Contech 2024: The Current State Of Construction Technology With Gonzalo Galindo | Ep. 266

Construction Genius | Gonzalo Galindo | Contech


Construction is not just about building. It’s leading a revolution in how we create, innovate, and redefine progress. In this episode, Gonzalo Galindo, the CEO of Cemex Ventures, discusses the current status and future trends of Contech. Join us as he shows where technology will revolutionize construction, including supply chain efficiency, sustainability, and the use of new materials. Gonzalo details Cemex’s digitalization journey, from customer-centric approaches to fostering seamless interactions across the value chain. He also shares how, in five years, job sites could be completely digitalized with robots, AI inspections, and more focus on sustainability. Tune in now and explore Contech 2024!

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Contech 2024: The Current State Of Construction Technology With Gonzalo Galindo

My guest is Gonzalo Galindo, the Head of Cemex Ventures. Gonzalo’s focus is working with contact startups, entrepreneurs, universities, and other entities and finding innovative business models for the construction industry that helped propel innovation, sustainability, and digitization in the construction industry.

Our talk is all about where we are now as far as tech is concerned in construction and where we are going in the future including Gonzalo’s five-year forecast in terms of where we will be with the use of technology in construction. A great news about Gonzalo is that he comes from a deep pool of experience working with construction companies. He isn’t pie in the sky in terms of the use of technology.

He is very practical, very straightforward, and very helpful. Read carefully and make sure you check out the website Cemex Ventures where they have a number of resources that can be beneficial to you. Including a report on the top fifty contacts, startups construction, and technology startups that you can download for free. Thank you for reading this episode.

Gonzalo, welcome to the show.

Thank you very much, Eric. Thank you for having me here.

I’m very glad to have you. As we kick off our discussion, can you give the audience a little bit of your background how you got into construction and the position you’re in now?

I’m a veteran in Cemex. I’ve been in this company for many years doing all sorts of trades. I started doing business development, buying, and selling companies in Asia, Europe, and North America. I did a little bit of a stint in strategic planning for the group. I managed our operations in the UK and the US. I’ve been doing what we call Cemex Ventures which is not only the open innovation platform for Cemex, but both handling the whole innovation process for Cemex and coordinating.

How I ended up here, it’s an accident. I used to be a consultant at McKinsey. After a few years, I decided that consulting was not necessarily something which I was interested in, so I jumped into real life and joined Frito-Lay, which is the snack food business for PepsiCo. I was there a couple of years and at some point, I decided to leave Mexico City, my hometown. The company which was outside Mexico City. Mexico those days, which had the most international projection was Cemex. I ended up joining Cemex and since then, has been a 25 year career, which I haven’t been to in Mexico at all. I’ve been traveling all around trying to do business for the company.

Let me take you back early in your career with Cemex. Coming from a consulting background, you have a certain framework for looking at companies. What was unique about the way Cemex looks at companies in terms of the ones that they want to buy?

In those days, I was impressed with the company in the way that they looked at the opportunities. It was very thorough and very well thought of why we were investing in those countries, economies, and those companies. They have a very well-planned process on how to go about the acquisitions, due diligence, evaluating, and negotiating.

At the end of the day, any negotiation can go anywhere, but the company was very well prepared for the strategic point of view on where, why, and how these types of economy, countries, and companies and be very thorough about the evaluations and what should be the limits of what we should pay. In those days, that industry and the company were different. The industry has changed substantially.

That’s interesting but they were clear on the where, the why, and the how. One last question on this before we dive into the meat of our conversation just because it’s interesting to me. When you were involved in those negotiations, what would be one of the red flags that would cause you after doing all of that due diligence to say, “We’re going to walk away from this deal?”

We were very thorough in doing due diligence into the companies and trying to figure out whether there were no dead bodies in the closet. That was a killer. The other one was being as disciplined as possible in knowing how much we should pay for that asset and that’s a subject thing. In some cases, we paid the exact amount. In some other cases, we might be overpaid and we get a bargain. At the end of the day, it’s a result of a negotiation but trying to be as disciplined as possible in those decisions is key.

