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Federico Tagliani

MEXICO - Telecoms & IT

Within 12-18 months more than 50% of business will come from U.S.

CEO, AN Global

Bio

Federico Tagliani has a strong background built around operations, process and technology consulting. He became the CEO of AN Global in March 2017, having previously acted as Regional VP (being a Founder) at gA – Grupo Assa for 24 years, based in Sío Paulo – BR the last 17 years, and with experiences in EY and Goodyear Tires & Rubber. He has a degree in industrial engineering and an MBA from Universidad Austral and he is a Certified Board Member by the IBGC.

"We are projecting that in the next 12 to 18 months, more than half of our business will come from the US market."

What is the role of the Mexican market in AN Global’s strategy?

Mexico is our essence; we have been in the market for 17 years. We started our operations in Mexico and we are proud of our Mexican heritage. Nowadays, Mexico accounts for almost two-thirds of our business, yet the dynamics are changing quickly. We are projecting that in the next 12 to 18 months, more than half of our business will come from the US market. We are tied to Mexico for different reasons, mainly because we are convinced of the quality of the Latin American talent. We have a worldwide hub here that easily connects with our neighbor in the north and traditionally has strong bridges with Europe and Asia in terms of economic agreements and treaties, and those devices make it easier to interchange goods and talents across the world.

What are the reasons behind the IPO you are planning and what impact do you foresee this having for the company?

In our experience, Latin American financial markets are too far from our industry, unlike the situation in the US and Europe. We must have strong ties with the financial market to pay for our expansion plans. We have partnered with one of the most successful private equity firms, Nexus, and we will be announcing around mid-November the incorporation of another visible financial institution as a new shareholder. These private processes take too much time and effort to complete so our idea is to open up our capital in a sophisticated market. Our first option is NASDAQ and eventually it could be the London stock market, to diminish the friction to have access to funds to finance our expansion. We compete on a daily basis with companies that are 100 times bigger than us. We are competing in the region well and we have some successes in companies like Mabe or Lala against the Accentures, the Delloites or the IBMs. With our ambition to be a platform for the Americas for the next three or four years we need more muscles in our body. We are improving our processes; the result is a more sustainable, visible and viable business for our stock holders with more reliability for our clients where they have a business partner who is tested permanently not just by them but by the market.

How advanced is the digital transformation in Mexico compared to other Latin American countries?

It depends strongly on the vertical segment. For example, Mexico is advanced in some areas of manufacturing; however, you have other extraordinary areas of opportunity related to the financial industry for instance. When you compare the percentage of banking penetration against Brazil, for example, it is low here and that represents a huge opportunity. A low bancarization means informality and potential corruption, which is negative for the economy, so there is an extraordinary opportunity in Mexico to catch up with our neighbors and improve in areas which are underdeveloped.

How do you approach the digitalization of Mexican financial institutions?

Financial services in general were made for robustness, security, and scalability. They were not made to be proactive or agile. The main financial institutions use huge mainframe hardware boxes which process tons of transactions but the reality now is that we as customers are used to running part of our lives with our personal devices. Financial institutions have to react to face these challenges as we are in the middle of an explosion of the so-called fintechs, which are nimble startup companies that do not have this legacy. What we are doing with financial institutions is helping them upgrade the whole cycle through design thinking, agile development and the so called dev-ops. It is a new way of incorporating strong agile processes with a different approach to build software, publish software and develop compared to the traditional waterfall strategies. How fast I publish new features is measured now in terms of days against months with the traditional approaches.

What is the digital service that Mexican companies are requesting the most from AN Global?

In fact, all of them. From digital guidance about how to define priorities and organize execution to specific solutions implementation. Advanced analytics, one of our top-three services, are not just about seeing what happened in the past but also foreseeing what will happen and inducing what will happen. Digital Marketing, in terms of brand positioning and sales uplift is other blockbuster. Companies need to be relevant to clients that are not just digitally savvy but digitally native. And that happens in BtB businesses as well as BtC. Digital commerce, from e-commerce oriented to distribution channels and final clients to e-procurement to enable digital supply chains, is a hot topic. To disrupt or be disrupted, or we could say to be ‘Amazonized,’ is a compelling reason to change business models and to embrace the power of digital commerce. Our Cloud offerings bring speed, agility, and safety. Gone are the days that the cloud was considered risky; now the cloud environments are more secure, scalable, and stable than the main in-house operations and systems. Sometimes with the legacy systems companies have billions of dollars invested in their IT assets so our approach is not to destroy them and create a new world but to build bridges with this past and leverage the traditional IT investments. We took the SAP, Oracle, and legacies corporate platforms and enabled them to be digitally responsive which has been part of our success.

How does AN Global help Mexican manufacturing companies keep their competitive advantage in times of growing automation and digitalization?

Some studies predict that by 2020 or 2022 the creation of jobs provided by the digital transformation will be more than the jobs which have been destroyed. China grew as a manufacturing giant initially due to their cheap labor but now China is the country in the best position to embrace digitalization. This is because they have modern manufacturing facilities. This is the situation in Mexico now as we had a lot of investment in the last decade and we have extraordinary manufacturing facilities in place. We are convinced that we can maintain the competitive advantage built over these past years with the evolution of digital transformation. In Mexico, now you have more car brands than in the US and that is not just due to cheap labor nowadays. Industry 4.0 with the application of Advanced Analytics above cyber physical systems to forecasting and replenishment worldwide supply chains could maintain Mexico as a place of choice to any manufacturing company.

Does AN Global also help SME’s escalate their business with digital transformation tools?

We have a couple of business lines related to small and medium businesses. We do this business with the intention of helping clients from all kinds of backgrounds, industries and sizes to be more competitive and in this way help to make the economy more fluid and finally help our major clients to do more and better business. We focus on companies with the ambition to be relevant in the market and understand that transformation is the name of the game and technology can level the field against larger and established companies.

What is your outlook for 2018?

We project to doubling our size by the end of 2018. Our projection for 2017 is that we will grow around 70% compared to our numbers in 2016. We feel that by the end of next year we will be at technical size to open up our stock in NASDAQ. We assume that we will need six more months to be ready.

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