The Business Year

From financial services to personal care products, these companies explain their success stories in Colombia.

Édgar Sánchez

Country Managing Partner, EY

We have been here for 55 years, during which we have really seen a change in the past 15 years. Originally, we were an accounting firm; now, we are a professional services firm and have opened up our portfolio. When entering a country that is attractive to foreign investors, a common mistake is underestimating local knowledge. Successful companies that work in other countries and markets think that if they are successful in one market, they will be successful in the Colombian one too. There has been a major infrastructure push in the last few years, and many people have been saying they want to set up in Colombia. There are great investment opportunities here, especially when we compare growth rates in this region to those in the US or Europe. However, there are more risks, and companies need someone to help them navigate the local landscape. We ask companies what they want to do and determine how it fits into the local environment. We can help with regulations.

Charly Eid

President Andean Region, Dow Chemical

One of the first things we worked on was creating a culture of innovation. We started training programs to formalize the process of receiving ideas. Now, innovation is in our DNA and our culture, so the process has evolved. Ideas are easily and often brought to leadership, and the steps forward are decided collaboratively. We recently received an award from Great Culture to Innovate. We were one of the seven companies recognized for our culture of innovation, and the only one in our industry, which has great meaning because innovation is essential for the chemical industry and is at the core of our mission. Almost 97% of the products in the market have, at some level of the value chain, a Dow product. Our goal is to create innovation for our stakeholders through collaboration. With our new company strategy, we are focusing on three value chains: industrial and infrastructure, packaging, and consumer. Hence, we have value chains for each.

Juan Carlos Rosado

General Manager, Juan Carlos Rosado

We have to build up the different channels that tires are selling in now. Normally in different countries, there are major dealers and traditional networks with service centers and all the services they provide to customers. In Colombia, about 40% of the sales is made by retail and supermarkets, changing the way we had to manage the market. The way that we announce our products and how we affect customer preferences is different. We also have an increase in channels such as e-commerce, which is growing across Latin America, but is growing faster in places like Brazil, Chile, and Colombia. This might be the difference in Colombia as opposed to other markets. Colombia is one of the largest markets in South America. In terms of population, Argentina ranks second and Colombia ranks third. In Colombia, we are part of a cluster that is part of the Andean region, which is managed from Venezuela to Chile, and includes Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia.

Jorge Arias

Managing Director for Colombia and Ecuador, Oracle

The ecosystem has changed here. In the beginning, financial services companies, telecoms, public-sector institutions, and retailers demanded high investment in technology. Oracle’s portfolio has extended to other segments of the market. We are focused now on the base of the pyramid, especially small companies. The game changer today is the cloud. It gives small businesses access to outstanding technology and capabilities that were previously inaccessible. Our customer portfolio today is not only big companies, but multiple layers of the market. Out traditional clients continue to demand a lot from us, as do public-sector companies, but we are putting greater emphasis on other layers of the market, because cloud technology can help them. We have the capability to deliver CRM, ERP, autonomous databases, big data, blockchain, machine learning, deep learning, AI, augmented reality, and much more through the cloud. These can be used for any kind of customer.

Carlos Garcí­a Manzanero

Partner, Matrix Consulting

Matrix is the premier management consulting boutique in Latin America, with offices in Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Our focus in 2018 for Colombia was growth and consolidation. Most of our engagements in Colombia were for locally owned corporations and foreign private equity funds with investments throughout Latin America. We worked in several industries, including construction materials, financial services, retail, consumer goods, and large company holdings. Last year, we became the largest boutique in the country, surpassing consulting firms that have been in the local market for more than 15 years. We have aggressive goals for the near future, in our operations, strategy, organization, and digital transformation practices in Colombia, which will help us continue consolidating our position as the premier management consulting boutique in the country.



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