Trying to be as disciplined as possible in decisions is key. Click To Tweet

Sorry, I said one more question but I’ll just give you one more. What would be an example of one of those dead bodies, so to speak, that would say, “We’re not going to go forward?” Even if it looks like a good deal and it works financially?

From the technical point of view, you’ll find something in the assets that it’s a whack. For example, if you’re organizing a cement plant, the cement plant lives from the reserves of raw materials that you have. Probably, their calculations say, “You have 50 years,” but you do the calculation and you said you have five years. You’re not going to buy a cement plant for five years and things like tax issues and ownership issues.

I appreciate you diving into that. I could ask you a bunch of more questions, but I know we want to dive into your work around Cemex Ventures. Construction technology is something that is on the mind of every single construction company owner. There’s a bunch of activity going around the industry in terms of improving efficiency. From a technology perspective, why do you think the construction industry is difficult to disrupt?

We can write an encyclopedia about this. There’s several factors around it. At the end of the day, the construction industry is probably the most diverse industry in many ways. Talking about construction in one country can have different shapes and forms of construction. One thing is building a bridge or a high-rise building. Another thing is building five houses in a condo and self-construction. For example in Latin America or Southeast Asia or India, it is very common that people self-build a lot of their needs to improve their low-income housing. You are talking about different segments and different aspects of construction.

The second thing which is very important to understand is that in a specific construction project, it’s not that a construction company comes in, builds, and goes. It’s a lot of people and different trades and skills involved. You start the construction project with an architect then you have specifiers, engineers, then the construction company. The construction company subcontracts the foundations guy, the windows, the bathrooms, the plumbers, and the electricians. You start adding trades here and there.

The amount of people which participate. All I’m saying is it all happens the same for a high-rise building than from a single house and start adding, then somebody comes in and does the finishes and the painting and so on. Coordinating all that is a mess. You have other industries which are participants in the city like us. We’re a building materials company. We don’t necessarily build anything but nothing is built without us then we come into terms then to the supply of materials and services.

If you ask any single job site manager now, one of the number two or three key questions he will be asking is, “Where are my materials?” He doesn’t mean where they are. This is, “When are they going to arrive? Are they going to arrive in quality, on time, and in cost?” You start adding complexity. Not only that, you have developers which are the guys promoting the construction, for example, in housing then you have banks, which are the guys financing that.

On top of that, if you see the whole value chain, you will see that each one of those guys has a different profile of financial return and financial success in the whole process. We did these numbers years ago but I don’t believe they have changed substantially. Sixty percent to 70 % of the profit pool of a project, especially a large project, will stay between the bank and the developer. The rest of the guys, the engineer and the contractor have to split the other 30.

You have guys who have 10% of that and 2% of that. The construction firms which are the largest pool of all these are usually the guys with the low watch returns. Disrupting this for a guy, which if they make a mistake because they’re trying new technology. The slim return they will have will disappear, then there’s a lot of resistance. On top of that, you have to put them all in the same line and the same page, a lot of people.

Construction is diverse, complex, risky, and mistakes are costly. With all that being said, what are some of the specific areas of that value chain from your perspective that are the ones that people can leverage or pay attention to in terms of making changes with the use of technology?

I’m going to go a little bit back in the history of technology in construction and try to reconnect a little bit of what I’ve seen. It doesn’t mean this is written by law. It’s what I’ve seen. I think construction started using technology based on the bare necessities. They started looking into, “We have a lot of paper here. Let’s start to digitize that paper and start having that communication of papers in a digital way.”

Construction Genius | Gonzalo Galindo | Contech
Contech: Excellent construction started using technology based on the necessities.


They started looking at it’s a pain in the neck connecting and communicating with each other. On top of that, why don’t we add to that capability? The capability of having digital platforms which we can connect with each other. If I have the architect and the construction company says, “I finished this room. Can you check whether it’s up to the standards? You can go in and check and put your comments.” It’s very basic at the beginning.

It started even early on with, for example, instead of painting everything by hand, architects are using programs to do the plans. Moving into the actual construction itself, the job site management, it started by getting paper out and getting communications better. Later on, they started to see how we can manage projects better. It’s not only about communicating but can we make better plans? Can we do better job site plans? Can we do better programs of how things should be happening? Can we check whether what we’ve done is properly done in a much better way?

