AUTHOR: Cassandra Irving
DATE: SEPTEMBER 2015 ISSUE
Meet Lorenzo Escobal
by Cassandra Irving
Lorenzo Escobal is no ordinary 23-year-old. Originally from the Philippines (a country he describes as warm, friendly and hospitable), Lorenzo is one of the growing number of young adults who are beating the odds and choosing to become business owners as opposed to employees after graduation.
“I moved to Mississauga with my family in 2002 from the Philippines. My parents wanted more for our future, and they found that Canada offered a lot of opportunities for development,” explains Lorenzo.
Initially, the change was hard.
“Our family was well-off in the Philippines; we had live-in maids and drivers. Coming to Canada was a culture shock. My family had to start all over again and work our way up,” recalls Lorenzo.
He credits the humbling years of sacrifice and hard work for shaping his independent spirit and instilling in him the drive to take the initiative, which would prove providential during his early years in university when the economy was struggling and job opportunities were scarce.
“During first year university, I wanted to work part-time to make some money; however, the recession was still ongoing and jobs were difficult to find. I applied to dozens of places, but kept getting rejected or ignored. I was fed up. I had to make money somehow, and I figured that starting a business was the solution. I had no previous business experience and no one in my family had ever done anything like this, so I pushed myself to learn how to run a business during my free time in school.”
Lorenzo founded his first venture, Inception Automotive Detailing, in March 2011 during his first year university. The company, which provides on-site automotive detailing services to more than 200 clients across the GTA, is currently one of the top-ranked automotive detailing companies in the area.
Lorenzo founded his second venture, Medpro3D Inc., in November 2014 with co-founders Barry Phillips and Mark Daniel Figueroa.
“Medpro 3D is a medical rapid prototyping company located in Mississauga, ON. We convert medical images from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT) into 3D model replications of patients’ organs. Doctors use the 3D printed models during the pre-surgical planning stages to describe and educate patients regarding their health issues. The 3D models are also used to enhance the learning experience for medical students,” Lorenzo explains.
The company is currently in its pre-launch stages conducting pilot studies in South East Asia with private hospitals.
Lorenzo’s success is impressive, but it didn’t come without challenges.
“Before I started my own company, I applied to be a franchisee for a student painting business. I went through a few interviews and, in the end, I was rejected. They said that I didn’t have enough business experience, and that I should just keep on doing what I was doing. I decided that I would prove them wrong.”
The road ahead wouldn’t be easy, though.
“There was nobody in my family who had done this before, and I didn’t know at the time that business coaches and mentors existed, so I had to learn everything myself. I spent countless hours researching how to start a business and developed a game plan. I learned everything from how to obtain a business license, design a website and market the business to the rules and regulations for importing and exporting and how to increase my skills in automotive detailing. I became the jack-of-all trades!” he says.
With no investment money to work with, Lorenzo took his first big financial risk and bootstrapped Inception Automotive Detailing with $200 he had in cash and using the $1,000 credit limit on his credit card. He says he can still remember the look on his friends and family’s faces when he told them about his venture.
“It didn’t go too well. I can still remember the look of doubt they had on their faces, and a few of them even told me to give up the idea altogether and continue looking for a real job,” Lorenzo says with a chuckle.
Refusing to be discouraged, he stay committed to his idea, and his first contract ended up covering all his start-up costs.
“My first client happened to be a transit company who is under contract with York Region Transit. I was hired to work on the supervisors’ vehicles. Within two weeks, the start-up costs were paid off,” Lorenzo says.
During the school year, Lorenzo would work in his business on the weekends and focus on school during the week. His profits increased, and he wisely set aside a portion to reinvest in the business.
Today, his automotive detailing business has hundreds of clients ranging from individuals to large corporations, and is one of the top-ranking mobile auto detailing companies in the Greater Toronto Area. The company has been featured on CBC Radio, the Metro Morning show and in Top Gear Magazine in his home country, the Philippines.
“Overcoming challenges is no easy task. You have to take risks and have perseverance, patience, determination and fortitude. Hard work is also key. You have to be willing to change and able to adapt to different environments. But most of all, you can’t ever give up. Even though there were times that I thought of throwing in the towel, I kept on going and continued to believe in myself,” says Lorenzo.
He is honest that the responsibility of being a business owner at such a young age has its challenges, but says it’s worth it.
“It is risky, but very rewarding. You have flexibility in your schedule and can work where and whenever you want. You don’t have to report to anyone and you can choose to do things your own way. Most importantly, though, it is very fulfilling to create jobs for others and help them support their families,” says Lorenzo.
Lorenzo says that Mississauga in particular is a great place to be an entrepreneur.
“There is a lot support available from the municipality and nonprofit organizations, like the Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT), which is one of the most active chamber of commerce organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. MBOT really opened a lot of opportunities for me because they emphasize the importance of relationship building and networking with like-minded people. You never know who you will meet along the way, and what they can do to help you grow. Your network becomes your net worth. Joining MBOT was one of the best decisions I made in my career,” says Lorenzo who became the organization’s youngest member at age 20.
Lorenzo says that at the core of the entrepreneurial spirit is the willingness to find a problem in the world and create a solution to fix it in a way that benefits everyone.
“All you need to do is take your passion and ideas and turn them into reality which then creates jobs for others and drives the economy,” he says encouragingly.
