I AM CEDIA: Roberto Galvez, Chief Executive Officer, Asimov Zero
| May 04, 2022
1. When did you first become interested in technology?
My passion for technology started when I was a child. My father was a “techie guy” who built a career out of selling computers for IBM. He also made it a priority to have the latest gadgets in our home. I remember being the only person in my class with a color printer and the pride I felt each time I handed in my homework. I am grateful to my dad both for sharing his passion for technology with me and for demonstrating a hard work ethic.
2. What does your educational and work background look like? Did you always know you wanted to pursue this type of field?
When I entered college, I was undecided between two career fields: architecture and engineering. A few well-meaning family and friends of mine swayed me towards engineering as architecture is not exactly a lucrative career field in Mexico. Ultimately, I was grateful for their advice because it led to my discovery of the smart home industry.
My focus shifted about mid-way through college when my family encountered some economic hardship. To supplement my income, I decided to start a vending machine business, which I continued to operate after graduating.
In my spare time, I investigated ways to break into the home technology industry, and even performed some odd jobs in the field. Eventually my hobby grew to a sustainable business, and I was able to dedicate my full attention to my true passion.
3. How did Asimov Zero get started?
When Asimov Zero first started in 2012, lighting control was the only service we offered. As consumer interest and our expertise grew, we added networking, audio/video, and several other verticals.
The early days of Asimov Zero were full of hours spent learning about new products and solutions and building our network of partner brands. We made our fair share of mistakes in the beginning, but we always felt that being a company of integrity would take us far – and it has.
4. How did you expand into different markets?
There have been several instances where a client will hire us to work on their home and are so happy with the results that they decide to re-hire us to work on their business. We recently took on a residential client who also happened to own a large corporation in Mexico. He wanted indoor cameras installed throughout his 20-acre factory – a request far different that those we typically receive for residential clients, but one still within our wheelhouse.
I have learned that no matter the scope of the project, the goal remains the same: to offer a tailored solution that meets the needs of the client.
5. How do you feel the home technology market differs in Mexico than other parts of the world?
There tends to be a lack of planning in Mexico with integrators being brought into the conversation far too late. Working on a project that is nearing competition limits our options for a proper integration and oftentimes ends up costing more money.
Mexico also does not require electricians to hold any certifications, so many of them are not trained properly which affects our processes. To make matters worse, Mexican homes tend to be built with concrete and brick instead of drywall like other countries, so seemingly simple mistakes, like a misplaced electrical outlet, are not as easy to fix.
Because of this, we decide to hire electricians to work on the Asimov Zero staff. Some of them were initially hesitant to come on board because they were not familiar with advanced lighting controls. We assured them that, as long as they could take care of the electrical work, we would handle the “smart” aspects of the project.
6. What compelled you to join CEDIA?
I have always seen such great value in education, and CEDIA has helped us tremendously in that regard. I have even created individual education plans for each of our technicians. With a skilled workforce, we are able to bring higher quality service to our customers.
The CEDIA Awards have also been a benefit our team takes very seriously. Each year, our project managers dedicate a large chunk of their time ensuring our entries are thoroughly constructed and likely to stand out.
We have already started the submission process for the 2022 CEDIA Awards, and our entire team is super excited. Without giving too much away, I think the judges will be particularly impressed with our creative problem solving for a client who requested invisible speakers in a solid-built wall. Let’s just say we had to create an American wall inside a Mexican home in order to make it work.
7. What advice would you give to young technicians or those looking to enter this field?
Educate yourself, your technicians – even your customers! And stand behind the education you have so heavily invested in, even if it means listing higher prices than your competitors. This industry is not about selling products; it is about selling solutions. Anyone can buy equipment, but the difference that we provide is how we make it all work.