Colombia highlightsTime to tune in: Latin American companiesturn up the volume on global growthGrowing Beyond
2 Growing BeyondAbout this reportForecasting methodologyRapid-growth markets have largely been viewed andstudied from the perspective of inbound investment bycompanies based in the West. Colombia highlights andthe main global report of which it is a part, Time to tunein: Latin American companies turn up the volume onglobal growth, offer rare insights about the strategiesof outbound investment from companies based in LatinAmerica and provide in-depth perspectives on decision-making for companies from both mature and rapid-growthmarkets.Colombia highlights draws upon a survey of 600 businessexecutives based in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia,Mexico and Peru. The survey was conducted by OxfordEconomics in November and December 2012. Among therespondents, 29% were from Brazil; 24% from Mexico;13% each from Argentina, Chile and Colombia; and 10%from Peru. Among the companies surveyed, the reportedannual revenues were: 25%, US$1 billion or more; 29%,US$250 million to US$500 million; and 46%, underUS$250 million.Colombia highlights is based on three sources of research:the survey results for Colombia, qualitative interviewswith several Ernst & Young sector and country leaders,and the viewpoints of senior executives from companiesbased in Colombia. Oxford Economics provided analysis ofindividual Latin American markets and between Colombiaand the rest of the world.The bilateral sector export forecasts for the LatinAmerican countries in the survey are underpinned byOxford Economics’ Global Macroeconomic and IndustryModels.The Oxford Global Model covers 45 economies in detail,with the rest of the world economy covered in six tradingblocs. Individual country models are fully linked throughglobal assumptions about internationally traded goodsand services, exchange rates, competitiveness, capitalmarkets, interest rates and commodity prices. Theinput/output tables to estimate the share of domesticOxford Economics’ industry forecasts to inform futuredemand and production trends.exports was sourced from the UNComtrade database,data on exports of services was sourced from the
3Latin American companies turn up the volume on global growth / Colombia highlightsIntroductionBefore the new millennium, Colombia wasportrayed in the international mediaas a disintegrating nation torn apart bya decade, Colombia has transformed itselfinto one of the fastest-growing countries inLatin America, and many economists expectthis growth to continue. The challenges thatremain are typical of many rapid-growtheconomies: they involve logistics and strategicchoices, not survival.America, Colombia has learned from theregion’s other leading economies. FromMexico, Colombia has grasped the value offree trade agreements. From Brazil, Colombiahas gained a sense of how a governmentNo wonder Christine Lagarde, Director ofthe International Monetary Fund, describedColombia’s macroeconomic situation as“positive and promising” after her visit to thecountry in December 2012.economic policies and thoughtfulmanagement, Lagarde and other observersdays. So are investors: foreign investmentin Colombia continues to grow as the worldrediscovers a country that was once all butwritten off by many global businesses. Whatonce looked like the middle of nowhere nowlooks like the middle of everything — Colombiaoffers not only a stable economy but alsogeographic proximity to both Latin Americaand the US.Even as more direct investment arrives inColombia, more Colombian companies arestarting to look abroad for new sources ofbusiness. Although the Colombian economyis still skewed heavily toward commodityexports, businesses are rapidly diversifying asWhether yours is a foreign company lookingto partner with one of Colombia’s leadingbusinesses or a Colombian business lookingfor cross-border opportunities, we hope youLuz Maria JaramilloColombia Managing PartnerErnst & Young S.A.S.Colombia highlights and Time to tune in: Latin American companies turn up the volume onglobal growth are part of Growing Beyond,-ing new approaches to talent management.
