SUPPLY CHAIN

Colombia 2017 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Luz Mary Guerrero Hernández, President of Servientrega, on corporate social responsibility, tackling e-commerce, and international investment.

 Luz Mary Guerrero Hernández
BIOGRAPHY
Luz Mary Guerrero Hernández is the co-founder and president of Servientrega and founder of other companies including Efecty, as well as of various social and charitable foundations.

2017 marks the 35th anniversary of Servientrega. What does this milestone mean?

We have had seven different five-year strategic development periods during our 35-year history. The first was the foundational one, into which we put a great deal of time, effort, and love, and for which we started with little money. Then, we had the second period of development where we worked on technical details and the business began to take off. The third was diversification, because we did not want to get stuck just moving and dealing with documents; we would not have had the success we have now. Then, we had the consolidation period, where we gained more visibility and expanded to the US, Ecuador, and Venezuela. After that was the integration period, where we focused on creating synergy between logistics and all other areas of the supply chain. Following this, we had further expansions in Panama and Peru. Finally, our current five-year plan is focused on sustainability, where we are strong especially in terms of corporate social responsibility. We place great emphasis on being environmentally friendly. Our commitment to the environment is important—we recently planted 180,000 trees in a large forest. We are one of the most environmentally friendly companies in Colombia. After 35 years, we have 15,000 employees and 3,500 vehicles in the Andean region. We work in both the air and maritime segments. Of course, this is the base and the roots of where we come from. Our idea is to integrate the logistics chain. We want to create a sort of strategic competitive circle in which we involve all the players. We have won awards at the World Economic Forum, becoming the main player in the Andean region. We want to add a competitive variable into the game. We have infrastructure that is ready to sustain e-commerce, and this is one of our next big challenges to tackle.

What opportunities do you see in the future for e-commerce in Colombia?

There is a need for more collaboration in the e-commerce and logistics and pay system. For these, we have created a service that will integrate all of the e-commerce players. We also want to evolve in the identification systems, such as fingerprinting and biometrics. Another challenge is creating more standardization in order for all the players to all work together toward automatization in order to make the entire process more sustainable for every player in the chain.

What opportunities do you see for international investors and commerce in Colombia?

There are opportunities for foreign investors in Colombia in any sector, not only the one in which we operate. Of course, it is important they have a long-term view. If they come and stay for only a short period of time, it is not sufficient; they do not understand us or where we come from.

What about Colombian companies looking abroad?

We see many companies investing outside of Colombia and looking to new fields. Colombian entrepreneurs are excellent, and their best course of action is to look at investments abroad that will come back to benefit them in the long term.

What are your priorities and goals for the coming year?

Our goal for the next five years is to make all of Latin America greener. For the next generation, our goal is to make the entire world greener.