Meaning instead of somebody going around the job site and saying, “That type is wrong. You missed a door here.” Somebody with a 3D camera or with a 360 camera or somebody with a drone flying around saying, “You miss this one,” and somehow digitally connecting that with the original plants, which are already digitized and find clashes. That’s what has been happening probably over the last few years, adding digital technologies to execute, supervise, and plan better a job site.

I’m probably missing a couple of other capabilities but in basic terms, that’s what has been happening. Where do we stand now? Those who are interested in moving forward the disruption, digitalization, and influence of technology into a construction project are thinking about or more about how we use robotics better.

It’s difficult to use robotics because a job site changes every day. It’s not that you put a robot in one day. It changes every day. We have to start moving the robot around or the robot has to have certain capabilities to move itself. What about we start using the data we’re generating already and start creating better ways of thinking about the next steps and more artificial intelligence and prediction of how to control the jobs better.

Construction Genius | Gonzalo Galindo | Contech
Contech: How about we start using the data we’re already generating and start to create better ways of thinking about the next steps and more artificial intelligence and prediction of how to control the jobs.


The other thing is sustainability and this is something which is going to start growing very fast in certain countries, where regulation will start being very tough on that. How about the positive carbon of the building? How about the electricity efficiency of the building? Since day zero, even two years before we start constructing the building, can we do something in terms of the materials, the HVAC, and air condition? Where are we going to do the piping that will improve all that? How can we compare materials here and there with embodied carbon and environmental prodeclarations?

All that will be trends that moving forward will be very important. Still, we need to come into terms with a couple of things. One is how we’re going to manage better and improve the supply chain of products? Managing materials and moving materials is a pain in the neck because just one small room needs concrete, steel, isolation material, and windows. Only us and all that coming together in organized fashion, that’s complex.

The other is, is there any way we can build better? Change completely the way we build. There’s a lot of efforts in the past. In some countries, they have been fairly successful in using industrialized construction and offsite construction, meaning doing a wall. The real fact is, it hasn’t taken off so strongly and fast as probably the whole industry would have wanted. The fact is that skill workers will be in shortfall in the future. Sooner or later, we will have to think about different ways of building.

That’s a great overview there. We start with communication and using technology to help with communication. Those main areas that you talked about there, robotics, data analysis, sustainability, the supply chain, and building better through industrialization of the construction processes. When you think about those big picture items, which ones are most interesting to you or most likely to be areas where the investment will come in and the progress will be made?

It will change region by region and country by country. If you talk about, for example, the US. it might change even state by state and even county by county. For example, you will have places like California, and Europe, where environmental regulation will get tougher and tougher. In those places, sustainability matters. We’ll start to take much more serious interest about the whole players.

You will see places, for example, Florida, which used to be a state in which you have a lot of masonry construction, especially in the South because of the Heuric. Since the 2008 crisis, the last minute of the masons left the state or changed trades. They are now making tacos or in agriculture. They are not masons anymore. Finding masons is a challenge,

Probably, you might see a trend of people trying to figure out how can I build differently with how having to install every single brick one at a time? Robotics is one. For me, it’s tough to chew. Probably, the infrastructure projects might be more prone to use robotics as we start seeing, for example, highways. You don’t have to put the machine three meters up. You have to advance with the job site. It will be different in different situations but certainly, sustainability is one which will start marking the steps, especially in the Northern hemisphere as we go through with environmental regulations. That analytics will be taking care of or at least looking into everywhere in the world because number one it’s a trend. Not only in construction and number two, it makes sense. Number three, it’s potentially cheaper than developing a machine.

It’s optimizing what you’re already doing as opposed to bringing in something new that you haven’t used before that might be difficult to use.

Sustainability is very important. You think about the building. For example, for us as an industry, providing materials. We produce cement, aggregates, and ready-mix-concrete. We are heavy emitters of CO2. For us, we need to clean our act, reduce our emissions, and become net zero because we want to comply with the COP20 something and with whatever regulation and good wishes of cleaning the world of global warming.