4 Growing BeyondFast facts: ColombiaPoverty is now 34.1%, down from 45% in 2005, andper capita income stands at US$9,560 in purchasepower parity terms, up from US$7,030 in 2005. (WorldDevelopment Indicators, World Bank)2013 report by the country’s central bank.Colombia’s public debt ratio declined from 36.9 to34.2% of GDP between 2010 and 2011. (World BankCountry Overview)In 2000, the ratio of investment to GDP stood at 9%.ElTiempoPortafolio.co, a ColombianPortafolio.coonly 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012.El Tiempo2013)Portafolio.co,Colombian Government. If successful, it will mark theyears. (World Bank Country Overview) The peace accordEconomics)While fewer Colombian companies have investmentsCaribbean)DoingBusinessterritory) and Peru.Colombia’s annual yield in the international debt
5Latin American companies turn up the volume on global growth / Colombia highlightscountry was badly shaken by politicalviolence and organized crime, Colombia’s for-tunes have changed remarkably. Now, mediaheadlines focus on the country’s relentlessgrowth. As the former slogan for Colombia’snational tourism slogan put it, “The only risk iswanting to stay.”The results of the Ernst & Young 2013 LatinAmerica Outbound Expansion Survey andour qualitative research show that Colombianfrom outbound expansion. The following areat risk. Oxford Economics estimates thatoil, gas and minerals represent two-thirdsof Colombia’s exports. This concentration ofeconomic activity may lead to vulnerability inthe event of a sudden price shock. One casein point: although 87% of our survey respon-dents sell to customers outside Colombia,more than the Latin American average of80%, only 20% support these operations withbrick-and-mortar establishments outsidetheir home country, compared to the LatinAmerican average of 33%.China accounts for only 4% of total Colombi-an exports, 32% of the Colombian executivesthat anticipates a likely increase in Chineseexports. Free trade agreements with China,South Korea and Japan are in the pipeline.Executive summarythat over 20% of their revenue will comefrom foreign sources three years from now,up from 46% who say they earn more than20% of their revenue abroad now. They alsorespondents say their company earns 20% orbelieve they will match or pass that thresholdin three years.than their ideas. More than any other groupof Latin American executives, Colombiansbelieve in the high quality of their productsin the value of their intellectual property, lessthan the 12% Latin American average.their boards. More than any other group inLatin America’s six economies, Colombianexecutives want to make their corporateleast interested in making their board moreperhaps of relatively close ties between theColombian business elite and the US.commodities sales, Colombian executivesMore than other groups of Latin American executives, Colombiansbelieve in the high quality of their products and services.changes in sales and marketing, more than inany other function.-tives say their companies are focused ongrowth through exports and by creatingare also more open to mergers than theculture of public companies, is home to manyof Colombia’s largest enterprises, includ-ing Sura, Bancolombia, Nutresa, Argos andExito.
6 Growing BeyondBusiness implications and recommendationshese opportunities and challengesrequire several strategic responses fromColombian companies that wish to succeedin international markets. Most require mov-ing beyond Colombia’s traditional role as asupplier of commodities. We recommend thefollowing actions:Leverage technology. Raising operational-ties game. Today, Colombia is connected toColombian companies, this means that theyneed not wait to incorporate cutting-edge an-alytics into their business, particularly giventhe ever-increasing availability of software asT Focus on differentiation. The value of many-ment. Typically, rapid-growth economiesvalue before shipping out their commodities.Colombia should be no exception. CasaLuker,for example, a Colombia-based food com-pany, is now focused on differentiating itschocolate for the European market.Go green. Since 1959, the National Federa-tion of Coffee Growers of Colombia has runadvertisements that feature Juan Valdez, a-paign educates consumers worldwide aboutthe qualities of climate and soil that makeColombian coffee “pure” and special. Today,with more consumers becoming concernedabout the quality of the goods they buy andthe social and environmental consequencesof their production, a similar strategy couldbe used to raise perceptions of other prod-America.gov, 09Deepen connections with China. Chinarepresents an enormous opportunity forColombia and for every economy in LatinAmerica. In 2010, China overtook Venezuelato become Colombia’s second-largest tradingpartner; Oxford Economics analysts predictthat Chinese exports will rise 11% a year onaverage between 2011 and 2021. China hasalso become a key player in several Colombi-an development and infrastructure projects.For example, Mansarovar, a consortium madeup of India’s oil and natural gas consortiumnow controls 24% of Colombia’s oil market,exporting its outputs to Asia. Culturaldifferences, however, have hindered speedydevelopment of the relationship betweenColombia and China, and to take maximumadvantage of business opportunities, it will beessential to bridge those differences.Buy experience. Our survey suggests thatColombian companies seem much lessdaunted by the prospect of mergers andacquisitions than other Latin Americancompanies. This adventurous instinct is prov-ing to be an advantage in a part of the worldthat is often conservative about deal-making.Backed by high commodity prices and astrong currency, Colombian companies withan aggressive M&A strategy could grow veryquickly, whether the acquisition offers entryinto a new market or brings greater value tothe product.
