Every day is different when you’re walking around in the shoes of Corporativo Kosmos Director Elías Landsmanas. As a leading figure of one of Mexico’s largest companies, Elias Landsmanas finds himself in constant motion.
Elias Landsmanas is the son of Pablo Landsmanas, the founder of Corporativo Kosmos, and currently helps run the company with his son Jack. When not running Corporativo Kosmos, Elias Landsmanas directs the companies philanthropy named after their founder, The Pablo Landsmanas Foundation.
Where did the idea for Corporativo Kosmos come from?
Everything about Corporativo Kosmos starts with my father, Pablo Landsmanas. He immigrated to Mexico in 1959 from his home country of Lithuania. He wanted to help people and sought to do that through food service.
He founded the La Modelo Butcher Shop. That’s where it all started. Over the years, a single shop became what Corporativo Kosmos is today.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I learned early on the importance of productivity and channeling your passion into work. A typical day is me trying to do just that. Overseeing operations at Corporativo Kosmos doesn’t feel like work to me. It’s a calling. A family affair.
My father got things off the ground, and I just try and keep the ball rolling and growing. The latter is what has taken us to where we are now. My daily duties change more than the days of the week because I’m always adapting. Corporativo Kosmos is always adapting.
Plus, I also oversee the Pablo Landsmanas Foundation. My son, Jack, helped us establish this in 2016 in memory of my father. My day shifts between Corporativo Kosmos and the foundation.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Passion and perseverance. It sounds cliché, but that’s how you get things done. My father believed it, and I believe it. The ideas we discuss at Corporativo Kosmos travel through many different heads, but eventually, it falls upon the passion and perseverance of those involved in their development.
We’re fortunate to have the best team of people at all three companies within Corporativo Kosmos. They get the job done.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think emerging technologies are particularly exciting. We’re looking at ways to incorporate more technologically-inclined practices across our business model that, in the long run, will help Corporativo Kosmos continue to grow and reach more people.
Platformization seems to be a big part of the current business world, so I often find myself thinking about how migrating components of our company to digital platforms would look.
It’s an exciting time to be in business.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Adaptability has saved my “business life” more than once. As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to adapt to a variety of situations and exhibit calm when others may not be doing the same.
The shift toward platformization is a perfect example of practicing adaptability. The business world is constantly changing. You either learn to change with it or get left behind.
What advice would you give your younger self?
People first, all the time. I was raised by a man who wholeheartedly believed this. But I think as young people, we sometimes take for granted what our parents tell us. However, the older I grow and the more work I do with Corporativo Kosmos and the Pablo Landsmanas Foundation, the more I realize how right his philosophy was and is.
At Corporativo Kosmos, we want people to know that we care.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I can’t help but think about something I already mentioned – the idea that you must adapt to new ways of business.
I wouldn’t say no one agrees with me. But I still find myself speaking with other business professionals who think they’ll be okay coasting on a business model that’s gone stale.
The only way to stay up-to-date as a company is to learn what’s changing and adapt accordingly.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Value your employees. Any successful entrepreneur knows that his/her ventures often are a product of the “It takes a village” mentality. That’s very much so the case at Corporativo Kosmos. We owe so much of our success to the hard-working people that show up each day ready to grow together.
My leadership staff and I are always looking for ways to help them develop both personally and professionally. We value work culture because work culture produces positive results.
If you don’t worry about your employees’ well-being, then they’re not going to worry as much about the work they do. And who’s to blame them?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think something that’s helped Corporativo Kosmos is the fact that we’re always looking for opportunities to be involved. Our companies are known for food service, but we offer other services too.
We provide goods and amenities for people across the country, as well as our oil workers putting in long hours off the coastline.
Being multi-faceted and “diversifying our portfolio,” so to speak, has really helped the business grow.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I fail every day, and I’m not afraid to admit it. That’s part of being an entrepreneur and an even larger part of being a person. My biggest take away from a lifetime of success and failure, is to not let yourself get discouraged.
Discouragement is the real failure. Picking yourself up after you’ve fallen and asking, “How can I make sure I don’t fall down again?” is how successful entrepreneurs approach life.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Since I’ve already vocalized my support for technology integration, I’d say employee training programs are huge. This is something we’re focusing on at Corporativo Kosmos to better prepare for the future.
We want our training programs to provide value for employees. This means diverse opportunities for employees to grow personally and professionally.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I donate to our philanthropic wing constantly and love the work our team does to get the money to the populations in Mexico that need it most.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There’s so much available to us these days, but I’m still a fan of the many services that allow for face-to-face conversations even when you’re thousands of miles apart from the person or people you’re talking to.
It helps conversations remain personable no matter what.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The co-founder and former President of Pixar, Ed Catmull, has a terrific book called Creativity, Inc. It’s a fantastic deep-dive into creativity and how to channel that into your own workforce.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is the motto for our philanthropy, “Por ti, por ellos, por México” which means “For you, for them, for Mexico” in English. This is how we want to model our business, and how I model my daily life.
• Adaptability is crucial to an entrepreneur’s vitality. Being able to “change with the times” and function well within different situations proves to be what can separate a successful entrepreneur from the rest of the pack.
• Technology is here to stay, so businesses are at an advantage in incorporating it somehow. This doesn’t mean your entire platform has to become digitized overnight, but as more and more companies begin to rely on technology, it wouldn’t hurt to assess how it might help your business.
• Value your employees and they’ll create value for your company. Elías Landsmanas wants Corporativo Kosmos to be known for its positive work culture, and he believes in the people he leads each day.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.