The giant Corporación Multi Inversiones de Guatemala (CMI), a leader in the food, energy, finance and construction sectors, is one of the strongest conglomerates in Central America. They have been on the pages of E&N practically since the birth of this publication.
Corporación Multi Inversiones is an example of a family business that has managed to expand to the rest of the world. In the last two decades, it is one of the Central American companies that have grown at a dizzying rate; E&N has witnessed this and has said it. A single piece of information reveals the size of the company: it generates employment for more than 40,000 employees.
One of the last movements of the corporation was in 2017 when it acquired a shareholding in Pronaca, a leading Ecuadorian family business in the food sector. Another of its major investments was the purchase in April 2011 of 40% of Telefónica Centroamérica’s assets, with 9.9 million customers in the region.
The co-president of CMI, Juan José Gutiérrez, said on that occasion that they were looking to enter the high-tech industry as part of their business strategy. Today, the businessman recognizes that the changes in the last 20 years have occurred at such speed that they have turned organization transformation processes into a constant dynamic.
“It is our obligation as leaders to take advantage of these changes to improve our services and products, in accordance with the needs of our customers and thus achieve the expected growth,” said Gutiérrez.
For his part, CMI co-president, Juan Luis Bosch, told E&N that their vision and long-term commitment forces them to project into the future, which has led them to experience great changes in innovation, technology, global economy and connectivity. “To them we owe the growth and expansion of CMI’s businesses in recent years,” Bosch said.
“In 1999 our focus was on a sustainable future. At that time, we had organized our businesses by industries: wheat and corn flour mills, cracker, cookie and pasta production; restaurants with the leading brand Pollo Campero, poultry and pork production as a growth concept”, said the businessman.
In addition, they were beginning the diversification process towards other business concepts in financial services, real estate development and clean energy production with renewable resources. “Internally, we were working on the corporate transformation process, by mainstreaming new technologies, processes and ways of working,” he added.
“We innovate to grow and transform ourselves, we seek to expand operations in new markets and join forces in the industries where we participate, to transcend – said Bosch –” internal work dynamics have made us agile to respond to challenges and make timely decisions to achieve goals. “
The corporation is ready to grow and transcend; that is why they invested and worked particularly on: human capital, the definition of corporate governance and venturing into other markets, with awareness of their role in the communities where they have a presence.
“A very important consideration for the growth of CMI is that we assume the responsibility of preserving and strengthening the legacy of Don Juan Bautista Gutiérrez (the founder). Ultimately, the values, experience and lessons learned are our foundations,” said Bosch.
Every day they work following the philosophy of ‘don Juanito’: “to go happily to work in the morning and return from work happy and with a sense of accomplishment. Based on that we adopted the acronym REIR, for our values: responsibility, excellence, integrity and respect”, he stressed.
Co-president Gutiérrez defines his company as a multi-Latin corporation of Central American origin, with more than 90 years of history generating investment, employment and development in the region. “We are a family group with presence in three continents, through our business groups Foods and Capital. We create sustainable impact in the communities where we operate by offering excellence and quality in our products and services through the use of innovation and technology”, he added.
CMI Foods involves the businesses of wheat flour mills, pasta and cookies and cracker production; poultry, pork, processed and sausage manufacturing industry; balanced food for animals and pets; restaurant industry, with the Pollo Campero brand, among others.
CMI Capital includes renewable energy generation projects; development of real estate projects, financial service businesses and new businesses.
Today they operate in more than 15 countries in 3 continents: Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Anguilla, Panama, Mexico, the United States, Ecuador, Spain, Bahrain and Italy.
Bosch said that, in the next 20 years, they will focus on three main areas: Developing new ideas with vision, creativity and talent that transcends; continue working on system integration, human capital management, taking advantage of synergies and economies of scale and finally, strengthening our operations to continue growing.
It is no small thing for a business group of such magnitude, whose goal is to turn it into a world-class corporation. “We seek to do this while maintaining our commitment to promote better living conditions and more developed and sustainable communities,” said the businessman.
Gutiérrez added that, for more than a decade, they have been working on a strong program of values inherited from the founder, through which they constantly train their more than 40,000 employees in behaviors that adhere to the principles and values that govern them.
“At CMI we always seek to honor established agreements and we honor our word. Along these lines, we have created a clear system of checks and balances governed by our corporate governance. In addition, we are committed to the sustainable development of the communities where we have a presence; therefore, we invest time and resources to create programs and projects that contribute to achieving this,” Gutiérrez explained.
Bosch explained that this transformation and adaptation are achieved through leadership that is based on integrating the acquired experience and knowledge of a new generation of professionals committed to the corporation. “That is the success of CMI, the success of our businesses and it is the success of the people who build their professional careers based on our values from each business.”
Gutiérrez believes that more and more leadership is closer to accomplishing this goal, with a strategic and innovative approach. Our people are required to be respectful, responsible and upright citizens, capable of adapting to the current dynamics of the workforce that is made up of increasingly younger generations.
CMI Foods: Molinos Modernos Flour Mills, Livestock Industry, Food and Consumption, Central American Restaurants, Campero USA, Strategic Investments.
CMI Capital: Energy, Multi-Projects, Finance.
At the end of 2018, Standard & Poor’s Global Platts awarded CMI the Corporate Social Responsibility Award (Diversified Program) for their shared value strategies in the energy sector worldwide.
2019: US $13 million investment. Multi-Proyectos began the construction of the Pradera Shopping Center in Zacapa, Guatemala.
US $70 million investment. CMI, in partnership with Tecún S.A., promoted the development in Guatemala of the Vistares project, a shopping center and apartment building in Guatemala City.
US $800 million investment. Renace hydroelectric complex.
2018: In partnership with AES of El Salvador, the Bósforo project was inaugurated, which consists of 10 solar power plants that generate a total of 100 megawatts and have the capacity to supply 37,000 homes.