7Latin American companies turn up the volume on global growth / Colombia highlightshroughout the 20th century, Colombiaknew few peaceful years. For decades, po-forced Colombian businesses to operate under2000s these hardships have been in sharp de-cline, and with peace in the pipeline prospectsare even better. While violence, kidnappings,bombings of energy infrastructure and similarincidents continue, Colombia has grownsteadily and is now well on its way towardbecoming one of Latin America’s leadingeconomies. Looking ahead, Oxford Economicsanalysts expect real GDP growth to continue,reaching roughly 4% annually through 2016.One secret of Colombia’s success is the open-ness of its economy. Ernst & Young’s 2012Globalization Index ranks Colombia the 40thmost open economy in the world, placing itahead of many rapid-growth markets, includ-ing Brazil, Russia, India and China.Foreign businesses have responded toColombia’s hospitality: foreign direct invest-in 2011. But foreign enthusiasm for theirdomestic market didn’t convince Colombiancompanies to stay home — instead, theyinvested US$8.289 billion abroad in 2011, a26% gain over the previous year. They focusedparticularly on developing their interests inCentral America and Mexico. Targeted sectorsTForeign Direct In-vestment in Latin America and the Caribbean,2011, the United Nations Economic Com-mission for Latin America and the CaribbeanMany businesses had no alternative. Today,the Colombian economy is so developed thatsome Colombian companies don’t really have achoice but to grow abroad, says Luz MariaJaramillo, Colombia Managing Partner atErnst & Young Ltda. At some point, she pointsout, considering their market share, they arenot able to continue expanding without violat-ing anti-trust rules.Some of these cross-border transactions havebeen sizable. In 2011, the biggest acquisitionof the year in Mexico was Colombia’s GrupoSURA purchase of Dutch bank ING’s assets,a US$3.614 billion transaction that was alsoone of the largest deals ever completed by aLatin American company. In fact, as ECLACanalysts note in their 2011 FDI report, Colom-bia has grown into one of the biggest sourcesof Latin foreign direct investment: between2009 and 2011, 39% of outward FDI fromLatin American and Caribbean countries cameForeign Direct Investmentin Latin America and the Caribbean, 2011,One secret of Colombia’s success is the openness of itseconomy. Ernst & Young’s 2012 Globalization Index ranksColombia the 40th most open economy in the world.Business environment and economic outlookservices. The ING deal may have been thewas far from unique. Colombian banks, forexample, have expanded from 35 internationalbranches in 2007 to 175 in 2011, mostlythrough acquisitions. In February 2013, Ban-Panama for US$2.1 billion. As in the case ofthe ING deal, Colombian banks appear to haveinstitutions, which have been compelled toscale back operations because of the impactThis is a situation to which Colombian bankshave been largely immune, thanks to strictregulatory reforms in Colombia that followedthe Latin banking crisis of the late 1990s.into Banking Big Leagues,” America Economia,2 February 2012; “Colombia’s Bancolombia to
8 Growing BeyondColombian companies are starting to lookand China remain distant. China, in particular,know, even while pursuing Colombia-bounddeals. “Unfortunately, our experience withChina is that they are not easy in terms of theway they do business and the way theyapproach their relationships,” saysErnst & Young’s Jaramillo. “We have some dif-investments, to try to get them to follow allthe rules and procedures.”Closer to home, another question mark is thefuture of Venezuela, traditionally an importantmarket for Colombia. Although Colombianbusinesses were largely prevented from invest-ing in the country, it’s unclear whether theend of economic nationalism. In some ways,however, the isolationist policies of the ChavezGovernment encouraged Colombia to create amore open economy and become less depen-dent on a single market. In recent years, someColombian companies have been able to investin Venezuela again, but Jaramillo cautions“We believe that what looks like a disadvantage today is actually anopportunity to begin to enter the market.”Yonatan Bursztyn, General Manager, Nalsani SA, Colombiathat risks remain because currency exchangerestrictions are still severe. The Government isalso very concerned about contraband comingfrom Venezuela, especially since the latestdevaluation.As Colombian businesses look to other mar-competitive advantage:Geographic proximity. If Latin America had aheart, it would probably be near Colombia.Miami, Mexico City and Santiago are allChina are also accessible.Openness to inorganic growth. While mostLatin American companies are suspicious ofinorganic growth, Colombian companies arean exception. Our survey suggests that Co-lombian companies are much more open thanother Latin American companies to mergersor acquisitions, which might allow an easierway to test or gain a foothold in new marketswithout the expense and risk of a direct invest-ment.Fearlessness. The experience of Colombia’slast tumultuous century seems to have leftmany Colombian executives with an unusuallynuanced sense of risk. For example, it’s prob-ably safe to say that a mature market whereunemployment tops 26% and youth unemploy-ment has hit 55% would probably not be onBursztyn, General Manager of Nalsani SA, islooking at opportunities to expand in Spain.