Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniel Madariaga witnessed the transformation of the city around him over the course of his life. Watching the city itself grow and change inspired him to become the green energy entrepreneur he is today. Daniel Madariaga has made it his personal mission to help transform Mexico City and other metropolitan areas around the world into sustainable smart cities by delivering ecological solutions around construction and mobility.
Daniel focuses his own energy on the fight for the reduction of air pollution and traffic congestion through implementing efficient environmental public policies. He’s a major leader in the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) movement, focusing deliberately on making transit more accessible and sustainable.
The Mobility as a Service (MaaS) movement focuses on four core areas, they are technology, mobility, sustainability, and the citizens.
Technology – improve efficiency, renewable energy must use technology. Technology will be highly relevant in the field of energy.
Mobility – Intelligent parking system that will solve the traffic, congestion and mobility problems of the Mexican urban population.
Sustainability – meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
Citizens – Daniel Madariaga and other environmental specialists promote the use of ecological structures and technology to minimize environmental impact and improve the lives of citizens.
Daniel’s days are strictly scheduled. He wakes up every day—including weekends—at five o’clock in the morning. For his first two hours, he invests his time in exercise, meditation, and personal reflection, giving him space to creatively think and come up with new ideas. By seven, he heads out the door, ready to tackle the rest of the day.
How did you get started in this business?
I have always felt connected to Mexico City and the ways that it ebbs and flows with the rise of technology in the city. Then, I attended EGADE, which is where I realized my passion for business and environmentalism. Business school really empowered me to pursue those passions, so I found a way to combine all of that into a single mission. I’ve dedicated my career to that mission: developing smart and sustainable solutions around mobility in metropolitan areas.
How do you make money?
I spend a lot of my day working with companies and individuals on consulting on green building, and how to create smarter cities. One of the areas we have seen the greatest success in is the implementation of automated parking garages. These will help reduce carbon emissions, but also be able to create a smarter city grid with less traffic and congestion.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
The biggest lesson I learned was the importance of surrounding yourself with smart, dedicated, and trustworthy people—which, of course, I learned through trial and error. In business school, for example, I partnered up with other entrepreneurs who did not share the same values as me. So, even when we were successful, going forward was always an issue. We could never agree on how to keep moving forward as a team—because we weren’t a team. Finding other people who share your values yet bring different viewpoints to the table has always been the key to our greatest achievements.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
My strategy largely stems from the idea that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Here’s the thing: anything old can be new. Anything can be used again. Finding new and sustainable business just requires a mindset shift: wasted materials are in demand, and with them we can change the world.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Finding the right team to trust and build around. There will be a lot of people you will meet on your path to success, but creating the correct team can make or break a project.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My ability to see ahead of the curve. The green energy movement is well underway, and will redefine our daily lives. The future is going to need bold entrepreneurs who are willing to take the risks to build a better, more sustainable lifestyle.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I think every time my team and I finish a project, we can all look back at it and realize that we have just done something that is saving the planet. Our work is extremely important, and regardless of the size of the job, each one is as important as the last.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I’m excited about the future of cars. Self-driving, self-parking, and fully autonomous, electric cars. Once these technologies become the norm for mobility, there’s going to be fewer collisions, reduced labor costs, and so many other advantages. Higher speed limits, smoother rides, less traffic, and the elimination of human error.
What business books have inspired you?
I’m a firm believer that it’s important to stay up-to-date and relevant in whatever field you work in. So, I’m constantly reading business journals and books about sustainability programs around the world.
Specifically, Hop, Skip, Go by John Rossant and Stephen Baker inspired me. They did a great job exploring MaaS on a global scale, breaking down how accessible mobility changes various aspects of cities and life. Also, Design Thinking for the Greater Good by Jeanne Liedtka had great commentary about transportation in general and creative solutions for other leaders of the MaaS movement.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Always ask more questions; the more questions asked, the better. You can learn from everyone around you, and that should not be taken for granted. It’s easy to think you know everything when you’re young, but don’t get complacent. Stay curious. Use that young-blooded curiosity to keep learning and growing.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
The best way to in touch with me is through the contact page on my website: http://www.danielmadariagabarrilado.mx