PEOPLE FIRST

Colombia 2019 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

Tito Pabón's continued focus on its relationship with communities and institutions has played a big role in its growth.

Lida Pabón
BIOGRAPHY
Lida Pabón studied literature, pedagogy, and conflict resolution and was a teacher for 28 years. Since 2009, she has been the head of Pinturas Tito Pabón, where she has focused her knowledge on leading the company. Along with her management, she has promoted the creation and development of products that express the company’s commitment to the environment. She has also promoted educational campaigns on recycling within the company and in the communities where it works.

In 2018, you told TBY about your goal of building a business with an ethical model based on sustainability. What has been the advantage of this approach in the Colombian market?
An ethical approach that has a sustainable basis means conserving resources and employing tools to become more productive. We have to learn to be more effective than others because sustainability demands it from us. We must make an accurate audit of our resources to ensure optimal use. Sustainability is basically an evaluation of how efficient we are in the processes we engage in. Although it seems to be an expensive endeavor, sustainability is a topic of cultural construction and a new business focus aimed at multiplying resources effectively.

Tito Pabón has a strong focus on its relationship with communities and institutions. How have these efforts contributed to the growth of the business?
These actions allow us to best know our clients. We create a space dedicated not to selling, but rather to connecting with the client to understand their needs and focus our research and business on meeting them. A satisfied and well-attended customer is ultimately a spokesperson for our brand.

What lesson can Tito Pabón give to the corporate world with this narrative?
It is time to rethink the concept of business and the meaning of success. We must reflect on how businesses should change and evolve to respond to global situations, such as climate change and the protection of the ozone layer and air quality. These issues seem distant, but it is something that affects everyone. Businesses become alliances or collaborations between communities, where many lessons need to be learned for sustainable business operation, and this is all the more important in today's highly competitive world.

What is the role of the industry as an agent of change in issues of integration of marginalized populations as ex-combatants?
Regarding ex-combatants, we work with external consultants since we lack the expertise to undertake the issue directly. We are working indirectly and learning from these intermediaries.

Tito Pabón is known for its social impact programs. What programs are you implementing that are different from previous ones?
We have operated a gallery for three years as a space for people who have never had the opportunity to experiment with art. Resulting work appeared at the first “Feria del Millón." We have another project in the countryside called Colour on Two Wheels. The countryside is forgetting what it means to ride a bicycle, which is a clean and healthy means of transportation.

Tito Pabón is a company led by women. How do you evaluate the status of Colombia in terms of gender inclusion in the corporate world?
We are still learning, but there is a definite transition; we have to understand that change is for the better and that we can all contribute.