We have stronger targets that we need to comply with a 2013 reduction of our carbon footprint. We want to be net zero in 2050. That requires a lot of implementation of climate tech and cleantech technologies, which take a lot of money to develop. A carbon capture unit to capture the CO2 production in our cement plants will cost a lot of money and we need to figure out what we’re going to do with that CO2. Are we going to sink it? Are we going to send it to an oil well in the middle of the sea? Are we going to convert it into something else? A construction company is not thinking about it. Not an architect. It’s my problem to solve it for them.

It’s interesting because that then begs the question, what is the driver of technology change? Is it a business need? Is it government regulation or a combination of the two? In your experience, where do you find those drivers coming from?

It’s a chicken and the egg for me. Sometimes from the business perspective, we do things which are good because it’s good business. For example, we’ve been changing our fuels. The way we produce cement, we need a lot of heat. In order to create heat, we need to burn fuels. We’ve been changing our fuel philosophy for several years because it made economic sense in many cases.

On top of that, we might reduce our emissions. We’ve been introducing our emissions for several years. We emit half of less than half of the CO2 that we should emit in 2002. Now that we have stringent regulations on top of that because then we need to also catch up and step up our game. It’s a little bit the chicken and the egg. In doing so in complying with regulation, companies need to see that as an opportunity to be more profitable. Not only as a better citizen but there’s an opportunity to become a more profitable company if you comply with regulations and do the right thing if everybody jumps into the same round.

We mentioned robotics and data analysis. I know those are topics that are on the top of people’s minds. What are some of the non-obvious areas in the construction industry where tech is going to have an impact? What’s the thing that we’re not seeing that is going to make a change?

There’s plenty of solutions now which have been very efficient for all of the industries, which could become very important for the construction world. For example, I was talking about supply chains. The supply chain is probably the reason for the heavy break with a number. I would say one-third of the problem in delaying a project.

Some others are the actual construction, mistakes, overruns, and the lack of programming. At the end of the day, all that happens at the job site then you have the supply chain of materials and materials coming back and forth. You have to deal with a different world. It’s not about masons or plumbers, it’s about trucking, logistics, and drivers.

The US now has a shortfall of drivers which is dramatic. Putting that together in order is a challenge because it’s not the same to transport a mistruck, a truck with glass or a flatbed with the cement bags or still or a container with the tiles. It’s so diverse but at the end of the day, you need to start using something noisy like glass metal delivery, logistics algorithms, and AI as well, to start to make that make more sense.

The problem with that is it’s a much more deconstructed value chain because, for example, in our case. We might have tens of thousands of trucks in the street but those tens of thousands of trucks might move only 20% or 30% of what we need to move. We need to tap into trucking companies which might be big or A one-man show. Putting all that together in a digital solution, which can help us do that more simply. It’s not necessarily a walk in the park.

In the chain of construction, who should take the responsibility for the improvement of the supply chain because a contractor is saying, “What can I do about the supply chain?”

Those guys are already full of problems. It’s our problem. It’s the supplier’s problem.

That’s interesting. What does Cemex focus on in terms of making sure that their relationships with their clients, the end user, and the contractor? How do you folks maintain those relationships? What are some of the things that you focus on?

For many years, we embarked ourselves in a digitalization process. It’s not that we were not digitized. We changed the whole philosophy of digitizing our company. We started that change of process by starting from the customer backward. Forget about what we do. Let’s go to the customer. Let’s try to digitize our relationship with them, and facilitate him dealing with us.

If he already has too many problems, let’s make his relationship with us as smooth and seamless as possible. We start digitizing everything all the way from order taking and programming. We’re going to production, administration, account receivables, and complaints. Through this platform that we call Cemexo, the customer should be able to basically deal with 90% of the problems we will give him in a smooth and simplest way.

Since we already have that, we’re already starting to go the next step with what additional value-added services we can give this guy that even facilitates his life better, dynamic pricing and dynamic deliveries. At end of the day, the decision was, “This guy has a lot of problems at the jobsite. Let’s make sure that this guy does not interact less with us. We would like interaction. We like them to be friends with us so let’s make sure that the nuances of dealing in a transaction are unsolved. Nuances of ordering are solved and of claiming about something when drunk are solved as simple as possible.” Digitizing as much as possible.