And that is exactly what Lorenzo Escobal has done
Date: September 2014 Issue
Awarded "Silver" Top Performer for the 2014 Reader's Choice Award for the Mississauga Business Times Paper.
Lorenzo Escobal, UOIT Business student and author of the upcoming book The Student Entrepreneur: 5 Easy Steps for Students on How to Start a Business, had a lot of free time during his first year in university. Other than being in the army, he applied to many places, ranging from Wal-Mart to West Jet to get a job, but had no luck. Since no one was hiring, Escobal decided he wanted to create his own job – an auto-detailing service.
Before university, Escobal was already auto-detailing cars in his neighborhood. Working six hours a day, he would make well over $100 for his services. Even though his mom suggested he turn it that into a legitimate business, he didn’t believe it would work at the time. After he acquired his business licenses though, he started up the service with his own money. He says he was lucky because after he started a Google AdWords campaign with no prior knowledge, he got a call from Miller Transit Ltd., a maintenance service in the GTA. He worked on cars belonging to supervisors and the general manager and within two weeks he had already paid off his business’s start-up costs. Every dollar he earned from that point on was personal profit, and after seeing this potential he started marketing himself online.
“Entrepreneurship is rewarding and you can learn a lot,” says Escobal. “You can also use your skills to stand out from other applicants when applying to jobs.”
Author: Sawm Rad
Date: September 10, 2013
I want to take this opportunity to thank Lorenzo from Inception Automotive Detailing for all the hard work he put into detailing my 2010 Genesis Coupe. Having owned my Genesis for a little over two and a half years, I had the tendency to neglect the maintenance aspect of owning a vehicle. Having stepped up to the plate in terms of maintaining my Genesis, it came time to show some TLC to the exterior of my car. Knowing Lorenzo and the fleet of Genesis Coupes he has detailed in the past, I figured it’s time to put his knowledge and skills to the test.
Dealing with Lorenzo is simple amazing. He is punctual, very forward, direct, honest and up-front in nature. From the first time I came across his work on the forums, until today, where he has detailed my car, I can safely say he is truly one of a kind. Rolling in his very own Genesis Coupe, with its bold front bumper and color choice, Lorenzo is out to make a statement with his work, and he has managed to rekindle my passion for automobile paint and maintenance.
Our day started out at 8am with Lorenzo arriving at my house. Having unpacked all of his equipment, the time came to get the show on the road. The first step to Lorenzo’s lengthy, two-stage paint correction process begins with a quick inspection of the paint to get a feel for how to approach the work ahead. Having completed his preliminary rounds, he moved on to a rinse, foam soak and hand wash of the body, wheels and exhaust tips. Once completed, Lorenzo whipped out one of the most intriguing things I have ever seen. Instead of using a clay bar to eliminate the tiny contaminants stuck to the paint, Lorenzo used a set of gloves with a rubber-like material attached to them. Moving the glove back and forth, you could distinctly hear the sound of the contaminants being scrubbed off. In many ways it sounded like rubbing fine grit sand paper on a block of wood. The glove itself is not abrasive in any way, but just after the wash and clay bar, the car looked absolutely pristine and the paint correction process was yet to be done!
With the washing and clay mitten process complete, the time came to get to the two-stage paint correction. Lorenzo comes locked and loaded with his polisher, and a variety of pads and compounds ready to go. This is where knowing your product and tools becomes absolutely pivotal in executing a perfect detailing job. What makes Lorenzo different from other detailers is his unprecedented attention to detail and his dedication to detailing each and every car like it’s his own. After selecting the right pads and compounds for the job, it was time to hit the paint! Slapping on the blue pad with the first compound, Lorenzo made one pass on the paint, gave it a wipe, and a quick inspection to see the effects of his work. He continued to repeat this process until he was satisfied with the first pad-compound combination. He then moved on to the orange pad, with his polish of choice. Again it was a matter of making a few passes, wiping and inspecting until the paint looked pristine. This process continued on every single body panel on the vehicle. What impressed me the most with this stage of the detailing process was the rear bumper. Because my motor tends to run rich, I am constantly fighting against carbon build up on my bumper. Even without sealing and glazing the paint, I was amazed at how white the paint looked. I had never seen my paint shine as good as it did after the polishing process. A quick pass over the taillights and headlights removed the tiny swirls on the lenses and added to the overall showroom finish of the exterior.
Lorenzo opted to apply a glaze to the paint to enhance the gloss and depth to the coat. Although this step is optional in the detailing process, Lorenzo mentioned that the oils in the glaze would hide any minor imperfections in the paint that the polishing process could not eliminate. However, the beauty of Lorenzo’s work was the fact that all the swirls and imperfections were virtually eliminated in the second stage of polishing. The primary motive for adding a glaze in my case was to richen the color of the paint. Finally, three layers of sealant was applied to the paint to protect from the elements (rain, ultraviolet rays etc). Sealant itself is a synthetic product which is man-made versus carnuba wax (also called palm wax and or brazil wax) which are natural and is obtained from the tree ‘Copernicia Prunifera.’ Sealants are much more durable than carnuba wax and can last anywhere from three to six months, sometimes up to a year! Carnuba wax on the other hand will last an average of two to four months, with a maximum of six months of protection.
To conclude, I want to thank Lorenzo for his work and his dedication in making my car look virtually brand new. It’s a nice feeling knowing your paint is virtually swirl-free and your car is looking absolutely pristine!