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Ball of energy

image Red Nova Energy is just under two years old and is finding its footing in a big Houston marketplace.

HOUSTON - A phone call from a friend needing work done on his apartment com-plex led to Mariano Santiago and Marcos Belman starting Red Nova Energy.







    “A friend of mine was the superin-tendent at an apartment complex and told me if I wanted the job, it was mine,” Santiago said. “I got with Marcos and told him if he wanted to partner up, that we would be 50/50 partners in the company and we went from there.
    “We’ve been in business for almost two years, and we have our own office, shop and vehicles. Everything we were making was reinvested back into our company.”
    Santiago and Belman started the com-
pany in Oct. 2015 and knew he was going to have to take some hits as he was getting his company off the ground.
    “It’s really hard. The first five months we didn’t get paid a dime,” he said. “The apartment complex was a good project but everything we were making was going toward payroll and materials. Since then, we’ve been good and haven’t had any issues. If you want to have a successful business, it’s hard.”
    Red Nova Energy is an electrical contractor located in Houston that does a slue of services including communications, phone, lighting, new construction, pole lighting, transformers, and circuit breakers along with other services.
    Just a couple of years into business, Red Nova is finding footings and path.
    “We started the company wanting to go a certain direction, but things turn around and you end up going the opposite direction,” Santiago said. “You can embrace it or fight against it. Fighting against it isn’t worth it. Our idea for five years is to be a $5-10 million company. We are getting ready to move offices to a different place. I just want to grow the company. I don’t care about the money. The money will come with the growth.”
    To grow, Santiago says the company needs to look inward and take care of the customer.
    “It comes down to customer service,” he said. “I want my guys to look and be professional. I’ve seen a lot of times where the customer has a problem and people try to do their own thing and sell the customer on something. We don’t do that. You have a problem, and we have the solution. We keep it honest. The reputation of the company is very important.”
    Santiago, who is originally from Argen-tina, has eight employees, and Red Nova does 70 percent apartments and 20 percent commercial with industrial and gas splitting the rest.
    Being in Houston, there is always work available but competition is also very high.
    “It’s stressful but it’s nice knowing the work is out there. Honestly, we get nearly 30-40 bids a week for projects. I don’t have the time to fulfill all of them. The goal is to have someone that can help with the estimating. I don’t want to get all of them but I want the feasible projects.”
    The name, Red Nova Energy, is unique and stands out, just like they wanted.
    “I was trying to think of something that gets your attention and also sounds good and professional. Red is a color that gets your attention and a supernova is bright star that gets your attention.”–cs

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net