Mar. 9, 2020

María Rosa Tapia


María Rosa Tapia

President, Seminarium Ecuador

“That is why we are constantly updating the program to match the needs of Latin American executives.”


María Rosa Tapia has been the President of Seminarium Ecuador since 2002. She studied law and business administration at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and management at the University of Berkeley. Prior to her current position, she was responsible for intermediate banking at ABN AMRO BANK and director of institutional relations at the Chamber of Industries and Production. She has played the role of a mentor at the ENAEP Annual Energy and Mining Energy Meeting, Fire Prevention and Industrial Safety Forum, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit, Ecuador FEDE Business Forum, Telecommunications Forum, and TICS the 4th Industrial Revolution.

How does Seminarium work to improve the executive education of high-level businesspeople in Latin America?

Seminarium was born as a Chilean company and entered the Ecuadorian market about 20 years ago. As part of its offering, Seminarium provides courses for Latin American executives at leading universities in the US such as Wharton, Yale, and Michigan, among others. The idea is to bring around 70 Ecuadorian businesspeople every year to the US to participate in business courses, seeking to improve the performance of those executives. One of the main goals is to improve networking across these businesspeople and offer them different management programs in the various universities we work with. We focus on the specialties of each university. That is why we are constantly updating the program to match the needs of Latin American executives and the services provided in each of those universities.

Seminarium Ecuador also organizes events, including the Annual Meeting of Mining, Energy, and Petroleum (ENAEP), bringing together stakeholders from these strategic sectors. How has this event evolved across the years?

The goal of our events, including ENAEP, is to address hot topics and organize them in a way that reflects the situation of the country. We have done that in Ecuador by adapting our events to the current topics in the country and addressing the main issues of businesspeople in the country. A key factor for the development of these three industries is the relationship with indigenous communities; therefore, we decided to focus the event on that, even bringing in representatives from these communities so as to create a space of conversation between them and representatives from the public and private sectors. The government has taken a number of initiatives to increase FDI into Ecuador, and we will see a lot of those efforts come to fruition in 2020. Mining companies are interested in investing in the country. When talking about Ecuador, it is important to keep in mind that it is a country where inclusion is critical. The protests in October 2019 were a wake-up call to companies and the government to be more aware of the needs of indigenous peoples. We have an opportunity to establish better agreements that are beneficial for the communities, as well as the environment. This is a process that will take a while to completely develop as new issues will have to be addressed. In particular, we have to increase women's participation in the mining sector. Our events are attended by the main players and decision makers, as well as representatives from the communities, public institutions, students, and the media. The point of these events is to promote discussion between the different stakeholders.

What new events are you bringing into the market?

Recently, we started organizing an event to promote the role of women in industry. We were able to bring women leaders from the Galápagos and other areas to talk about women rights and to bring improvements to different sectors. Three events in this line have been organized so far, and we want to host another in 2020. Another topic we are covering through events is risk management. We are trying to bring professionals from Europe and Chile to attend our events for risk management. ✖