COLOMBIA - Industry
Chairman & CEO, General de Alquiler de Maquinaria (GAM)
Pedro Luis Fernández holds a law degree from the University of Oviedo, a master’s in general business management international MBA, ESDEN (Madrid), and a master’s on value creation and valuation of companies from IESE (Madrid). He is the founder of GAM, in which he has held the positions of Chairman & CEO since 2003. Additionally, he holds other positions in other business activities, among them member of the Northwest Regional Advisory Council of BBVA in Spain, member of the jury of the Princess of Asturias Awards for Concord, and member of the jury of the Luis Noé Fernández Awards of the Alimerka Foundation, in the Fight Against Hunger category. He is a shareholder and member of the investment committees in various venture capital companies. He was also president of the Asturian Federation of Entrepreneurs
GAM was founded in 2003 within a disintegrated sector in Spain. It made sense to create a larger, more global project, influenced by the construction sector. We went public to raise more capital and shareholders, and in 2008, we began our international expansion. Starting from 2014, the company began to offer new services for a far more industrialized world, with longer-term and predictable contracts, but with more complex services. This is the way things were moving until 2018, when we experienced an important change with the entry of Francisco Riberas. The growth stage we were going through was an important value proposal for customers, and we wanted to have a strong and healthy balance sheet to be able to face this stage. The internationalization aspect stemmed from the fact that we had to leave Spain out of necessity, and we learned a great deal from this. It led to us modernizing certain aspects of the company.
Supply is one of our most important solutions. With regards to machines, we offer machine rentals. We have some 20,000 machines around the world, plus another 5,000 managed by customers, so we can provide a service. We also have a particularly important training department. First, we train staff to operate the machinery as well as how to maintain them. This is crucial because we have 25,000 of our own machines and many technical staff. We have a buying and selling portal for machinery for when our customers need to dispose of machines or need machines from us, as we have many customers in purchasing. Many brands have entrusted us with their distribution. We have also closed deals that have led the world to adapt to the new parameters that the industry requires. We have a robotics project that makes driverless machines, in which we have drones that we use for work carried out at a height. We have departments specialized in industrial ecology, energy generation, events, and so on. In terms of events, we have a division that covers everything from the microphone to the screens for production companies such as El Hormiguero, concerts, or festivals such as BBK Live, among others. Every time there is an event, the organizers need people to set it up, provide a power supply, and many more things, and we supply that engineering role. Now, we have a number of corporate events.
In 2021, our aim has been to digitalize all our processes, and for that we need better data quality and better practices in order to manage it. We want a company that makes its own management decisions and does things digitally, more efficiently, and with fewer errors. We want to make data an asset. This is undoubtedly the biggest challenge for us if we want to become a more sustainable company.
GAM closed the year with a 6% drop in sales. However, if the company lost EUR5 million in the first half, it gained EUR6.5 million in the second. That is the efficiency of our model, which took us many years to get right. I do not think we will open in new countries, though we will grow in the ones in which we are already present, homogenizing the service more in foreign countries to standardize them and make them more complete. We want to become a more sustainable company. We do it out of conviction and social commitment, though we do have to keep up with the competition.
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