The Business Year

Gabriela Hernandez Cardoso

MEXICO - Energy & Mining

Generating Excitement

President & CEO, GE Mexico

Bio

Gabriela Hernandez Cardoso has been the President and CEO of GE Mexico since August 2011. Prior to joining GE, she worked in both the public and private sectors. Her experience in the public sector includes positions such as Director General of Telecommunications and Transport. She has also served as Sub-secretary of Communications in the Ministry of Communications and Transport. In the private sector she has worked in corporate law and international trade for companies such as Motorola, Tellabs, and Dicex. She has also worked as a lecturer teaching law and international trade.

What trends have you noticed in the market over 2012? We closed the year very well, with double-digit growth, which is very positive. There are still areas that we need […]

What trends have you noticed in the market over 2012?

We closed the year very well, with double-digit growth, which is very positive. There are still areas that we need to perform better in, and some aspects have to do with the political environment and public policies, especially in the energy sector. If as a country we solve the important challenges in the energy sector, then we will enable GE to grow in the gas-line construction sector. Expansion is critical for the country and critical for a company like ours and, of course, the oil and gas sector. However, it is very important to clarify that it is not a discussion about privatizing oil; the discussion is around what business models make sense for the energy mix. Over the last four years, GE has spent over $11 billion in acquisitions in the oil and gas sector, which has made our portfolio very robust. GE is now an important player in just about all aspects of the oil and gas industry. The company is well positioned with technology, products, people, and processes. From the macroeconomic perspective, the question of if we are losing ground to Brazil or not was more relevant in 2010 and 2011. Today, all of our macro indicators are positive, which are the inflation rate, interest rates, and GDP growth, which I would say is one of the best in the world. Mexico has grown as a robust manufacturing platform and it has diversified its trade balance. In the 1980s, it was based on oil and now that is a smaller part as it moves to mid-manufacturing integration, which is critical. Economically, I think the discussion of if we are okay and if we can perform is over. The issue now is how we are going to execute ideas that will improve GDP, which will bring wealth not only for GE, but for everyone in all sectors.

Could you describe how you are improving your products, services, and technologies through innovation?

The internet, intelligent machines, and large data analytics are shaping the future. That is how we are going to leverage all the statistics in the future. It is what we call the “industrial internet,” and it is about getting intelligent machines to take advantage of the cloud. In regard to advanced analytical machines, we need people to work on translating all the data that come out of these machines. For example, one blade of our gas turbines produces 550 GB a day of information. The daily volume of Twitter posts is 80 GB. If one blade can create that much data, what are we using that data for? That is what industrial analytics is about. If we could use just 1% of that data to improve fuel savings, aviation, power, rail, productivity, and health care, we are talking about 15 years of savings worth billions of dollars. Why are we leading this as GE? Because we have everything; we have the machines, the technology, the software, the people, and now the analytical machines.

What sort of investments are you making into R&D?

GE invests 6% of all its revenues into R&D. It is one of the companies that invests the most in R&D, and we have plans to make this figure higher. In 2012, we announced the opening of our offices in Silicon Valley. Mexico can bring in software capabilities and there are great opportunities. Also, everything that comes out of the office will be applied in Mexican hospitals and its oil and gas sector. This is where GE is going to leverage its research centers around the world. We even have an engineering center in Querétaro, and we get our people to implement solutions around the world. It is going to bring a lot of advantages to our customers.

“Mexico has grown a robust manufacturing platform and it has diversified its trade balance.”

What opportunities are there for growth in sustainable energy generation formats, such as wind?

In the spring of 2013, we are going to open a wind facility in Santa Catarina, Nuevo León. It will be a landmark in Monterrey and hopefully we will be able to announce others. Wind, according to different studies, is estimated to grow at a rate of 1 GW a year. From a worldwide perspective, we are number one in wind. In the US, we have been number one for some time, and in Europe, we are number two. Wind power is big, and Mexico should take advantage of the fact it has lots of it.

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