The former SC student has developed an important activity in the business world, accumulating some failures but also many triumphs, among which, the Cuponatic.com business is certainly the most important of all. This on-line discount company has grown significantly in the last years, leaving Tomás on the summit of his career at only 33 years of age.
His tight agenda has him attending meeting after meeting, permanently connected to the mail and stuck to the telephone, from which he cannot keep apart for one second, as it is the means that has him informed about everything that is happening in the different companies he manages. “The thing is that when you are your own boss, you work twice as hard” - said Tomás - but also “you have much more fun.”
Tomás Bercovich has entrepreneurship in his veins. At his short age he has already faced four business challenges of his own, and succeeded only at the third attempt. His first failures were very fruitful, he said. They taught him to capitalize from his learning process and understand that failures are part of victories. “You learn to cope with bad times; you begin to lose fear and understand how everything operates. I think that frustrations will never end, they are part of the game and at the end everything depends on how you handle them,” he stated.
Tomás graduated from Santiago College in 2000. He is a Civil Engineer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica, took some courses in the University of Warwick in the UK and graduated from the ECLA program in Columbia University, USA. He is currently owner of Cuponatic.com, which offers discounts for different products and services and is present in eight important cities of Chile and three Latin-American countries: Mexico, Peru and Colombia. He is also board member at Forex Chile, a financial company providing different financial options, and Zhetapricing, providers and developers of integral management solutions leading to the maximization of profits. All these achievements made him qualify for the Joven Emprendedor 2008 award granted by Diario Financiero and Endeavor, and for the acknowledgement as Joven Exitoso 2011, granted by that same newspaper together with Audi.
According to Tomás, discipline, perseverance, the high level of demand at school and the excellent English language were the ingredients that made him succeed. But, above all, he assures that the main secret is to do what you love, because “when you do what you like, you have fun, you are motivated and you do things well, and by doing things well, it is most probable that you succeed, at the end it’s a virtuous circle”, he stated.
- Which were the values delivered by the school that have helped you more in your professional and personal life?
- I would say that mainly discipline. The school was quite strict in this regard, both about how you dressed and how you worked. This training helps a lot in the working world, because only few people comply with requirements, only a few commit to something and really fulfill it, and I think that SC gives students a very good training in this regard.
Another characteristic that I love of the school is diversity and tolerance. There are Catholics, Jews, Protestants and students who do not believe in anything, and they are all equal, they all share everything the same way. Perhaps, when you are at school you don’t value this much, but afterwards you realize that there are people who studied in more religious schools who are not so tolerant. I am Jew and at university when I said that I was Jew, many looked at me with a face as saying “you can’t be a Jew,” as if they had never seen a Jew in their lives.
- What are the best memories you have from your school days?
- The senior year was very entertaining. In my times, they let us go and have lunch out of school, and all the events organized in the school were lots of fun: the school week, all end-of-year ceremonies, graduation, everything. The study trip -even though my generation was the last one to go to the north of Chile instead of Washington-, but we had a super time anyway. All sport events, championships, Saturday matches, all this was great at school, including the discipline, the sports, sharing with other schools, knowing people, etc.
- What tools delivered by the school have contributed most to your professional career today?
- The English language by all means! I have to interact much with other people, especially with people from the United States, and only a few people in Chile reach the English level we have, that the school gives you. This has been essential.
Mathematics also helped me much. The level of mathematics at SC is much higher than that of other schools. When we began to study in the university we were much above the average. This also forms your brain and adds value.
- How would you define the students that graduate from Santiago College? What do you think is their mark or main characteristic that makes them stand out?
- In general, students who graduate from Santiago College are tolerant, with a good balance between discipline and capacity. We know a little bit of everything. I think that a Santiago College student is capable of adapting, contributing value and interacting in different scenarios. We are prepared in all areas.
- What do you like most in SC and are most grateful for?
- My friends. My life friends are those from school, I see them every week, I always talk to them. It is something that occurs in all generations, I also see this in my younger brothers, who are very friendly with their friends; we all have a very close relationship.
- Today we are moving our home, but the school remains the same, which are the tools that you think we should not lose in the new facilities?
- One of the main characteristics of Santiago College is that it is a school of traditions. I think that this is the basis: ceremonies, school days, sports, etc. I think traditions define the school. Finally, it is a school with lots of history and this makes it better. There must be a reason for the school to have remained alive for so long. All this time has led to improve and adjust things and optimize everything: education, processes, etc.