More than 150 Colombian executives, speakers and media members were among the audience, including President of Colombia Mr. Juan Manuel Santos.
Bogotá, Colombia, Thursday, March 31st, 2011. EMF. Today, Mr. Xavier López Ancona –President of KidZania– participated as a featured speaker on the conference “The Ideas Economy: Unleashing the entrepreneur in you”. This session was part of The Colombia Forum A new formula for growth and prosperity that took place in Bogotá and was organized by the renowned British newspaper The Economist.
Joining Mr. López in this conference were also Mr. Andrés Calderón –CEO, dynamo Capital–, Mr. Jonathan Gheller –Co-founder, Mixtent–, and Ms. Zanny Minton-Beddoes –Economics Editor, The Economist– as the moderator.
The session was divided into three parts, starting with introductory messages by each of the featured speakers, followed by a 15-minute discussion and then Q&A. When asked about how entrepreneurs are approaching the Brazilian market, taking into account the massive opportunity this market offers, Mr. López said: “Any business needs to export. That is natural and is a good thing to do. Most Latin American businesses export their products or services only within the continent, missing opportunities in other markets. I think the main reasons Latin American companies are only growing within the continent are because we have the same language and a similar business culture. However, Asian and European markets are not commonly targeted by Latin American companies, and these two continents are where most of the world’s population and emerging markets are located”, he added.
After being asked about how does KidZania promote or foster a culture of risk and reward, Mr. López mentioned that “KidZania has been able to grow outside Mexico by offering a universal product, being open and taking risks. To do so, our company spent quite a few years setting up our team and preparing for a global expansion. We have a universal concept and a highly professional team, which is multifaceted, bilingual and well trained. This was also possible because through our franchise scheme, we do not enter a market by ourselves, but with a local partner who has the ‘know how’ and ‘know who’ in each country. By doing this, KidZania has minimized a lot of risks, such as cultural by localizing our content and by having the right connections with local brands, government and institutions”.