Forbes Cover Commemorates 100 Years of CMI


COMPLETING A CENTURY OF EXISTENCE, CORPORACIÓN MULTI-INVERSIONES (CMI) PREPARES THE EXPANSION OF POLLO CAMPERO USA, AS WELL AS THE GROWTH IN THE FOOD AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY MARKETS OF THE ANDEAN REGION AND THE CARIBBEAN.

A century ago, don Juan Bautista Gutiérrez opened a small store in San Cristóbal, Totonicapán, in Guatemala. Over the following decades, he founded several businesses that led to the incorporation of Corporación Multi-Inversiones (CMI), a company that today has a presence in 15 countries and, in the future, plans to continue its expansion into the Andean region and the Caribbean.

The challenge is to do so without losing its essence as a family business and contributing to the competitiveness and sustainable development of the region, as well as that of other areas where it operates, both in food-related businesses, as well as in real estate and energy projects.

This company, led by the third generation, has grown at an annual rate of 10% in the last 40 years and currently has more than 45,000 employees in locations that include Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Republic Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, United States, Spain and Italy.

Through its two business groups (CMI Foods and CMI Capital), it has wheat flour mills, pasta, cookie and cracker production; poultry and pork production, as well as processed and sausage manufacturing; balanced food for animals and pets; and restaurants, particularly the emblematic Pollo Campero. It also has renewable energy generation projects, real estate developments, and financial service businesses.

To a large extent, the formula for the success of this century-old company lies in its ability to innovate, but also in its ability to adapt to new markets, because, through trial and error, it has learned that it cannot simply replicate its products in the different markets.

“At CMI we are convinced that the only constant is change, so the permanent search for new opportunities, promoting entrepreneurship and having the flexibility to adapt, characteristics of our founder, have allowed us to transform businesses in a timely manner, always taking advantage of our experience in the markets where we operate, but at the same time, meeting the needs of a global world with new requirements at every moment”, explains Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga, president and chairman of CMI Foods.

In fact, this company has used technology to be closer to customers and understand their needs, something that companies often forget when they believe they are better positioned.

“We are clear that it is not about spending millions to innovate, it is enough to make better use of tools, change the way of doing things, improve processes and product presentation. Focus on what we have to gain by making changes and not on what we have to lose”, argues Gutiérrez Mayorga.

Despite the fact that today it is a multi-Latin corporation, the directors of the company know that they must preserve its essence. Their mission is to preserve its core values: responsibility, excellence, integrity and respect.

“This governance system, whose heart is in our corporate office, focuses on ensuring that each of our businesses strengthens its presence in the marketplace, but always with the same family essence of the last 100 years”, indicates Juan Luis Bosch Gutiérrez, chairman of CMI Capital.

For this reason, it is important for managers to constantly search for new opportunities: “But above all, opportunities that promote better living conditions for the societies where we operate, and thus contribute to their sustainable development; seek to transform these societies integrally into more inclusive and accessible models for all, and especially, to have good teams,” he points out.