“Conditions are bad in Spain, but this is whenopportunities arise,” Bursztyn explains. “Webelieve that what looks like a disadvantagetoday is actually an opportunity to begin toenter the market.”%ArgentinaReal GDP growth in Latin America1098765432102012 2013 2014 20152011 2016Source: Ernst & Young Rapid-Growth Markets Forecast,Winter edition, January 2013ChileBrazilMexicoColombia
9Latin American companies turn up the volume on global growth / Colombia highlightsRest of AsiaIndiaChinaColombiaUnited StatesMiddle East andNorth AfricaEuropeRest ofLatin America1299637221482112Colombia regional goods exports by US$b, 2011-21Source: Oxford Economics202120116Natural and cultural beauty. With its moun-tains, beaches and some of South America’smost beautiful colonial cities, Colombia shouldbe an important tourist destination. At themoment, growth of the industry remains low,just 3.6% between 2010 and 2011, comparedwith the double-digit increases enjoyed byconsumers in North America come to realizethat the security situation in Colombia is verydifferent from what it was 10 or 15 years ago,Multiple free trade agreements. Like Peruand Mexico, Colombia has made free tradeagreements a core of its investment strategy.Colombia now has free trade agreements with47 countries, giving Colombian companiespreferential access to 1.5 billion consumers,according to a tally by Colombia Proexport.Now, the Ministry of Commerce is working onthat will deepen Colombia’s relationship withMexico, Chile and Peru, three of its mostimportant trading partners.
10 Growing BeyondLatin America is the top investmentdestinationolombian companies might sell mineralsand hydrocarbons that are similarlyvalued the world over, but the Colombianstrategy remains largely focused on the LatinAmerican region. Colombian companiesconduct more business nearby than theaverage Latin American company, accordingto our survey: 87% of Colombian executivessay they export to markets in Latin America,compared with a Latin average of 80%. At thesame time, fewer sell outside Latin Americathan average: 60% versus 66%. The sameCWhere, why and how Colombianpreference for the “near abroad” marketsappears when they are asked about the topmarkets: Ecuador is the leader, at 51%,compared with a 15% average. The numbersare also well ahead for every market butArgentina. Interest in the US and Canada isChina is also seen as a more crucial market,but here, executives may be getting aheadof themselves. Although not yet reported inthe trade data, total goods exports are onlyabout 4% of Colombia’s total, according toOxford Economics. At the same time, OxfordEconomics analysts predict that Chineseexports will rise 11% a year on averageLooking ahead three years, Colombianexecutives are more optimistic about growthwithin Latin America than the average LatinAmerican company. They see brighter1554211721152722102051492943283624322031Figure 1: Colombian companies conduct most of their international business in Ecuador and North America(excluding your company’s home country)? Select all that apply.EcuadorUnited States or CanadaBrazilPeruChileSource: Ernst & Young 2013 Latin America Outbound Expansion SurveyVenezuelaArgentinaChinaPanamaMexicoColombiaLatin America
11Latin American companies turn up the volume on global growth / Colombia highlightsdays ahead in Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador andChile. They are even more optimistic aboutto the US or Canada or China, Colombiansare slightly less optimistic, although theystill expect the best growth opportunities toOne exception is clothing retailer NalsaniSA. General Manager Yonatan Bursztynthe US market, but sees an opportunitycommensurate with the risk.“When Totto enters the United States, no onewill know what Totto is, basically,” he says.“You’re competing against very powerfulbrands with a lot of money and establishedroots. But, on the other hand, there arealways opportunities, and the most importantis to bring an innovative brand concept, tooffer new things. You have to offer somethingdifferent from what they have today. If not,you’ll fail.”Access to new technology is the key reasonfor developed-market expansionColombians’ motivations for expansion intorapid-growth markets within Latin Americamarkets outside Latin America seems drivenby similar priorities.43139161585542040251524112311171116Figure 2: Best growth opportunities are expected from North America and Mexico in the next three yearsWhich countries/regions outside your organization’s home country do you expect will hold the best growthopportunities for your company over the next three years? Select the top three.United States or CanadaMexicoChileBrazilArgentinaSource: Ernst & Young 2013 Latin America Outbound Expansion SurveyPeruVenezuelaEcuadorCosta RicaChinaColombiaLatin America
