Junab Ali, II and Jay Uribe, Co-Founders & Presidents, Möbius Partners
February 11, 2019
Both born and raised in San Antonio, Junab Ali, II and Jay Uribe turned their high school friendship into the foundation for their future business endeavor. In 2002, they co-founded Möbius Partners, an enterprise-level IT solutions provider. Named after famed German mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius.
Junab explains: “...we felt like we wanted to start a company that was very strong in partnerships. And if you look at a Möbius symbol… it creates something that looks like the infinity symbol. It looks like two sides, but it's actually one side, [and] it never ends, and so, we wanted to represent Jay’s and [my] relationship and the relationships with our customers and partners as never-ending.”
Junab describes Möbius Partners as “a relationship company that just happens to do IT,” and that’s evident in their connection to the San Antonio community, their many long-tenured employees (some have been on board for 15 years), and their loyal association with our team at The Bank of San Antonio.
Read below for more highlights from Junab’s and Jay’s thought-provoking conversation with The Bank of San Antonio's Marketing Director Angelica Palm.
Putting Down Roots & Building a Company Culture
“Mobius was created and founded in San Antonio. San Antonio is very much a relationship city...so for us, that is ingrained into how Jay and I were raised.” – Junab
“It was the partnership and the camaraderie that [Junab] and I had for the first years, and now, it seems like the team and the people that we hire inspire each other… because we have a familial aspect with our company and with our culture, and that's very important to us.” – Jay
He continues: “I'm a big believer, when you hire someone, this is someone that you're going to spend more time with than your regular family, because you're spending eight hours a day with them… and then you wake up and do it all over again… it's very important that the mix is right. We take time hiring to make sure the person has the special sauce, and will fit in the culture. Years ago an HP executive and mentor gave us the nickname “Groovers” for our ability to find that sweet-spot—that groove—of expertise, innovation, and collaboration. With our leadership group, we've empowered them to develop their own business. If it's the accounting business, it's the sales practice, it's the services... it's like [they’re] running their own business.”
Advising the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
“There's never a right time to start a company... it's kind of like having a baby. There's never enough money you can save to have a baby. There's no amount of ‘just in case’ that can help you through those valleys. You just got to have the confidence and jump in feet first and work hard, and surround yourself with really good people."– Jay
“...you don't get experience from just all success...you learn experience from the ups and downs, and when you look back upon that, you can draw upon that to help you, but quite honestly, to help other people... the future entrepreneurs.” – Junab
Jay’s background as a kinesiology major and collegiate basketball player prepared him for the hard work of launching a business and building a strong team. “If you have an idea for something, there [are] probably 100 more steps you have to take, but you have to be willing to do that, and then, you have to be willing to put the time, and the effort, and the energy...not only for yourself, but to connect yourself with really great people that complement [you]. Business books will tell you, find a great lawyer, find a great CPA, find a great this and that… but you have to do that even beyond...all the obvious, right? You’ve got to connect yourself with people who are experts in the area, and you connect yourself with a great support system in your family, your spouse, your friends.”
Networking to Secure Lasting Financial Partners
“Try to connect to other entrepreneurs, ask them questions like ‘Who do you bank with? Who do you recommend?’ … you have to find somebody who connects with you. I like to think it's called chemistry… you’ve got to find those personalities that really mesh really well.” — Junab
“...when you think about it, you're starting a business with nothing. Just... whatever you had in the bank that you're actually investing into the company, and going from there is pretty exciting [and] pretty nerve-racking.” — Jay
Junab and Jay’s belief in relationships… with each other and with the team they’ve assembled, extends to their choice of business bank.
Junab explains: “...now we finally have a very strong banking relationship with The Bank of San Antonio… they ask questions, because they want to understand your business, and it's not only just understanding your business, but it's understanding your business then, now, and in the future. And when you know that person is genuinely interested, then that builds that level of comfort… it goes back to relationship, and that transfer of trust.”
“Even when you have a vendor relationship, like a banking relationship, it's giving on Möbius’ part also, and you can't think of it as just being one way. The bank has certain responsibilities to shareholders, and to employees, and to themselves, so, working with each other to accomplish a mutual goal is important.”
“It definitely helped us when Junab and I first started,” Jay says, “in that there were days that we didn't want to cold call... we were getting a bunch of ‘nos’, but that competitive spirit where you don't quit, as if it's the second half of a basketball game… That’s when you get down to it, and try to get a victory and a sale.”
Jay and Junab's competitive nature — and fearless pursuit of new career opportunities and industry partnerships — continue to drive Möbius Partners’ success.