José Gregorio Ramírez Fontalvo

José Gregorio Ramírez Fontalvo

General Manager, GIP
Germán Valderrama

Germán Valderrama

Manager, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
More than just services, these companies also provide their expertise and know-how to better serve their clients.

What have been the company's achievements thus far?
JOSÉ GREGORIO RAMÍREZ FONTALVO GIP is a dream that we have been materializing through the consolidation of strengths, which allows us to distinguish ourselves from other actors regarding the provision of services with which we reach our clients. The strengths that we have consolidated are fundamentally three: a quality assurance system that allows us to deliver products and services that meet the standards of the industries with which we are involved; a consolidated team that is proud to work in this organization advising and providing services for the country's largest companies; and a work culture that not only involves those who are here, but also the families of those workers who feel their absence. GIP has the recognition of companies and sectors in real estate and social management, where we are leaders. Our purpose is to achieve the same level of recognition in environmental and project management. Our mission is to be leaders in our four business units in the upcoming years.

GERMÁN VALDERRAMA We have had a presence in Colombia since we opened a sales office in 2012. The whole team came shortly after 2016. We now have a manufacturing plant for panels. We are 65 people at present, divided into manufacturing, sales and customer service, engineering, HR, financing, IT, and quality. We sell engineering solutions in addition to electronic devices for the electrical industry. Our main goal at this moment is to solve engineering problems for the electrical and manufacturing industries. We work with the major players in utilities. In 2020, we will start serving the manufacturing industry. Schweitzer was the first company to have digital relay, which revolutionized the protection system. We have evolved to a high-tech company and work in protection equipment, control, monitoring, measuring, and communication. Our mission is to make electricity more secure, economical, and dependable. As for the market, a country develops in line with electricity, and we expect to have a great deal of business in the coming years.

What has been your experience working in many diverse sectors?
JGRF Following the oil price crisis in 2014, the company underwent a transformation. We entered a stage aimed at diversifying the internal products we were offering and reaching sectors of the economy that were previously not of interest. This caught the attention of customers, and we were able to diversify our portfolio. In 2014, 100% of our portfolio was oil companies, though now it has fallen to 40%. The rest is focused on the mining, electricity, and infrastructure sectors. We fundamentally support 4G projects, and this strategy has allowed us to grow. Normally, the companies in the oil sector complain about the situation, but we have been able to get ahead. We have been able to handle the crisis in an appropriate way and grow between 15% and 18% annually since 2014.

How have you managed to cover the country and provide solutions, considering the geography of Colombia?
GV We do not build power lines or substations nor do we build generating stations. We provide solutions for protection, measuring, control, and so on. Right now, we have an interesting solution for Petroeléctrica de los Llanos. It has long lines, and when a problem occurs it can take a while to locate it. We have a new relay, the T400L, that can locate faults in a precise manner through the traveling wave principle. We have a complete set of solutions to assist all companies using stations and lines. Protection is our main call. We provide many solutions in automation for substations. We have what we call remedial action schemes and did one of these schemes in the interconnection between Ecuador and Colombia. We developed the entire system for XM, the operator in Colombia. We are not as strong in Ecuador as we are in Colombia; however, we sell many products there. We just finished an automation project for distribution systems.