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Santiago Delgado Compaña

General Manager, BIC Compaña Ecuador

The Ecuadorean market is very traditional for the large part. Most people like quality. Chinese products are not that popular as they are in Peru and other countries. People like quality, reliability, and they want to know who is behind the product. My clients like to have products with good support and after-sales service. They know we have a tradition of quality. Our main business strategy is based on quality and distribution, and here there is no stationery store that does not carry BIC. We are like Coca-Cola in the traditional stores. We have 120 people working in Ecuador, 60 in Peru, and 30 in Chile. We have to develop people, and bring the best out of each one. If you want to develop the company and its market share, you have to train people to match the company’s goals. We have to understand the personal, family, and professional goals of each person. We have to develop people to their highest potential. The second goal is to keep the factory here in Ecuador. We have won prizes as the best production company with the keenest costs, lowest rate of incidents, and lowest absenteeism; we have a lot of things to be proud of, and we have to keep it that way.

Philipp von Hirschheydt

CEO, Continental Tire Andina

We need to have products that are dedicated to the Ecuadorean market and the greater Andean region. For example, in the truck tire market we developed products based on the terrain, streets, and geography of the region. For tires that are produced for Cuenca, which is at 2,600 meters altitude, or even Quito, trucks are carrying imports and exports that are delivered through Guayaquil. This means that transportation companies need to be able to handle travel at 3,000 meters to sea level in about 300 kilometers. Comparing that to the flat terrain of the Midwest US, where trucks travel for 1,000 kilometers without even a curve in the road, it is completely different from what we need to do in Ecuador. Even in the Colombian market, the surroundings are so different from other parts of the world that we need to produce specialized compounds for our tires. Our main advantage is that we have a centralized team that knows our geography very well. We are working to improve our financial performance. Over the last year, we have grown significantly compared to our 2008 sales figures—we saw a sales increase of more than 300% in the Andean region. In addition, the company has witnessed a significant volume increase based on a $50 million investment made in the last four to five years.

Adriana Gonzalez

President, Adriana Gonzalez

We entered the Ecuadorean market 18 years ago, and have been operating in two main segments: diapers and bathroom tissues. Today, we are a leading company in the market with our consumer brands known worldwide, such as Huggies®, Kleenex®, Scott®, Kotex®, Poise®, Kimberly-Clark Professional®, Flor®, Jackson Safety®, Kleenguard®, and Wypall®. For example, in Ecuador we own 71% of the market in the diapers segment, 49% in bathroom tissues, and 27% of the market in the sanitary products for women segment. Over the years, we have also invested significantly in a production facility in Ecuador. At the moment, we produce mainline diapers (we only import premium products in this range) and certain sanitary products. Quality standards are one of our main concerns and focuses, and we invest every year in making sure that we present our clients with products meeting the highest quality standards. Our mission is to lead the world in essentials for a better life.

Roberto Jouvin

General Manager, Mabe Ecuador

Mabe was founded in Mexico in the 1960s by two family members, Mabardi and Berrondo. They started by manufacturing cooking stoves, and at the end of the 1980s they entered into a joint venture with a US company, General Electric, to manufacture appliances and home goods in Mexico for the US market. The company grew exponentially and started entering different markets in Latin America, firstly Venezuela in around 1993, then Colombia in 1995, and Ecuador and Peru soon after. In Ecuador, it bought an established company, Electrodomesticos Durex, which was the country’s leading home appliance manufacturer. A joint venture with the owners of the company was agreed and they started to manufacture, import, and sell their products in the local market as well as exporting them to different markets. We have been in Ecuador for 18 years now. In Ecuador, the construction industry is increasing and there is a lot of demand; however, there is no culture of selling the units with the appliances, unlike in Mexico and Colombia. This is changing though, and as a manufacturer we are doing our best to convince people that this is a very good way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

José Luis Salazar Arrate

Founder & President, McDonald’s Ecuador

McDonald’s is the largest chain of quick-service hamburger restaurants in the world, serving around 68 million customers a day in 119 countries. Richard and Maurice McDonald started the company in the 1940s in the US as a small barbeque restaurant. In 1948, the McDonald’s brothers restructured their business, focusing on hamburger sandwiches prepared under assembly line principles. In 1955, businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchisee, and eventually bought out the chain from the McDonald’s brothers. Thanks to his business vision, he oversaw McDonald’s development and worldwide expansion. Today, the company has an annual turnover of around $80 billion, China being the fastest growing market. McDonald’s arrived in Ecuador in 1997, many years after entering South America. The company was looking for a local partner and I became personally interested and decided to lead this attractive venture, leaving behind more than 20 years of banking experience. In February 1997, I flew to Caracas, Venezuela, to train at a restaurant for six months. Later, I went to Chicago for further training at the McDonalds Hamburger University. With that experience, we set up our local headquarters in Guayaquil in 1997, our first restaurant opened in Quito in October, and 30 days later we opened in Guayaquil.

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