PREMIUM PANAMA

Panama 2018 | TOURISM & RETAIL | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Esteban Ruiz Mosquera, Country Manager of Grupo Davissa, on serving the Panamanian customer, building its premium segment presence, and solidifying its regional presence.

Esteban Ruiz Mosquera
BIOGRAPHY
Esteban Ruiz Mosquera has a master’s degree in financial and professional management in finance and foreign trade from the CEU University of San Pablo in Spain. Prior to his appointment as Country Manager of Grupo Davissa in Panama in 2017, he served as CFO of the company since 2013. Previously, he worked for more than ten years in important financial and administrative positions, working with important companies in the sectors mass consumption, banking and start-ups in Colombia, Ecuador, and Spain.

What has been the evolution of the group over the years and its main achievements?

Grupo Davissa has specialized in the distribution of premium brands in Panama, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. World-renowned brands such as Apple and Nespresso have relied on us for our experience, knowledge of the market, and the added value we strive to give all our customers in the countries where we operate. The years 2016 and 2017 were undoubtedly important in the history of Grupo Davissa, since it acquired the use of Mac Centers and Mac Stores, located in Colombia and Panama, respectively. This has served to consolidate a premium operation that we had already led with Nespresso and became an important turning point with the opening of the boutique at Multiplaza Panamá. We can serve the client directly, providing a personalized experience at the hands of our coffee specialists. In the future, we want to consolidate Panama as a hub in Central America from the second half of 2019. This not only implies the opening of new sales channels, but also the implementation of our e-commerce platform, which will be operating in Panama toward the third quarter of 2018, and a call center to serve our customers more immediately.

How would you divide the percentage of revenue for Panama in terms of Nespresso and Mac Store?

Both brands have a specific and strategic relevance for the operation of the group in Panama as well as the region. Beyond profits, what is important to highlight is that Grupo Davissa aims to expand the participation of each of the countries through an important investment portfolio. We currently have eight Mac Store stores plus the online store, and a Nespresso store. Our focus is to be multi-channel; we are working to be accessible through several different sales channels but also offer our customers the same shopping experience through these channels using a solid technological base and excellent customer loyalty programs.

What are the particularities of the Panamanian consumer?

The Panamanian consumer is knowledgeable, demanding, and sophisticated. Our clients do not seek traditional sales but can experiment with the product through personalized consulting. We work continuously in this aspect in our stores and also in our training area, so that salespeople learn to poll customers and identify their needs. We are proud of the customer service standards that are given in our store. For example, at Nespresso, our specialists show the entire boutique to the clients and accompany them throughout the entire experience in a personalized and scrupulous manner. We want to make sure they are completely satisfied and that their needs are met. On the other hand, we know that buying an Apple product represents an important investment on the part of our customers; therefore, we strive to advise them so they have the guarantee that they made an excellent investment backed by the service. The Apple customer in Panama is characterized by wanting to know the product thoroughly. Therefore, we have a training area to teach our customers to use all the features of their equipment more efficiently, optimizing the storage capacity and the configuration.

What are your goals and priorities for 2018?

We want to strengthen our operations in Panama. With Nespresso, we hope to grow through the opening of commercial points where customers can access our machines; besides temporary points of sale where they can obtain capsules, as a physical alternative to the call center and the e-commerce platform. With respect to Mac Store, we want to strengthen the experience of customers in our stores. Our store in Multiplaza will be the largest in Latin America at 330sqm. Finally, we will strengthen the distribution and logistics processes to receive new brands.