He also found that disciplining himself to commit to self-improvement helps him stay sharp. For example, he gets up early every morning so he has time to work out. This practice sets him up for daily success.
The advice he gives to students and new entrepreneurs mirrors the advice he would give his younger self. In addition, he noted that success comes from a combination of talent, hard work, and luck. Dedicating yourself to developing talent and working diligently toward goals are the fundamentals of success.