In terms of the way you look at investing in contact companies, what are some of the key criteria that drive your decision in terms of where you decide to invest your money?

I think 80% to 90% of our investment investments are related to technologies, business concepts or innovation which will help Cemex achieve certain strategic objectives. Among those is sustainability matters, meaning carbon-carbon, carbon-capture, carbon-user, carbon storage, alternative sources of heat and power like hydrogen, and circular economy. We believe that the future of construction will use a lot of waste.

We use a lot of waste already in producing our products and in heating all our keens. We also believe that a lot of construction and demolition waste will be recycled into new materials. Use the same brick two, 3 or 4 times if possible. That’s the principle. We also look a lot into the future of building materials. Are we going to deliver a rhythmic stroke tomorrow? Are we going to deliver a whole wall?

It’s going to be a concrete wall. It’s going to be a concrete composite wall or something different. Can do different things like transmit electricity or data in itself? Are we going to build the same? Is refining industrialized construction torque going to take off? If that, how can our help be part of that?

We also invest a lot or search a lot of innovation into the supply chain as well like delivery issues, facilitating communications with jobsite and suppliers, buying simpler, and buying cheaper. Last but not least, productivity. Not only our productivity but our customer’s productivity. We sometimes invest in things, many of my colleagues in Cemex say, “Why the hell is Gonzalo investing in this which doesn’t have any connection with Cemex?” This kind in the future, we are taking a bet about certain concepts that probably in the future might be helpful to our customers. That customer might think about Cemex in a better way because we’re giving them certain additional value.

When you’re investing in a company, I’m curious. The technology and how it relates to the various strategies that Cemex has is important. The people who are running the companies, what role does that have in you deciding on whether or not to invest?

It has a lot. There are certain areas of our investments which from the technology point of view are so specific and complex. I cannot claim to be an expert to understand them fully. We rely a lot on our R&D people and our engineers to help us evaluate those technologies. There are some other concepts which I might believe are easier to understand and I might believe which are a good solution.

At the end of the day, if the guy in the street, my salesman, or my logistics guy doesn’t agree with me. I’m going to hit the wall. It sounds very easy and romantic but in practical terms, it’s not a walk in the park to sit down with those guys and tell them, “What about you’re going to start using this instead of what you’ve been doing for years?” That’s a different bargain.

That’s interesting. That leads me to another question, what are some of the biggest mistakes that you’ve seen construction companies make when they are evaluating or implementing new technology in their business?

As I mentioned, especially construction companies, which are the guys with the slimmest margins in the whole value chain. They tend to be very cautious about testing new technologies because they know that if something goes wrong, it might cost them dearly. Secondly, usually a construction jobsite goes very tight on schedule. Stopping, connecting, and testing something new is not necessary something a jobsite manager will be very willing to do.

Having said that, there are construction companies and there are more and more every day that have been very bright in pushing things forward, testing things, and implementing things. What a couple of common aspects that I’ve seen in those companies, they invest. Not necessarily in the companies and the status but they invest a lot of time in understanding what solutions are there and what the benefit might be.

Construction Genius | Gonzalo Galindo | Contech
Contech: One common aspect of those companies is they invest not necessarily in the companies and in the status but with what solutions are there and what the benefits might be.


They spent a lot of time with jobsite managers and people in the field understanding whether this is going to be something you will be willing to use. They are very thorough in organizing how they are going to pilot that in order to measure whether that was successful or not. Those companies, which are already growing. They are are quite a few already, especially in the US and in Europe. They’ve been very successful in implementing things.

It’s interesting because when we think about the incentives that people have to change and you described many of the disincentives that construction companies have to change. It makes me think that a lot of the technology change that is going to occur is going to be because of government regulation. In other words, you’re going to be talking to your foreman and you’re going to be saying to them, “It doesn’t matter whether or not you want to do this. You have to do this because the government is going to regulate us as far as this is concerned.”

