The Business Year

Phenomenal talent, political and economic stability, and key geographic location are some of the reasons why companies choose Costa Rica as a hub for regional operations.

Ricardo Ramos Yoshino

General Manager, Kimberly Clark

Kimberly Clark is one of the largest companies in Costa Rica. In terms of exports, only Coca-Cola exports more than Kimberly Clark. The biggest challenge for companies wanting to enter Costa Rica is the cost to establish a company. Labor and energy costs are high, but at the same time, the education and energy systems are strong and efficient; the quality of the resources is something that keeps us here. Kimberly Clark’s purpose and mission are to lead the world in essentials and work toward a better environment. We produce personal care and feminine care products, and at present, we represent 62% market share in diapers, 39% in feminine care, and 37% in tissues. Notably, we have a program called “Ambientados“ that focuses on the collection of plastic electronics for recycling. Over the last three years, we have invested USD27 million, and in 2018 alone, we invested USD4 million in shared services and USD6 million to upgrade our mill’s facilities, enabling us to continue on our growth trajectory. For the next few years, we have innovative plans for all categories.

José Alvarez

Sales Director & Cluster Lead Central America, MondelÄ’z International

Although Costa Rica’s population is 10% of Colombia’s population, business in Costa Rica can sell 50% more. This is possible because Costa Rica’s socioeconomic level is higher than other Latin American markets, and it is a stable country in terms of politics and security. Moreover, Costa Rican customers are willing to pay for good brands, added values, and benefits. Mondelēz International is one of the largest food and snack companies in the world. It was founded in 2012, when Kraft Foods decided to separate the food and snacks segment to perform better. We have established a horizontal work environment in which every employee works in shared spaces and attends to personal task; without being subjected to hierarchy. Developing internal talent is a core principle at Mondelēz International; on average 50% of the open positions are covered by internal talent. To keep people working with us, we have developed good work policies and are flexible regarding work benefits and work-life balance. Remarkably, around 94% of our employees value their conditions.

Robert (Trey) Pettibone

Site Director, Robert (Trey) Pettibone

Being among the first shared services here, Costa Rica continues to offer a unique blend of everything we look for to ensure long term success. For new and prospective companies, its vital to build and maintain strong partnerships with key stakeholders. A good example is the win-win relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, as it can be instrumental in assisting in talent development and providing benchmarking and insights across shared service centers. When we started, we were primarily a “transactional“ organization; however, at present, we continue to push the top of the value chain, working directly with P&G’s various general managers, governments in Latin and North America, and P&G’s top customers. We have helped 144,000 Costa Ricans over the past year, completing over 10,000 hours of community service. Other programs we have focused on are the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program and the Happy Homes, Healthy Lives program, for which our employees build two homes every year for families in need.

Alejandro Filloy

Country Manager, Amazon

Selecting Costa Rica as a hub for regional operations comes down to different elements. First is the quality of the people. Costa Ricans, culturally, believe in investing in education. We have had tremendous success in getting our Costa Rican associates to provide world-class support for our customers, sellers, and internal customers. We support authors as well, who use our platform to publish. Looking at economic growth, especially in Latin America, the main deterrent is political stability, and in the case of Costa Rica, political, social, and economic stability allows us to work with confidence. At present, Costa Rica is Amazon’s second-largest services hub outside of the US after India. Amazon Costa Rica is the nearshore solution when it comes to the Americas. We allow Amazon to tap into the resources available in the region to add greater value. As Amazon expands in Latin America, it will leverage its existing hub to support those launches. This allows the company to avoid duplicating efforts in other locations.

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