Life’s meaning is sometimes elusive; you seek it but you cannot find it. But, at times, you chance upon its meaning accidentally. It was the fate of Salvador “Buddy” Silva Jr. III that he found meaning after his father died from a car crash. Grieving had pushed him not to despair but to inspiration. A logistics expert, Buddy thought of a system that will help people how to drive on the road safely and efficiently. With a team of software engineers, he created a total logistics control system that will track a company’s assets – its people and vehicles.
“If we devote all our passion and creative minds on how we can standardize safety in every corner, straight or curved streets in highways, we can save more lives and help our community, country and perhaps, the world to avoid such destructive loss of loved ones brought by a sudden and tragic death from a vehicular accident,” he says.
Losing his father led Buddy to find a solution that would help companies monitor people on the road, their exact location, their directions and other vehicles. His system called Safesat GPS tracking system – which he now shares with companies – ensures the safety of people and vehicles by tracking their whereabouts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With its vibration sensor and accelerometer, Safesat can inform the motorist if he overspeeds, hits the brakes or accelerates harshly, also if there’s fuel theft and change of route. This helps the motorist drive safely and lessens fuel consumption, resulting in increased productivity and savings.
“I realized that technology is all about sharing and breaking the boundaries of control. Imagine the world if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided to keep to themselves the PC (personal computer) they first created. It was in 2012 when we decided to form a corporation to share our technology,” he says.
With their company, Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management Corp., Buddy and his team of the software engineers redesigned and recreated the system’s whole architecture and infrastructure as software. They later integrated it with more systems so it can be used as a software platform with the help of the Internet, personal computers and smartphones.
Leading with a purpose
Buddy believes the purpose of business is greater than earning big bucks. It is to make life safe and simple despite the risks. As Safesat’s CEO and managing director, he runs the technology business with his team of more than 20 software engineers from only five when he began three years ago. “I see myself as a father to my employees. I instill in them principles, core values and a greater sense of purpose,” he says. Safesat is an organization of people with different views and perspectives, making sure they have the same understanding and views about the company’s vision and goals.
Running a technology business is keeping the group together, mixing their chemistry and motivating them when they are exhausted to resolve errors, he says. “My past experience as a networker of more than 4,000 people from all walks of life, plus my understanding of their behavior, psychology, personality and needs makes me the complete managing director to run a tech team,” he says.
He owns three other firms, Complete Logistic Control Inc., Total SoftTech Solutions, Inc. and Philfast Global Forwarding, Inc., where he is the CEO and president. He employs more than 100 people and operates a fleet of more than 60 delivery trucks servicing Luzon, Panay and Negros.
At present, Safesat is concerned about efficiency and effectiveness of his team of 20 engineers, which is doing the job of over 30 engineers. “We are a start-up so we are trying to maximize our output to keep our cost, but eventually we will be expanding once we finalize our investors’ agreement,” he says.
Buddy is responsible for the management of all departments and concerns of clients and stockholders. “I see myself as the leader of our vision and beliefs. I decide on product design and direction,” he says. He adds that his partner and buddy Angelo Kaufmann takes care of the technical design and implementation while Professor Eric Soriano handles marketing, sales and strategy. He is also being helped by his siblings and in-laws and his wife. “My siblings and in laws are my primary investors while my wife is my CFO (chief finance officer),” he says.
Changing the mindset
Right now, the challenge of any start-up business is looking for funds. “We need capital. We also need to maximize our output,” he says. He laments that some investors cannot yet understand the shift of intangible assets like talents of individuals to physical assets when they evaluate investments.
“For me, the most powerful asset is creative innovation with proprietary claim as this is not subject for taxes, devaluation or destruction. It will take a few companies to leap and prove the results that will change the mindset of investors,” he says.
Today, times are different when the consumer has become more powerful, especially with the PC revolution, the Internet connectivity and the smartphone. “I want to share in order to lead and influence but not to dominate and force everyone to adjust,” he says.
Buddy wants to make life simple despite its uncertainties. He has been sharing his Safesat GPS technology with companies to ensure the safety of its assets and help them save. This makes his life meaningful for himself and for others. At last, his search for life’s meaning has led him to pursue something greater and more challenging, and the tragic death of his father will not be for naught.