Adhemar Milani Neto is the Founder and CEO of Kovi, a company that enables a more efficient, all-inclusive, and flexible car rental for on-demand drivers in LATAM. They have pioneered an asset-light model in the car rental industry that generates more value both to their partners and suppliers.
Kovi is backed by leading global investors such as Valor Capital Group, Monashees, GFC, ONEVC, Maya Capital, YCombinator, Shift and has raised more than $160M to date.
Previously, Adhemar was a general manager at 99 (acquired by Didi Chuxing), a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, and worked at International Paper and BOSCH.
He's passionate about purpose-driven entrepreneurship and serves as an advisor to several early-stage companies. Adhemar is also married to Natasha and together they have a dog called Simba.
In my conversation with Adhemar we discussed his childhood, his experience working at traditional companies, social media and more.
Here are some of the questions I asked Adhemar during our conversation:
Let's go back to your childhood. When you were 12 years old, you were living in the U.S. because of your father's work. How do you think this experience of living abroad at such an early age shaped your personality?
Technology was part of your career when you finished engineering in college. After graduating, you went to work for BOSCH and International Paper. What made you think this was the type of job that you wanted when you were right out of school?
You are not really active on social media like Instagram or Twitter. Is there a reason for that?
After working at some traditional companies, you decided to go to business school. This is a very traditional path that is not usually taken by founders. What was behind the decision to go back to studying?
At the time, you won the INSEAD Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and Venture Competition with an asset optimization idea: OptiTruck. Eventually, you saw that CargoX was growing in Brazil, and gave up the idea. What did you learn about startups and fundraising with OptiTruck?
After coming back from your MBA in INSEAD, you went on vacation in Southern France and decided to join Bain & Company. I'm always very curious to understand why people choose consulting or banking. What was the thinking behind joining a consulting company?
What have you learned from Chinese culture? How was it to work at 99 in the two different periods of the company's history, pre Didi Chuxing and post Didi Chuxing acquisition?
You mentioned the massive opportunities within Kovi's market. When we think about it, there is financing, access, car ownership, and many others. Regarding opportunities, what are your thoughts on electrification and car subscription?
We live in a world of very high levels of convenience. What do you think would be the perfect car subscription for someone to feel like their rental is their own car?
Another topic that I wanted to talk about is your relationship with meditation and spirituality. What type of mindful practice do you keep and how do these things impact your life in general?
Do you have a specific morning routine or just a few things that you have to do every day in the morning for your day to start right?