It may for certain things. It is happening for certain others, but there’s sometimes others that the government might say, “I don’t care what you do. I need this to happen,” For example, sustainability. Certainly, the government will start to make an offer in terms of, “I want to see more recycled materials. I want the body of carbon to be lower. I want this and that.” Some others like the UK, the use of beam or use of certain digital technologies. For every single government project they say, “I want beams to be used.” Did you know, when I use it, I’m not going to even see your offer? Some others might tell you, “I need this to be finished in 40 days. Do whatever.” You will figure out how to make it in 40 days.

You folks have a report that you put out on the top 50 tech startups that you see making an impact. Can you tell us a little bit more about that report and how you go about putting that together?

Every year, we do a couple of events which are very important, which end-up being summarized in the top 50 report. Throughout the year, we put a lot of effort in creating a network of partners, which help us to search for new startups, new technologies, and evaluate new things. To solidify those partnerships, we do a lot of meetings, conversations, and participate in forums.

We also launch what we call the construction startup competition, which is probably the largest competition of startups in the construction world. We do that in partnership with other companies which are interested in the same thing. Companies like Ferrovial in Spain, Binge in France, Saint-Gobain in France, Trimble, and Haskell in the US. I’m sorry if I don’t finish mentioning all the others.

We end up evaluating 500 or 600 startups every year and give the opportunity to have an exchange of ideas and opportunities of what will be relevant for the different contractors, suppliers, and digital providers in the future of construction. Based on that, we start narrowing down. Based on conversation, we see close to a thousand startups. Probably close to 600. We start narrowing as a team within Cemex Ventures and also, sometimes conversation with those partners on which are those startups that we believe will be the ones to watch?

We end up coming up with a list of 50. Some of them might be arguable types of people and some others not. Everybody might agree but it’s our list. We launched that list, which will be launched very soon. Not only with the announcement of these are the folks which if I were you in the construction world, I will be watching in 2024. Either as a user or as an investor or as a company which wants to test them or simply because you want to follow up the top 50 companies.

We also have a company with a report about the state of construction technology venture capital affairs. What happened in 2023? Was it a good year or a bad year? Which technologies were more favorable? What type of things are people investing in? Are they investing in early stages, in future and in late stages? We give an opinion, which is the opinion of Cemex Ventures of, what do we believe will happen with construction tech venture capital in 2024? We will be launching the top 50 report which is probably the 4th or 5th report will be launched in the next couple of weeks.

We will provide links for people so that they can go out and take a look at that top 50 report and also learn more about the state of construction technology.

Hopefully, they can give us feedback because at the end of the day, giving an opinion about the future is an opinion. I might be right or wrong. If people believe the opposite or agree with me, I would love to hear. about it.

At the end of the day, giving an opinion about the future is an opinion. Click To Tweet

That’s excellent. Staying in the realm of opinion and speculation, let’s do a little waving of magic wands. Based on your experience in the industry and where you see the investments coming and the changes happening. Paint us a picture for what a jobsite might look like for a decent-size commercial project five years from January 18th, 2024.

The job site will look substantially more digitized than what we’d see now. We will see more robotics doing certain jobs, for example, drywall or supervision or review of advance. You won’t have one guy even walking with a 360 camera. You will have a robot just taking pictures and telling already reports saying, “That window is 5 millimeters away.”

I will probably see a much more seamless way of dealing with subcontractors for general contractors, and a much more seamless way for the whole guys at the job site in organizing and dealing with suppliers. It’s much better organized in a digital way. We start seeing solutions which helps here and contractors to organize how suppliers will arrive, where to store the materials, and how to trigger orders.

That will be for that specific jobsite that you’re talking about. That will be the norm. We will see a much normal stringent mindset about health and safety. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen now but it will be in crescendo. Last but not the least, that jobsite will have sustainability, credentials, and substantially better than whatever building is built. Not only from the same point of view but from the material point of view as well.

What is the one area where you don’t think progress is going to be made?

Supply chain issues are still going to take some effort to be solved. Robotics will start making inroads but as mentioned, with very simple tasks. AI will start to provide some solutions. The problem with jobsite, with construction in general and it’s also one of the issues why it’s hard to disrupt is there are not two projects which are the same. You can build a building here and you want to build the same building next door. You will face a different problem. Something unexpected.

