Business Visits in Latin America
On my recent trip to Latin America we visited a variety of business in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. Here's a little description of each!
Business in Argentina
Acindar produces steel used in agriculture, civil construction, the automotive, railroad, and mining industries, as well as many other industries. Acindar was founded in 1942, and is based in Buenos Aires, employing over 2600 direct employees at 5 sites across Argentina. Since 2008, they are a part of ArcelorMittal, the number 1 steel producing group in the world, operating in over 60 countries with around 300,000 employees. Acindar Grupo Arcelor Mittal has a 60% market share of long carbon steel in Argentina, making them the leading producer.
Acinder was founded in October of 1942 in response to the steel shortage caused by World War II. Their first plan was in Rosario City, Santa Fe and had around 450 workers, producing 3500 tons of steel during its first year. After many years of growth, the plant upgraded in size. Following this, Acinder acquired the Santa Rosa company and merged with the Germendi firm. They also opened a new plant in Villa Mercedes, San Luis producing steel mesh and nails. All of this put Acinder in a great global position allowing another merger with the Brazilian Belgo Mineira company (part of the Acelor group). Acelor and Mittal companies, both leaders in steel production, constituted AcerlorMittal which is not the #1 steel producing group in the world, manufacturing over 100million tons per year (10% of the world production).
Acindar has five plants in Argentina located in Rosario, San Luis, Villa Constitucion, San Nicolas, and La Tablada. They produce a range of non flat steel products including wires, cables, and tubes. Other examples include billets, beams, cold drawn and hot-rolled bars, welded meshes, and wire rod. Thy also produce cut rebar and nails. Acindar has an annual capacity of about 1.3 million tons. They mostly operate in Argentina, but have a manufacturing facility in Brazil, and a commercial office in Uruguay. Their production is mostly exported to South American countries, and they have about 38% domestic sales.
Axion is in the oil & gas industry. 45% of their business comes from retail sales like gas stations. They have lots of business to business sales such as licensing to produce Mobil (Exxon)'s and Toyota motor oil. Recently, the goverment has called for non conventional energy supplies. Axion currently uses about 15% from other sources such as hydraulic but are still very 85%) dependent on fossil fuel in Argentina.
They are always looking for new ways to turn their waste into cash producing materials. They were the first company to come out with paying for your gas via an app, so the driver never has to exit their vehicle at the gas station.
Bragging point: They have a 2% better consumption rate than Shell via the additive they add to their gasoline.
Capital Markets is a firm that invests their customer money globally. This is a huge deal in Argentina right now because inflation is so high (40% last year). This means, if customers don't invest their money, they are loosing money each year (equal to the effect of inflation). So their savings account is worth less year after year. This is why Capital Markets chooses to invest on the global scale.
Globant is an IT consulting firm, and their office was decorated with video games, fun colors, a meeting room in a ball pit, and ping pong tables.
They moved from being just consultants to actually providing full solutions. They work with companies like National Geographic, FIFA, Southwest, American Express, Coke, and Disneyland. They have offices all around the globe including the United States and are similar to companies like Deloitte and Accenture in terms of their niche.
They focus on providing a "digital journey" which is a series of interactions based on dependencies. They don't want to just provide an application, but a journey of these inter dependencies and interactions that work seamlessly to meet customers needs that they may not even know they had.
We visited the Volkswagen factory in Buenos Aires where they produce 3 different vehicles including a cute little Volkswagen truck that is very popular, however not available in the United States.
Their factory produces the cars very quickly, and was very clean. We got to see the entire process from assembly to testing, to painting which only takes about 2 days.
Business in Uruguay
Bodegas Carrau Winery
OK, this was my favorite stop :)
We visited the Bodegas Carrau family winery and it was VERY impressive. We got to see the entire process from harvesting grapes to making and bottling wine and champagne.
Most impressive was their ability to keep their business in the family, as that can bring many complications. They have had 10 generations now, over 260 years of wine making. They started in 1752 in Cataluna, Spain, and in 1930 in Uruguay. They export about 50% of their wine to Brazil and 25% to the United States.
I bought a bottle of the Tannat Reserve. Tannat is a rare grape that has a ton of antioxidants, super good for you!
Why do business in Uruguay
In South America, Uruguay...
Uruguay's Free Trade zones
Free trade zones in Uruguay offer..
Zonamerica is a private free trade zone. They house companies working in idustry as well as global & logistic services. They are 1 of 11 free trade zones currently in Uruguay.
Their profit model is that they built an entire community of roads, buildings, parks, etc and lease spaces, with the infrastructure companies need to operate. They also can help companies with their IT, data centers, and HR.
The next 2 company visits are both located in and realizing the benefits of Zonamerica.
Costa Oriental is a logistics company who store their customers items while they are going through the processes involved with importing goods across South America. They coordinate with distributors (they don't actually distribute themself) and also can do value added activities such as customizing products to a specific country destination by installing the correct power cords and including the proper language instructions. Products stay here for about a month while their companies (ex. Loreal, Estee Lauder, Nike) wait to be cleared to import their goods to South American countries. They are located in the Zonamerica free trade zone in Montevideo.
Sabre is a technology company in the travel industry. They first started as a joint project between American Airlines and IBM when the 2 CEOs sat next to eachother on a plane ride. They were the first company to do online airline bookings. Currently, they help corporations manage corporate travel, help travel agents, etc.
They are headquartered in Dallas Texas (about 4,000 employees) and we visited their office in Montevideo which focused mostly on customer support but also works on things such as business intelligence.
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