ECUADOR - Industry
Managing Director, Grupo Bimbo
Randall Quesada Lobo, born in Costa Rica 43 years ago. His parents have an educating profession, but a human vocation. He lived for a long time in rural areas of his home country, where he experienced what can change the human will. He is a Chemical Engineer, with an MBA with an emphasis in finance, however, he stands out as the main achievement of his university teachers, being a problem solver. From the age of 14 he practiced athletics, many years at an amateur level in local and university teams. In addition, he is an active mountaineer and likes to read. His 19 years of work experience were always within Grupo Bimbo, where he had the opportunity to live in Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador; and to have temporary assignments in the Middle East and Morocco. In all that time he held positions in the area of technical training, production supervision, sales, business, marketing directions and currently General Manager of Bimbo Ecuador.
The evolution of the relationship between Bimbo Group and Ecuador has been a virtuous one, where the company and the country are seeking continuous improvement for both, through constant investment and innovation from our side to make the Ecuadorian baking market more attractive and competitive. We have Ecuador’s considerable human talent pool, and we combine this with innovation and our know-how and experience as the largest baking company in the world. What we do is bring ideas from different countries and mature them locally. For instance, since we acquired Supán, we have continuously invested an average of USD4 million per year in the country, which is considerable. We have developed new categories such as cookies and cakes which is a relatively new segment for us, and we have invested in technology for bread-making ingredients. Therefore, we are reaping the synergy of a country with a high level of human and natural wealth and a company with high innovative power and business acumen. One of the advantages of the Bimbo Group is that we have 140,000 collaborators in 32 countries coming up with ideas and creating trends. We work in the US, Europe, China, Africa, and Latin America, and we see many extremely interesting concepts emerge every day. We also promote the internal ideas of local talent, from among the collaborators of Bimbo Ecuador. Within the Bimbo Group, Bimbo Ecuador has stood out with inspirational business cases for the rest of the group. This means we are exporting ideas, talent, and know-how within the group.
You would think bread is a mature category, but in reality, it is not. It still has a long way to go, and the pandemic taught us many things. Firstly, we need to continue growing our geographical presence. We discovered that we have a solid presence, but there are gray areas that we are not reaching as yet. In the next few months, we will expand our distribution span, resulting in an almost complete coverage of the country, be it through direct or third-party service. We will collaborate with new clients, as they are an important source of employment in the production chain of all the countries we operate in. Our main goal is to serve them directly and provide them with excellent customer service. We will also continue to create synergies with the successful products of other companies, which will be a new activity for 2022, as well as our innovative efforts. Additionally, we will bring in new ideas based on categories that are successful abroad and implement them here. There is a great deal of innovation and growth in the number of distributors as well as a focus on new launches.
A perfect example of this is the launch of our Supán Raíces (Roots) bread, the first Ecuadorian sustainable bread. This bread has 100% traceability of its ingredients. It is a bread with chia and quinoa as ingredients, and we have direct contact with the agricultural families of the Sierra region. This is what we call fair trade. This bread is certified, and we already have families in the Sierra that directly benefit from this. Moving forward, we must promote the consumption of high nutritional value products, with vegetables, grains, and cereals as superfoods, encouraging such cultivation in the regions and having direct contact with them through fair share commerce. The joint effort of promoting consumption together with direct commerce is a responsibility, one that we are realizing with the Supán Raices bread, and we aim to expand this concept to benefit more families. We are also uniting our volunteering initiative with the Good Neighbor program. The idea here is to choose an already existing in a community close to us and help them, improve the life of an institution, a group of people, or a similar scheme related to well-being. In 2021, I took part in such an initiative, and the experience was extraordinary. We realized three social inclusion projects working with institutions that oversee the rehabilitation of children and teenagers with cognitive or physical impairment, and resident in Quito, Guayaquil, and Milagro. The institutions involved were Campamento Cristiano Esperanza in Quito, Foundation Un Presente Diferente in Guayaquil, and Avvinfa Foundation in Milagro. We helped by adapting rehabilitation, early stimulation, and pedagogy areas where we installed specialized equipment for these foundations that work with around 2,000 people. This is the reflection of our social pact and is a commitment to better economic results as a company, whereby we can continue sharing part of that profit via social initiatives.
At the global level, we are affirming a commitment to being a carbon-neutral company by 2050. Our objectives for 2025 as part of this sustainability effort are that 100% of our packages must be recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable, we need to reduce our plastic use, and 100% of bread packaging must be part of the circular economy. In Ecuador currently, 94% of our packaging is recyclable, 30% is biodegradable—which we hope to reach 100% by 2022, and we are working to develop compostable packaging. Additionally, Bimbo Ecuador will have its first electric distribution vehicles in operation in 2022, marking a great step forward.
The first thing for the future is to increase the empowerment of our collaborators at all levels of the company; we want them to feel free to express their opinions, to transform, propose, and build toward the objectives we have always shared. Their rank, profession, or role does not matter; we want everyone to be part of this transformation. The second part of this vision is to consolidate the objective of the Bimbo Group as a global company in Ecuador. We want to become a sustainable, highly productive, and completely a human-oriented company. We are highly committed to the pillars of the Bimbo Group: pursuing nutritional transformation, being in harmony with the environment, and being a good neighbor, namely having a socially responsible corporate profile. We want to be the company that transforms Ecuador’s bread-making industry.
ECUADOR - Real Estate & Construction
General Manager, Uribe & Schwarzkopf (US)
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