Sun, sea and entrepreneurship Babson Thought & Action
Jose Lorido MBA’20 lives in Miami. He was raised there too. This means that the ocean has always been an important part of his life. “I do everything outside on the water,” he says. “I paddleboard. I do kite surfing. I’m fishing. I dive. You name it.
Nowadays, Lorido’s career is also centered around the water. Partner at PADL, he is in the business of leisure, sun and sea and relaxation.
Lorido joined PADL, a paddleboard rental company, in 2020 shortly after its inception. Similar to bike or scooter sharing companies such as Lime, PADL offers self-service stations where, through the company’s app, customers can rent paddleboards.
Paddleboarding is an activity that’s growing in popularity, Lorido says, but the boards used are long, so they can be difficult to store and transport. PADL aims to eliminate these inconveniences, with its stations located at the water’s edge. Tenants pay by the hour or purchase a monthly or semi-annual subscription. “You want to have fun, and that’s a healthy way to hang out,” Lorido says. “It’s affordable and it’s easy.”
PADL offers 30 self-service locations in Florida, from the Keys to Jacksonville on the state’s east coast, and in the Tampa area in the west. By the end of the year, he plans to increase that number to 50 locations.
Lorido enjoys paddling at PADL’s location in Coconut Grove, Miami’s oldest neighborhood, the resort located in Peacock Park, just steps from the waters of Biscayne Bay. “You can paddle around the marina and the bay,” says Lorido. “Mornings are nice and peaceful.”
Lorido joined PADL because he wanted to help grow a new business. “I wanted to do something entrepreneurial,” he says. “It was a good opportunity to do that.”
Not that PADL is his first contact with entrepreneurship. Lorido earned his MBA on the Babson campus in Miami, where he was part of a startup working on a remote water monitoring system for high-rise residential buildings. The company was a 2019 BETA Challenge finalist. “It helped me understand what it takes to start and grow a business from scratch,” he says. “It involves everything: sales, marketing, operations. It’s a daily job. »
Prior to PADL, he worked in the finance team of an expanding cruise line. The work required long hours and extensive travel. “It was our job to grow it,” he says. “I stayed there for four years, I traveled all over the world.”
At the cruise line, Lorido worked closely with Andres Avello, who would go on to co-found PADL and who would eventually ask Lorido to join the company.
Lorido is part of an eight-person team at PADL. “We all do a bit of everything,” he says, although Lorido’s main focus is on growth, sales and partnerships. LDP stations are often located on public land near lakes and bays. Much of his job therefore involves meeting with city managers and officials to secure space for the stations.
“You want to have fun, and that’s a healthy way to go out. It’s affordable and it’s easy. »
José Lorido MBA’20 from PADL
PADL faces challenges common to businesses today, especially with the supply chain (it may have difficulty finding enough materials to manufacture its stations). Yet it is a company that is moving forward. PADL’s paddleboarding community now numbers around 35,000, and by the end of the year the company also plans to add kayaks for rent at its resorts.
Next year, PADL is looking to expand beyond Florida. Turns out the company’s mission, to make it easier for people to get out on the water, is popular. “People reached out from everywhere, including overseas,” Lorido says.
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