12 Growing BeyondColombian executives are much more aggressivethan other Latin American executives in consideringPriorities, however, are somewhat differentwhen it comes to developed-market expansion.Although they also want to reach newColombian executives are seeking qualities intheir expansion markets that were once elusivein Latin America but are becoming easier totheir biggest challenges when going abroadand making sure that the headquartersmanagement team has the right blend of skillsto manage a growing multinational businessWhen they size themselves up against thecompetition, Colombian executives tout thequality of their products or services much moreand the cost-competitiveness of their workforceproperty, which is seen as important by onlyDirect export, franchises and licensing arethe main expansion methodsOur Colombian respondents’ growth plansin Latin America over the next three yearswill be primarily an extension of their currentprogram: direct export and local salesand distribution. Interestingly, Colombianexecutives are much more aggressivethan other Latin American executives inconsidering potential partnerships with a localmergers.6047224818391843213463572944234120401637Which aspects of the business environment do you assess most carefully when targeting anMacroeconomic stabilityPolitical stabilityLegal and regulatory environmentQuality of research anddevelopment centersSource: Ernst & Young 2013 Latin America Outbound Expansion SurveyExchange rate stabilityTax policy and environmentSize of potential customer baseCost of capitalLocal trade barriers or protectionismColombiaLatin America543237372521644843392520Figure 4: Finding reliable business partners and gaining detailed market understandingare biggest challengesOverall, what do you see as the biggest challenges for a Latin American companyplanning international expansion? Select up to three.Identifying reliablebusiness partnersGetting detailed marketunderstandingGetting the right blend of skillsSource: Ernst & Young 2013 Latin America Outbound Expansion SurveyGetting the right managers atthe country levelIntegrating products and brandsCultural compatibilityColombiaLatin America
13Latin American companies turn up the volume on global growth / Colombia highlightsOutside Latin America, the game changes.While the strategy is broadly similar forthe minority who are looking to move intodeveloped markets, the slightly largerminority who want to enter rapid-growthmarkets outside Latin America are looking ata somewhat different model. They say theyTo execute their strategy, many respondentsthink they will need to make their corporateEvery Latin American economy has a somewhat different approachto trade development. Colombia is no exception. We discussed thecountry’s trade policy with Gabriel A. Duque Mildenberg, Colombia’sVice Minister of Commerce, who points to three important aspects:Colombia doesn’t try to pick winners. “We don’t have a vision ofa particular choice of sectors, so we give support across sectors,than others. Much of Colombia’s exports are now mining-related —that is, hydrocarbons, oil and gold, which do not really require anyeffort to market or export. So we take steps to promote and negotiatethe components of all that is not mining and energy, which is moreColombia has a long history of successful public-privatepartnerships. “The development of coffee and its internationalgrowth is a result of close public-private collaboration, which goesback decades. That is, more than 50 years of collaborative effort havewas a great deal of public-private work dedicated to overcoming thebarriers that the sector faced, and there were people working hard tomake this occur. More recently, we have launched a program for the‘productive transformation’ of sectors, based on joint public -privatework, which is proving very successful.”Colombia’s trade initiatives don’t end with free tradeagreements.with Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia, which is deepeningthe already comprehensive FTAs among the four of us. We areconstituting an area of deep integration that will facilitate the freemovement of goods, services, capital and people and help us furtherintegrate with the rest of the world. The process is going very welland has generated a lot of interest worldwide, so much so that ninecountries have become observers of the process. They are CostaRica, Panama, Canada, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay,Guatemala