IESE Global Leadership Series: Carlota Pi, Holaluz

From bar conversation between three friends to recent IPOHolaluz has grown tremendously in its first decade of existence. Carlota Pi met her co-founders, Oriol Vila and Ferran Nogué, during their IESE Executive MBA, which Carlota describes as a transformative period in her development as a business leader. The classmates had firstdiscussed their goal of “connecting people to green energy.” Holaluz went public in November with a market cap of EUR 160 million. We were fortunate to hear Carlota speak at IESE last Friday to current MBAs during the Global Leadership Series.

Holaluz’ goal is to achieve a planet run by 100% green energy, therefore selling electricity produced entirely by renewable sources such as solar and wind. They’ve worked towards this goal by focusing on generating trust with all stakeholders. Carlota discussed the five pillars of Holaluz’ company culture which have contributed to their success:
1) Es posible – the mentality to think ‘how yes?’ instead of ‘why not?’
2) Keep rowing – always moving forward together as a team
3) Always people first – team members, shareholders, and clients
4) Say things as they are – direct and transparent
5) Have fun – would not get far without this!
They have also visualized long-term goals to keep them moving forward. While they currently have 200,000+ customers and 400 joining daily, they plan to have 1 million customers, with 50K solar installations and 600MW of capacity by 2023. To fund this growth, the founders were at a crossroads. They needed funds but were already over EUR 150 million revenues and too big for further VC funding. Thus, in February 2019, they decided on an IPO.
At IESE they had learned that a “profitable company is a tool to make the world a bit better.” They’ve kept this at the core of their existence. During initial book building, Carlota would start all presentations by first speaking about the foundation and values of Holaluz, which certainly goes against the grain in banking discussions. Her investment bankers would nudge her to start with the financials. She held firm and was proud to see that later, during the road show, the investment bankers were pitching investors in the same manner, with company values preceding the financials. Now that Holaluz hasfunding, the team is in complete execution mode to continue hacia arriba y adelante.

If you want to learn about the energy landscape in Barcelona, why not attending our Global Energy Day ? Alternatively, our students still can attend any Global Leadership Series !