The Business Year

José Gabriel Cano Hernández

COLOMBIA - Real Estate & Construction

Beyond Bogotá

President, Cano Jiménez


José Gabriel Cano Hernández was born in Bogotá in 1953. He graduated as a civil engineer from the Universidad la Javeriana, and is Partner, Founder, and President of Cano Jiménez. He holds an MBA from the University of Miami with a specialization in management and accounting from the Universidad de los Andes. He has dedicated most of his career to directing projects on road infrastructure, planning, and design of related concessionary projects, as well as aqueduct and sewage systems. He is also passionate about the development of residential projects that contribute to the local environment and communities.

TBY talks to José Gabriel Cano Hernández, President of Cano Jiménez, on project proposals, new markets, and emerging opportunities.

2017 marked the 35th anniversary of the inception of Cano Jiménez. How have your operations developed in the last few years?

This organization has three lines of business and each line has its own management team. Our holding company is Cano Jiménez Estudios, which was founded 35 years ago, and in the last two years we have been focused on engineering design and consulting. We have been supporting the 4G programs of the national government. We have also been working on designs for the construction of highways and doing proposals for PPPs. These proposals are focused on different types of construction projects that we evaluated; thus far, this has been our focus in the last two years. In the past, we lost the bid with two of our partners from Spain for the metro in Bogotá. Our proposal was for an underground metro, and the mayor changed the project to an aboveground metro system because the budget was not big enough. Therefore, we started our second proposal for an over-ground metro system, which is less expensive than the underground system originally proposed. We hope to meet the mayor’s expectations so that we can start work on these important projects for the city. In terms of construction and infrastructure, we are working on extensions for the water and sewage systems. This plan is being developed in a way that minimizes disruptions for citizens. Currently, we have been developing these conversations with EPM in Medellí­n and Acueducto in Bogotá. Regarding real estate, we are developing homes for the upper class; Oceisa does our real state work while Promobily has been our promoter of real estate projects. We have been providing solutions to our customers for a better quality of life. We are implementing a new roof garden design, including community spaces for eating, playing, exercise, gatherings, city views, and more. In the last two years, sales have fallen slightly; however, this green proposal has resulted in great sales figures. For 2018, we have three large, new projects coming and we are currently completing 165 apartments in a project called Botanika Telus in Bogotá.

Do you plan to enter into a new market?

In auditing and design, we want to be in Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru. In construction and infrastructure, we are working on proposals for Panama and are exploring a new business in Peru. Our main customers are in Bogotá; our designers and construction company have a full national market. Some have international businesses as well. In terms of our auditing business, we will start some projects with Peruvian companies in Cajamarca considering that the area has great problems because of excessive rain.

What is your forecast for the construction sector in 2018?

We are waiting for the Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial (POT), which is the guide that will help us understand how the city will be developed. With this plan, the demands on the industry will grow. Currently, we see great results with the upper-middle class; however, thus far, our goal has only been the upper class.

What are your main goals and priorities for 2018?

In 2018, we will continue to participate in our design and audit market considering that our market will be slightly restricted because of the 4G programs. We want to increase our international presence, especially in Peru and Panama. We will continue to work on the local business, though our main goal is international business. Regarding sanitation services and extensions for water and sewage, we expect to see an increase in our demand. Regarding real estate, we will launch a project for upper and upper-middle classes.



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