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PANAMA - Telecoms & IT

Andrea Corrales

Vice President Central America and Caribbean, Huawei CBG

Bio

Andrea Corrales has more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing and management positions, most recently acting as a speaker and columnist on technology and gender issues. She is Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group in Central America and the Caribbean, where she started in 2013 initially as sales and marketing manager for Costa Rica. In 2015, also in Costa Rica, she became the second (and shortly after the only) woman worldwide to be named Country Director of Huawei. She has a master’s degree in marketing, a degree in marketing and another in communication, as well as studies in strategic planning. She has been awarded multiple international and national scholarships/recognitions, both for her professional achievements and for her contribution in the search for true gender equality.

“Our focus is always to impact the end users’ life, be it their work, studies, health, or the entertainment.”
Huawei remains focused on innovation and delivering a high-tech, user-centric experience in Panama to a wide audience.
How would you assess Huawei’s performance in the last few years, and how has the company evolved to date?

Huawei is an example of resilience; any expert in the industry can corroborate. Three years ago, Huawei was enroute to becoming number one in our industry, but external issues out of our control created enormous challenges for us. Most companies would have sunk; however, we survived, and now we are once again on the path to success. There was a lack of supply in terms of our smartphones, especially in 2021 and the first half of 2022, and, as a consequence, our market share dropped. So yes, we had a setback, but we have walked this road before, and now we are not starting from zero like we once did; now, we have the know-how and an experienced team hungry to reclaim the success that was meant to be ours. Our smartphone supply has gone back to normal. And the time that we were short on phones we instead focused on growing other categories such as wearables, PCs, monitors, speakers, and more. We enhanced the concept of ecosystem and became the ecosystem benchmark in the industry thanks to a series of devices that communicate seamlessly.

What are the competitive advantages of the brand that allowed Huawei to maintain steady growth in the Panamanian market in these 15 years?

We are a consumer-centric brand; we do not do technology for the sake of technology. Our focus is always to impact the end users’ life, be it their work, studies, health, or the entertainment. Our technology can and will improve different aspects of their lives. For example, our devices provide high-tech but easy to use tools for entrepreneurs to create content or for the public to monitor and take care of their health, from the quality of their sleep to their workout routines. We have always been leaders in innovation. At the end of 2022, we launched Mate 50 Pro, in many experts’ eyes one of the best phones—if not the best—of the year. The evolution of the Huawei Mate series over the past decade is the story of smartphone innovation. In 2013, the first Huawei Mate (Ascend Mate) Series phone debuted with a compact body and the largest display yet seen on a smartphone. In 2015, the Huawei Mate 8 Series was released, introducing the first-ever 16-nm chip on a commercially available phone. In 2017, the Huawei Mate 10 Series came equipped with an unprecedented AI Kirin 970 processor, ushering in a new Kirin-centric era. In 2022, the Huawei Mate 50 Series introduced a wave of new technologies, including the first-ever 10-size adjustable physical aperture, and EMUI 13, which facilitated smart and seamless interactions. This innovation in the Mate Series is later exported to our other series like P and Nova. We pride ourselves on how quickly we take the latest breakthroughs from our flagships to more massive models, giving access to the best technology to a wider audience. Panamanians in particular are extremely demanding: Panama is a highly multicultural and globalized country, and people here all stay in touch with the latest launches and trends. Furthermore, in Panama it is easier and cheaper to buy anything from anywhere in the world faster and more efficiently than in other countries. Here, people want the latest technology at the best prices and at the same time as the top markets in the world.

What are Huawei’s main goals set for the rest of the year and 2023?

Our main goal is to climb our way back to the top by doing what we know best—bringing innovative products to the world and creating a secure, seamless connected AI experience for our consumers. We have already proven Huawei is here to stay, and we are ready to reclaim our leadership.

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