and Japan.”Trade policy, Colombian style4935553022251728136345353521297275Figure 5: Making corporate culture more international is the most important changeneeded to expand successfullyWhich of the following changes will be most important for your businessto succeed with its international expansion plans? Select up to three.Making our corporate culturemore internationalEntering new market segmentsMaking our board morerepresentative of global marketsSource: Ernst & Young 2013 Latin America Outbound Expansion SurveyDecentralizing decision-makingAltering the value propositionfor customersGetting the right local partnersStrengthening corporategovernanceDeveloping new distributionchannelsChanging our organizationalstructureColombiaLatin America
14 Growing Beyondthose kinds of changes may not be easy, atleast within Colombia. Growth at home andthe free trade agreement with the US arelikely to heighten competition for home-grownbusiness talent, according to Nestor D’Angelo,head of operations for CTPartners LatinAmerica, a Bogota-headquartered executiveEl Tiempo,Few respondents think about strengtheningdevelopment economists often see corporatearchitecture as keys to sustainable growth.Sales and marketing is the business functionrespondents view as most in need of changeare less concerned about tax planning and“We had to adapt our product, even though it was imported, soLuz Adriana Osorio, General Manager, CasaLuker, Colombia50394329111122112418604944271352013197ensure the success of your company’s international expansion plans? Select up to three.Sales and marketingStrategic planningInformation technologySource: Ernst & Young 2013 Latin America Outbound Expansion SurveyPublic relationsFinancial reportingFinancial managementInternal communicationsRisk management/enterpriseTax planningColombiaLatin America
15Latin American companies turn up the volume on global growth / Colombia highlightsLooking ahead: bright prospects for growthBlessed with rich natural resources andarguably one of the most strategic locationsof any South American country — no othercountry in the region faces both the Caribbeanenormous potential. Add to that a number ofsophisticated cities and the possibilities seemeven richer. With forethought, Colombiancompanies should be able to build on thatconsumer experience abroad as well.to move beyond the traditional boundariesof a classic commodity business. This canbe done through increasing operationalor developing educational campaigns thatbe perceived by consumers as a differentiatedoffering. And for many companies that alreadyhave a large share of the domestic market,there is no alternative but to look outside forgrowth. “I’d say that at least 70% of our effortswill be dedicated to international expansion,”says Nalsani SA’s Bursztyn. “There is not muchthat we can do locally, other than maintainand grow a little bit more, because we reallyhave a very strong leadership position. We’veachieved a dominant level of coverage andpositioning in the country.”Perhaps the greatest opportunity of all is onethat remains relatively latent in Colombia: thecapacity for reinvention. More than most LatinAmerican executives, Colombians are open toinorganic growth. This suggests that the mostcrucial differentiator for Colombian companiesas they grow beyond their home market willbe neither capital nor the availability of aparticular commodity, but creativity.When CasaLuker, a Colombia-based food company, began to focuson exporting chocolate to Europe, executives realized that theyneeded to make some changes: the cacao they had was different fromthe cacao Europe valued. Although they were focused at home ongrowing mass consumption, chocolate was such a mature categoryin the developed markets that CasaLuker’s managers concluded thecompany would be better off focusing on the sale of cacao ingredientsin those markets.or like,” explains Luz Adriana Osorio, General Manager of CasaLuker.“We had to adapt our product, even though it was imported, so thatchocolate has less vanilla than in Latin America. So one has to put [in]less vanilla and adjust the overall formulation so that it’s consistentwith the tastes that they developed as children.”At the same time, CasaLuker marketers realized that Europeanconsumers wanted other attributes in their chocolate that had nothingto do with taste. Just as particular products in Europe have longbeen associated with particular regions, such as champagne, whichtakes its name from the Champagne region, or burgundy wines withBurgundy, cacao could be sold by origin as well. What had worked forColombia’s coffee could work for its cacao.“The business in Europe is based upon cacao ingredients withtraceability and origin,” says Osorio. “This is a well-differentiatedproduct in the global market. In Colombia, the concept is still notfundamentally sound. “We expect the cacao brand for the world to beSweetening the deal