IN VISION

Ecuador 2013 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Alfredo Fuchs, General Manager of Sony Ecuador, on innovation and the beginning of television assembly.

Alfredo Fuchs
BIOGRAPHY
Alfredo Fuchs was born in 1966 and has a degree in Business Administration and Marketing as well as a Master’s in International Business from Florida International University. He has worked at Sony since 1996, starting at Sony’s Latin American Headquarters in Miami. Before coming to Ecuador he worked in Buenos Aires and has been General Manager of Sony Ecuador since January 2010.

What contributions has Sony made to Ecuador?

At Sony, we see ourselves as part of the social fabric of Ecuador. We play an important role in giving back to society in various ways. We hire and train personnel to be productive members of this multinational corporation. We have many examples of members who were hired for an entry position as promoters, but who today are key players at our HQ. We have key talents, who have been given regional positions in marketing, promotion, and sales, and we currently have two local employees on foreign assignments as country managers. We provide constant training to our personnel to teach them new skills and improve on their current talents. We use our technical resources to grow tomorrow's technical companies. We have created an alliance with ESPOL, a local technical university in Guayaquil, to develop high-tech gaming software for the PlayStation 3. As part of this effort, ESPOL students are receiving guidance in developing and marketing tomorrow's software from our PlayStation Software Development headquarters in California. With ESPOL, we are also working together on creating widget applications to be used on smart televisions. In terms of local assembly, we launched our television assembly operations in Ecuador in 2013. This operation was developed with the support of all our technical groups around the world to develop a cutting-edge operation in line with the high-quality standards found at other Sony plants. In Latin America, Ecuador joined our other operations in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. We are always training and transferring knowledge to our local staff on issues such as assembly processes, quality control, technical record keeping, inventory management, and procurement. Our operations today have met our expectations in terms of professionalism and accuracy, which Sony has always been known for.

What is the size of Sony's operation in Ecuador?

In total, we have 168 employees at the company. They are all Ecuadoreans, except for myself and two other members. We have two Sony Stores; one is in the Mall de Sol in Guayaquil and the other in Quicentro Norte in Quito. These are our flag-ship stores, and are managed by our own staff. All of our promoters and store staff are 100% Sony employees. In this manner, we have full commitment from our staff, who receive all the benefits of belonging to the Sony family. Within the company we have many cases in which employees have worked their way up the ranks. Former promoters or store sales employees now work in sales and marketing; so our employees are people who have grown up with us.

What innovation have you brought to the sector?

Sony has brought 4K technology for our Bravia televisions into the Ecuadorean market. This is the next generation of high definition technology, which has a 4x better resolution than previous versions. In addition, we have developed the latest improvements to the reproduction of real colors with our Triluminos technology, introducing, for the first time, real colors as never before seen on a television. Sony has also brought the latest NFC technology into the market this year, which allows our products, such as cell phones, radios, headphones, audio devices, and computers, to communicate with each other without any complicated pairing process. This technology allows anyone to transfer data, music, photos, or movies with one touch. One of the best products to hit the market will be the Xperia Z mobile phone and tablet, which are both 100% water resistant, and can both withstand 30 minutes submerged. This is a dramatic breakthrough, since it is very common for phones to be destroyed by water.

Which products are most in demand?

We have seen continuous demand for televisions, computers, and tablets. Ecuadoreans are latecomers to the tablet market; the boom only occurred over the last year. Smartphones are big as well, and they're not just for the affluent consumer. This market is definitely a market in which consumers expect the latest in technology. It's seen as an investment; the average person does not have a large disposable income, so they like financing when they purchase, and thus they want a good product from a reliable brand, since the purchase is a big investment for most. This is why Sony is growing very well in Ecuador; it is a brand that is trusted, and one that always has the latest innovative technology.