Colombia 2017 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | B2B

Colombia has defined medical tourism as one of the sectors that will contribute strongly to economic development.

Dr. Ciro Garnica
Ciro Garnica-HD Dentistry
Massimiliano Vallunga
Figurella Colombia

You are a founding member and president of the newly formed Círculo Empresarial Odontológico (CEO). How do you hope to impact the Colombian dentistry sector?

Dr. Ciro Garnica The expected impact is a strong benefit for the health and wellness of our patients. We have different lines of work. We work to add value to the dentistry sector by positively impacting efficiency and productivity. Helping the development of dental tourism is also one of our main purposes. Colombia has defined medical tourism as one of the world-class sectors that will contribute strongly to the economic development of the country. By 2032, Colombia will be a global medical tourism power, and the dental sector cannot be unmindful of this reality. Dentistry in Colombia cannot turn its back on developments through new technological advances and global innovations, and we must be a leader in integrating these advancements into the sector.

2017 is Figurella's 10th year in Colombia. What does this milestone mean for you and the company?

Massimiliano Vallunga Having celebrated 10 years in the Colombian market represents proof that our brand and method have solid foundations through which we can face an extremely competitive market and target an audience as volatile as Colombia. Our aesthetics and general wellbeing compete with technology while our strength is mainly in services. This has allowed us to always go beyond the trends of the moment and be extremely concrete in our results and those of our clients. For us to have been able to consolidate our brand and be in the market for 10 years is just the first step toward a process of brand expansion, not only in Colombia but also in other Latin American countries. These 10 years have helped us to get to know not only the Colombian market but also that of neighboring countries such as Peru, Paraguay, and Panama. The abovementioned has allowed us to acquire a deep knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of our target while allowing us to understand how to adapt our method and concept to several rather different markets among them. All these learning processes have made us today a much more solid and confident group in our expansion.

How was the first half of 2017? What are your expectations for its remainder?

CG Year after year, the Ciro Garnica Clinic has had double-digit growth. Taking into account the slowdown of the overall economy in 2016, when it only grew by 2%, as well as slow growth in the health sector, we had a conservative but fulfilling 5% growth for the first semester of 2017. For the second half, we have a greater confidence and optimism that the market and our own results will improve. In our plans, we continue to provide the best of services, improving our global visibility and prestige and innovating with new high-quality services and cutting-edge technology.

What are your expectations for 2017-2018?

MV Our priority is to open two new centers in Bogotá and another in Medellín. This would lead to a total of six points of sale in the country's two largest cities. Then we are evaluating the possibility of launching a line of foods with Figurella brand as a complement to our service. The combination of personalized physical activity (what we do at Figurella) and a correct diet represent the ideal formula for improving people's health and looks. This is what we have offered for 40 years in 18 countries. Finally, we want to continue with our project of expansion into Ecuador and Bolivia, two markets that we consider interesting for their growth, mainly in the capitals, because of their restricted offerings in said markets.