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MEXICO - Telecoms & IT

René Martín Torres Fragoso

CEO & Founder, CONTPAQi


René Martín Torres Fragoso is one of the forerunners of the software industry in Mexico. The founder of CONTPAQi, he is also co-creator of the software that revolutionized accounting in Mexico.CONTPAQi was highlighted in 2009 as one of the 100 Super Companies by international human resources agency, Top Company. In 2015, Torres Fragoso was recognized as Best Leader of the Year by Great Place to Work Institute. He is an electronics engineer from the University of Guadalajara (UDG) and holds an honoris causa doctorate from the International University (UNINTER) of Cuernavaca.

"We are a founding company of the software industry in Mexico and have been in the market for 38 years, specifically serving the micro, small, and medium-sized company market."

CONTPAQi’s software and products are helping companies adapt their business models to digitalization and evolving consumer behaviors.

What technology trends has CONTPAQi observed in the SME Mexican market?

We are a founding company of the software industry in Mexico and have been in the market for 38 years, specifically serving the micro, small, and medium-sized company market. Today, every year we conduct a study of the digitalization of SMEs, and we have found interesting findings. For example, now at least five out of 10 companies already have at least one process on the cloud. There have been two important factors that accelerated the adoption of technology in Mexico: the birth of electronic invoicing in 2010 and becoming mandated in 2013; and the pandemic, which caught many companies off guard. Most companies are still being managed hierarchically, which is becoming obsolete. Today, more than hierarchies, companies need to work in collaborative networks. The pandemic also accelerated the adoption of such technology and revolutionized the way in which the work of others is supervised or reviewed. Today, at least 70% of Mexicans have already conducted transactions over the internet. That is why companies are rushing to adopt ecommerce and that entails structural changes in the way business processes are organized.

How do you help SMEs incorporate this technology into their operations?

We have a platform called Cursa, where everything is completely digital. This Cursa platform allows users to download lessons and even guides them until they achieve a certification. For us, certification is important, because we provide a diploma from an institution in Mexico called Conocer, which recognizes the skills of people. The diploma gives people employability. We do this through a network of more than 6,000 distributors throughout the country, and that network is responsible for deploying training to end users. We have trained these 6,000 distributors or business partners to guide and help SMEs, especially in matters of what technology must be adopted to face changes. Technology by itself is useless, and technology on the cloud must support a change in consumer behavior to adapt the business model to that change.

Do you have plans to enter Latin America or other countries in the short term?

With the cloud, the physical barriers of country borders are eliminated. Basically, all of Latin America and the Hispanic market in the US share the same values. There are some minor differences in the tax rates and in the way of calculating it; however, the countries all practically have the same taxation schemes. Now, the issue of electronic invoicing opens up a wonderful opportunity for us because other countries in Latin America are starting this process of electronic invoicing. For us, one of the best models is the Mexican one, because it allows almost online transactions. Our business model is that we sell the software for the invoices but not the stamp, and that scheme has worked well for us in Mexico. We are precisely exploring this for Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. Chile and Colombia are already slightly more advanced. Today, we are audited by SAT, and we are one of the most robust PAQs in terms of security, which is essential for us.

In what ways is CONTPAQi changing its business model to prepare itself for further growth?

In 2021, we grew around 17%, and in 2022 we are growing around 15%. For the first time in the history of the company, we are exceeding the historic sales levels of every year. That opens up great possibilities for us. We are also reaching 500 collaborators, and we had set 500 as a limit, because when we reach 500 collaborators, we have to change the systems of management of the company due to the considerable number of people. Now, we are making significant changes in the organization within CONTPAQi to function in collaborative networks and autonomous work teams that will define their own budgets, objectives, and goals. Each of them will focus on customers; though we have always been customer centric, the main emphasis before was always on products.



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