MARKET LEADER

Panama 2018 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Gaby Aued, General Manager of Tecnasa Group, on expansion into new markets, catching up with modern IT standards, and future plans for the overall region.

 Gaby Aued
BIOGRAPHY
Gaby Aued is CEO of Tecnasa Group, a Central American high-tech conglomerate based in Panama. She became part of the company in 2000, and developed her career in different positions including operations supervisor, financial solutions manager, and regional product manager. In 2002, she opened Tecnasa operations in El Salvador and served as General Manager from 2006-2011. Prior to joining Tecnasa, she worked in a licensed international communications consultancy in New York. She is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI).

How was 2017 for Tecnasa?

It was a challenging year for the country and its socio-economic status in the region. Tecnasa is a company that has been able to diversify its risks by expanding geographically. So, for us whenever one country in the region might be facing economic difficulties, we have other geographic locations that are able to grow and compensate for this. We are a company that has consistently been growing throughout these 45 years. Our market share depends on the service and solutions we provide. One of our most important solutions throughout the region are the financial solutions and ATMs we provide, especially in Panama where we have over 80% of the market. We also have over 2,000 clients in the region that are the most important companies in each of their industries. We are a B2B company focused on mid-to-large-sized enterprises.

Are you looking to expand into new markets?

Our vision has always been to become a regional leader in IT solution integrations. In 2017, we looked back and saw that we had become the IT solutions leader in Central America and Ecuador. After more than two years of planning, we launched our new strategy in 2017, which is focused very much on managed services. It is not a strategy based on geographic expansion but on improving the quality of our services and transforming our portfolio from hardware sales to service solution implementation. Our strategy is also based on becoming consultants for our clients and helping them understand the new disruptive technologies present in the market and how it can help them improve their business operations.

Are IT companies getting more into services instead of hardware?

It is no longer a trend, but a fact—and not only for services focused on repairing the technology, but the entire solution for a monthly fee. Then, it is up to us as their technology partner to make sure these solutions are available 100% of the time.

How is Tecnasa University progressing?

We are launching it with 13 online courses focused on customer services. These are courses that every new recruit for the company has to take when they join so they can understand our new vision and mission and see how we are becoming a management services and consultancy company.

Tecnasa has received multiple awards recently. What do these mean for the company?

It is a result of our hard work and a benchmark for how Tecnasa compares to others in the region. We strive to be the best at everything we do, and that includes our partnerships with the most important IT leaders in the world. So it is a good signal that we are on the right track.

What do you want to achieve for Panama and the region?

We have a five-year strategy we want to incorporate into the entire region: deliver the best integrated technology to everyone in the region. Therefore, our challenge is being able to evolve and grow our human talent on par with what companies and clients expect from us.