October 16: “Marcos Galperin? Where does he work?” says the confused security guard at the entrance to the headquarters of MercadoLibre, Latin America’s version of eBay.
The answer to the official’s question is that Mr Galperin is not only employed by MercadoLibre, he is actually the founder and boss – and worth an estimated $400m (Â£267m).
In defence of the guard with a blank look on his face, 42-year-old Mr Galperin maintains a very low profile.
“I see many entrepreneurs who use their company as a platform to be famous,” says Mr Galperin.
“For us it’s exactly the opposite, we want the company to be famous. The lower our personal profile, the better.”
And so Mr Galperin goes to work at MercadoLibre’s main base in Buenos Aires wearing jeans and trainers. And he most certainly doesn’t arrive in a chauffeur-driven limousine.
Deal with eBay
MercadoLibre, which means “free market” in English, was founded in 1999 in Argentina, as an online marketplace and auction house.
Mr Galperin, a native of Buenos Aires, had been inspired by US-based eBay while studying for an MBA, or master of business administration, at Stanford University in California.
Today MercadoLibre is a household name across Latin America, where it is the most visited ecommerce website.