The original report was published in the Miani Herald on Friday, April 27, 2012
Grupo Familia is ready to take on the American market
The figure of Paisa businessman John Gómez Restrepo – who established Grupo Familia – is well known and respected throughout Colombia, so much so that in 2009 he received Ernst & Young’s Lifetime Entrepreneurship Achievement Award.
He takes the disciplines of innovation, satisfaction and proximity to the client very seriously. Passed on by his father, they are pillars that have been key to the company’s success.
“Innovation is a corporate culture and it must radiate from within the presidency of the company,” says Mr. Gómez.
He adds that distinguishing between “know how” and “know why” forms part of that culture and is key to understanding the needs of each client: “That is what we do here. Our chemical products are made in reactors, cooked, cooled, crystallized and filtered. These are processes and we are masters in the process, and as such, we know how we can innovate.”
“The Colombia-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) is going to create a ‘before and after’ in the economic history of Colombia,” assures Mr. Gómez. It is not so much the FTA itself, but more the fact that it has been signed with “a country like the United States, which represents 30% of the world’s economy,” he adds. The changes, as he envisions them, will be gradual with an initial influx of American products sought after by the Colombian population, after which the inverse situation will materialize as Colombian enterprises penetrate the American market. For this reason, PQP is targeting Colombian and other Latin American communities in Florida and Texas. “We will try to bring products they have used in their childhood or youth, products they want,” explains Mr. Gómez.
PQP is preparing to enter the stock market this year, with the group’s Brinsa and Familia subsidiaries following suit later.
According to PQP’s president, this move will “ensure the growth and internationalization of PQP, which is seeking to be a multinational company in this corner of the world, one that has nothing to envy of Procter & Gamble or Colgate. We will be seen as equals.”
COLOMBIA TEAM: Gemma Gutierrez, Leandro Cabanillas, Iris Oliveros, Laia Marsal, Felipe Mattosian, and Rocio De Mingo, with special thanks to Henry Espino
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
AREA - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
GDP - composition by sector:
services: 52.7% (2010 est.)
AGRICULTURE - products:
coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
$40.24 billion (2010 est.)
EXPORTS - commodities:
petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, emeralds, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
EXPORTS - partners:
US 42%, EU 12.6%, China 5.2%, Ecuador 4.5% (2010 est.)