It seems like in construction, there are some things that the unique aspects of construction will never change, whether it’s geographic or methods. Whatever the case is, whether it’s government differences and government regulations.

In construction, some things that are unique aspects of construction will never change. Click To Tweet

I wouldn’t say it will never change. Some things will be harder to solve. Again, they generationally change. It eventually will end up eating problems that people my age don’t think about or don’t think it’s a problem. The mindset of, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” For me, it’s not broken but for somebody else, it might be broken.

Gonzalo, you’re in Madrid, right? If I’m visiting Madrid, what is the one restaurant I should go to?

That’s the most difficult question.

I know, that is the most difficult question I have for you.

What can I tell you, it’s damn hard. Do you know why? It’s because I used to live in Madrid many years ago, then I left, then I’d be back and the restaurants and bars has changed completely. It has become substantially more diverse and more sophisticated. You can still go to a very traditional Spanish restaurant and you will have a blast of flavors but now, you will find food from almost every corner in the world in Madrid. The quality of ingredients makes a big difference so you will find great food.

Let’s say I’m coming in from the States. I want the Madrid experience. I want traditional Spanish. Where would you go?

In Madrid, the usual suspect like Botín and Casa Luz, which are the traditional restaurants. They have been forever. Very touristic, I might say but they still make the cut with regards to a nice traditional Spanish food. There’s plenty of others. I used to be more of a foodie. Now, I spend more time at home. New Spanish restaurants like Las Tortillas de Gabino, which are nice and small. It’s like Spanish food with a mother’s pin already.

There’s plenty of 1 Michelin star or 2 Michelin stars, 3 Michelin stars, which I’ve even lost track of who’s who and how much they charge you. Believe me, don’t follow my advice. Aks and you will find a nice place. I can guarantee you.

We’re going to leave it at that. Let me ask you a simpler question then, if I’m visiting Madrid, what is the one spot that I need to get to and not miss if I’m there for 2 or 3 days?

There’s plenty of real traditional tourist places, which is nice, the Plaza Mayor but they’re very crowded, usually.

Not crowded. Let’s say a sneaky one.

It is less crowded. For example, there’s a couple. The museums are nice, El Prado. I’m not a Spaniard by the way. I’m from Mexico, but I’m here quite a lot. There are some other great places for example, the Palacio de Lidia, which is rather not that old museum or the Museo Soroy is very nice. Always going to El Retiro Park is nice. It’s a nice place to visit. The beauty about Madrid is that you can walk everywhere.

You can sit in a bar, have a beer, then continue then have a tapa here and continue. It’s not necessarily whether I’ve been here. You will end up visiting every single place. The historic sites are very close to each other and you can walk them all. You can walk while having a beer here, then go in there, taking a photograph, sitting down, and watching people. It’s a nice experience.

Tell us how people can get in touch with you? How can they can learn more about what Cemex Ventures is doing?

You can always visit our website, You can see what we do, the type of investment we have done, the top 50 report, and the start of competition. You can send us a message through the website. We have people, and even myself answering every single question we get on a timely manner.

Gonzalo, I appreciate you taking the time. Thank you for joining us on the show.

Thank you very much, Eric, for inviting me.

Thanks again for reading. I appreciate Gonzalo coming on the show. Again, go out to the website and get yourself a copy of the top 50 context startups for 2024. This will give you some insights into where the industry is going and how you might use technology in your company to improve productivity, efficiency, safety, and profitability. Feel free to share the episode with other people that you think would benefit from reading this particular discussion.

One more thing, give us a rating or a review. That helps construction genius be seen across the internet. Thanks again.


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About Gonzalo Galindo

Construction Genius | Gonzalo Galindo | ContechGonzalo Galindo, Head of Cemex Ventures. With over 30 years of experience in the building materials industry, Gonzalo helps promotes the construction revolution by working with Contech startups, entrepreneurs, universities, and other entities interested in the industry. His focus is on finding innovative business models for the construction industry, and helping propel innovation, sustainability, and digitization in the built sector that leads to more collaboration and less fragmentation.