PAULO PANTIGOSO

Peru 2021 | ECONOMY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Paulo Pantigoso, Country Manager Partner of Peru EY, about competition, sustainability, and human resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How important is longevity to the building of business relationships in the country and distinguishing EY from its competitors?

EY Peru celebrates its first 60 years in Peru with a market position that is reflective of its continuous efforts to improve by providing its clients, friends, and the business community in general with access to knowledge. Building up a significant momentum is always a challenge since longevity today is accompanied by the challenge of “not being an old company," but rather using the experience to demonstrate its continued relevance in addition to the creativity and innovation in tailor-made solutions for each business segment. EY Peru continuously strives to connect the challenges of our clients with the power of the solutions that we provide locally, as well as across the global EY network. We strive to remain up to date and provide high-quality services with added value and passion to serve as if we were the clients ourselves. A successful entrepreneur projects its success onto society, meets the demands of their stakeholders, grows, provides employment, becomes international, and pays taxes, and therefore we measure our success through the success of those we help. If they win, we all win. In the last six years, we have taken a different path by sharing the development of soft skills and humanistic training with our own stakeholders. Therefore, we try to share culture as a whole and, within it, historical events so that we create a better future by learning about the past in a fun and scientific way.

What does Peru bring to EY's global portfolio?

We are proud to develop solutions in EY Peru that have been successfully applied in several countries across our global network, mainly in Latin America, but also in the US and Switzerland as well. Today, we share and receive recognition via the specialties in improving the operations and the results of the companies we serve, through various solutions in our areas of consultancy, taxation, strategy, transactions, and integrity. If we measure the performance of EY Peru through a trade balance between countries with an EY presence, EY Peru has a net exporting presence of services, greater than those that are imported. This is because of the fruitful exchange of solutions that we provide. We set aside a portion of the annual budget for innovation and to attract talent that allows us to renew our usual curiosity for what is new, disruptive, interesting, efficient, and offers a financial return for our clients and for us, always with the viewpoint of respect and care for what is socially responsible. In particular, we like to support undertakings at the forefront of technology and digital transformation that contribute to industry or business shifts.

How is EY engaging with this issue of sustainability?

We address the issue of sustainability through our loyal support to the sustainability of our clients' businesses. We need a healthy and thriving economy with successful clients. Therefore, we share efforts in each economic cycle, and we directly help society when the need for it is evident. For example, in 2020 we donated an oxygen plant to a Peruvian state hospital, and we also donated 250 tablets to a rural public school, among others. What is more, our nearly 1,800 contributors actively support at least 20 different sustainability initiatives in schools, parishes, shelters, and so on. However, perhaps where we can have the greatest impact is working with dedication to provide a culture of sustainability to our clients and friends and to assist clients in exceeding their goals and be successful in order for us to also form part of their success.

As a leading consultancy firm, which sectors are performing best in this area?

All sectors have distinguished performers, but the most successful ones are in mining, agribusiness, banking, and energy. Once we push through the pandemic, hotels and tourism also have great potential given Peru's rich history and culture. It is advisable for these companies to have a solid sustainability program that goes hand in hand with the necessary digital transformation. For example, during the pandemic, some telemedicine and delivery services had to upgrade their own sustainability with regard to the quality of the products and services they provided.

What were the administrative methods related to human capital taken by businesses during the course of this pandemic?

There are undoubtedly been multiple ways to manage the most important resource in a professional services company such as EY Peru. We have achieved this through transparency and projecting our message about taking care of our health and our families and continuing to provide quality services. We have focused on communication and emerging and consolidated leadership, as well as information and feedback to reduce the speculation and anxiety. Furthermore, we have created various innovation projects and adapted our day-to-day workings in order to be able to stand together during this difficult time. The main measure has been to increase the team of internal occupational physicians in order to provide preferential treatment to our collaborators when in need. In addition, connectivity has been a cornerstone since the beginning of the pandemic. Almost 100% of our people have been working online practically from day one. This has greatly facilitated our method of operating and serving, and it could not have been possible without the support of the EY Global network.

What is your assessment of what this means for Peru bouncing back?

We must focus on what is important and on activating the economy. This means focusing on obtaining and distributing vaccines quickly, returning to normal, and continuing to work. Peru is an emerging nation with great projects ahead in infrastructure and construction, the production of goods, and the provision of services. However, in order to embark on these big ventures, we need to have the health of the nation under control. Just as the Peruvian people are among the most recognized entrepreneurs in the world, given the high levels of entrepreneurship in the country, we must improve the legislation and the economic incentives available in order for the process to be faster and predictable. Therefore, the challenge for politicians is to remove the obstacles from the path of successful entrepreneurship and provide a rule of law that promotes business multiplication, which will be tested in the presidential and congressional elections in April 2021.