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Multilatinas: Made in Latin America, Gone Global

Written by Gabriela Castro-Fontoura Monday, 16 December 2013.

Here's a challenge for you, name just two global companies that originated in Latin America. Tricky, right? Believe me, it will get easier as time goes by and "multilatinas" spread across the world.

shutterstock 151099985Back in January 2012 at Sunny Sky Solutions we wrote an article about multilatinas. To sum up, these are the large Latin America-born companies that have become truly global. But why do they matter to you? For those interested in expanding into Latin America, whether selling actuators, ebooks, weight loss programmes, legal services, or packaging solutions, here are the reasons why multilatinas just can't be ignored:

1. They could be your competitors. And if you're expanding into "their" territory, you'd better get to know them closely!

2. They could be your partners. Not just in Latin America, but globally.

3. They could be your clients. If you're selling packaging technology, for example, you'd like to know who the mega food companies in the continent are. If you're selling power solutions, energy-hungry multilatinas could be your main consumers. They are all successful companies working to international standards, so high-quality British products are likely to be favoured.

4. There's an awful lot you can learn from their success, and failure, whether they are in your sector or not. They have spread across Latin America, after all, just like you're trying to do. What lessons did they learn about different cultures, management styles, consumers, advertising, logistics, taxes...?

So who, you're asking, are these companies? Here's the top three:

Cement giant, from Mexico. In 50 countries. Did you know that the company operates in the UK...? "In the UK, CEMEX generates around £775 million in annual sales. In addition to ready-mixed concrete, cement and aggregates we also supply and install asphalt materials, manufacture concrete block pavings, rail products, bespoke pre-cast and concrete blocks". Impressed?

From Brazil, the largest animal protein processing multinational in the world. And it's not just about food, they also operate in "leather, products for pets, biodiesel, collagen, cans and cleaning products". 140 production units and 120,000 employees.

A US/Bolivia company and the largest Hispanic-owned business in the US. What does it do? It's the "world's largest specialized wireless distributor and a leading global services company, serving mobile device manufacturers, wireless operators and retailers."


If you are interested in making it easier to do business in Latin America, contact Gabriela at for expert guidance and project management.

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About the Author

Gabriela Castro-Fontoura

Gabriela Castro-Fontoura is Director at Sunny Sky Solutions, which aims to make it easier for British businesses to trade with Latin America. An economist with 10 years of consultancy experience, Gabriela has helped UK businesses of many sectors, including Silver Cross and Ilkley Brewery, understand and access markets such as those of Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and her native Uruguay. Sunny Sky Solutions's key services include market research, distributor recruitment and trade show support.

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