Feb. 1, 2015


Armando Castellanos Talero

Ecuador

Armando Castellanos Talero

General Manager, Servientrega

BIO

Armando Castellanos has worked with Servientrega Ecuador since 1994, in the positions of National Logistics Manager, Financial and Administrative Manager, and currently as General Manager. Prior to working with the company, he was employed as the Manager of Colombian Operations for Servientrega in Tolima from 1989 to 1994. He graduated with a degree in Political Economy from the Universidad Libre de Pereira in Colombia in 1988.

What is the role of Ecuador in Servientrega's international operations?

Ecuador plays a major role in Servientrega's global operations, because it was our first experience abroad. This in itself is an important factor for our Colombian headquarters. We arrived in the Ecuadorean market 20 years ago (1994), at a time when the country enjoyed an oil boom, making it attractive for investment. It was in fact a situation reminiscent of what the country is enjoying today. Servientrega saw Ecuador as a strategic market to enter; it has similar characteristics to that of Colombia, whereby our competitive advantages offered new services to the market. On top of that, we share the same language, which also facilitates business.

How have Servientrega's activities evolved since the dollarization of Ecuador?

The country has evolved considerably since the establishment of local operations, and also in the light of political and social events. Over the past few years, the country has gained political, economic, and social stability, which has enabled companies to formulate longer-term strategies and better predict economic performance. This environment has strengthened us, as we gradually consolidated our operations in Ecuador. Over the years, we have learned to diversify our activity here, expanding to new segments. Also, rising purchasing power and the expansion of many economic sectors have helped us to increase our role in this market.

What trends have you identified in the market over recent years?

This is a transition period for Ecuador, an important moment in which it is set to show foreign markets the real competitive level and added value of its production. This production requires high-quality standards and competitive prices. The government implemented a strong program to substitute imports for local production that supports this transition process. This has caused some economic turbulence in terms of the performance of companies during 1H2014, which will gradually pick up during 2H2014. It is an ambitious plan that the government supports with tax and other legal benefits. This process took many market players by surprise, as they found they had no local alternatives, whereby many made strong short-term commitments.

What role can the logistics sector play in the transformation of Ecuador's production matrix?

Nowadays, a more integrated logistics industry with better products and solutions has allowed for a higher degree of specialization and professionalization in the sector. Many players have learned to adapt themselves to the real needs of clients. We have seen improvements in the quality of services, storage services, and cargo handling, and also in the utilization of technology. We have also seen an improvement in the human capital of not only this sector, but all sectors in general.

What are the competitive advantages of Servientrega?

We built the company from nothing, which means that we know in detail what we do and what our clients require. We provide personalized and integrated products and services to meet their demands and standards. We hold several ISO certificates. We have also started a specialization process to become a leading company offering solutions for the transport and distribution of hazardous substances and goods, as there is an interesting market niche there with a very low offering at present. This requires strong external preparation in terms of certification, licensing, and staff training. Currently, we are training our personnel, obtaining the pertinent environmental certificates and licenses, and preparing our facilities and fleet. We always prioritize the implementation of solutions according to what our clients need, as we develop an integrated plan along with them.

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