José Urbano returned to business after several attempts. “Business is the Lord's whatever the situation, you have to rest in Him”.
The story of José Urbano Mariño Lago is full of faith and perseverance, values that were crucial for him to stay in the business world for over 40 years.
Coming from a Christian family in the Spanish city of Ribeira (La Coruña), he decided to follow Jesus as his Lord and Saviour at the age of eight. “I made the decision in Sunday School and from there, it was an ongoing process of growth”.
Although he had no formal education in business, José decided to take on management roles at a very young age.
“After completing my military service, at the age of 21 I started to work for a real estate agency and after six months I became independent”, he says.
At the same time, Urbano kept serving in his local church (ICE Renovación), first as a youth leader, then in charge of marriage counselling, and later as a member of the council of elders.
He is now 69 years old, married, and has two children.
The ups and downs in the business world were unavoidable for Urbano.
“I had some good phases, but several factors forced me to give up the real estate sector. I later tried the shoe business, but that didn't work out either”.
With a little more expertise, the entrepreneur continued to insist, until he found a new need in Ribeira: “to create a supermarket there, a project that “worked very well for over ten years”.
It seemed that the third time was the charm, but it was not like that. The businessman points out that the big retail chains started to arrive in the city, and he was not able to compete with them, which led to the sale of the supermarket.
According to Urbano, each closure can be caused by several factors, such as bad management, a crisis in a certain sector, irresponsibility of third parties...
“All of this makes you tremble, and the worst thing is to feel lonely, not wanting to pass those worries on to your family. The storms pass, but they can leave emotional, economic and even physical damage, which is why it is necessary to always turn to the Lord. I appealed to the fruits of the Spirit, mainly seeking peace”, he explains.
At a certain point along the way, Urbano thought it would be better to work for others.“I just got tired of making ends meet and worrying about making the payroll, this time I preferred to be the one waiting for the paycheck”.
For two years, he worked for an energy company, but a few months after starting, he kept thinking about entrepreneurial opportunities. “Working for others has its advantages, but I definitely preferred the business world".
“One day, my nephew and I reflected on why there are people who travel up to 100 km away to come and work in Ribeira providing personnel services, especially in the port area, and he wondered- how come there are no providers of that service here”.
[photo_footer]The service provided by the company has grown over the last ten years.[/photo_footer]
What started with the detection of a need, ended up in a new business model. Urbano created LGM Arousa, a company that provides personnel services to other companies, an idea that started eleven years ago with five employees, and now has more than thirty.
We offer services of loading and unloading goods coming from ships and handling them, including their storage and transport. We also offer services outside the port, especially in refrigerators”, says José.
At 69, Urbano is getting ready for his daughter to take over the reins of the company. She and the manager are also committed Christian.
After all his professional experiences, José believes that “you have to persevere, yes, but you have to understand when to insist and when to stop. Over time, the entrepreneur develops a cool mind that allows you to make discerning and difficult decisions”.
“For example, if a business does not work, it is better to get rid of it because, in the end, it is better to bring a ship to port and moor it, than to sink with it. Businesses are not to bring you to ruin, nor to take away your identity in Christ”, he added.
For Urbano, “business is the Lord's and whatever the situation, you have to rest in Him”.
“Our business is not only to make money, it is also there to help people and to say that we are believers, that there is something special in us. So we must work hard, be within the law, pay taxes and always give the right thing to each worker”, he concludes.
This article was produced for the Líderes Empresariales section of Protestante Digital, an initiative of the Gospel, Economy and Business (Tres-E) group in Spain.