Friday, May 28, 2010

Ricardo M. Ariza Pugliese >

Ricardo Ariza Pugliese, Director of International Marketing, Orbitel.

Being Hispanic, does it have any influence on your business?
Most definitely; our business provides services to Hispanics in the US and Spain; being one of them helps me understand their needs, values, and how to translate them into the language and messages to use in our communication efforts. Being Hispanic makes almost effortless the understanding that the Hispanic Market is in fact 20 Hispanic markets instead of just one.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I see adversity as a challenge. You need to have strong products to deliver and if you believe in them, adversity becomes a challenge. In the more than 15 years that I have been in Marketing I have experienced it a few times with good results. I think if you have your target or your goals well defined, you can definitely overcome the problems.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
Being in the telecommunications industry I have faced steep competition for years, but recently it has been more difficult. On certain products I have to go back to examine the value proposition on the business model to make sure I have enough differentiators elements to face the competition. At the end we had to change some of our marketing strategies but the product remained unchanged.

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I would do the MBA now with the experience that I have. In fact I am planning to go back to school sometime, someday.

What was your childhood ambition?
I guess at first, as most of us, being as good as my father. I still want that…

Tell us about three people that you admire?
My dad, Henry Ford and Alvaro Uribe. My dad has been a tremendous influence in many areas, but specially I haven’t met a person that fulfill his dreams as much as my father. Now, Henry Ford changed history and the way we think about manufacturing processes. Alvaro Uribe, President of Colombia I admire him as a politician but more than that, I am deeply thankful for the way he transformed the country for me, my family and for the business where I am currently working.

For meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Breakfast. Lunch and dinners tend to distract people. Although I must confess that I have used the three of them, it usually depends on the client / partner you want to please.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
The biggest one: Live abroad, away from family and friends. This business is focused on the Hispanic emigrant; you must be in the US for that purpose.

What is your favorite quote?
I have several, but one of my favorites is: The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis'. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger-but recognize the opportunity. (JFK)

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Personally no, I think is a must have attribute on any successful professional. Now for the company it is, Orbitel has one of the very few clean prepaid services on the industry. It is hard to explain to people that they should read the small print on other services that seem inexpensive and that in fact are more expensive. We are proud to have products 100% clean, particularly on the prepaid industry. It is a “good difficulty”.

Biggest mistake made?
Once, I sent by mistake an SMS to my current boss telling him that I have found a new job which in reality was intended to a good friend. I was very complicated to escape from the issue.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I have been a product manager in several occasions. Innovation is a key factor in developing new services to target customer needs; yes, every product manager and marketing director should have an innovation gene.

About the Company:
Orbitel®, the international business unit of EPM® Telecommunications (UNE®) is a leading telecommunications provider in Latin America. Orbitel® has the backing and experience of EPM® Telecommunications (UNE®) which guarantees a solid and trustworthy service at the vanguard of the changing telecommunications market. Orbitel® has established subsidiaries in the US and Spain providing Prepaid services, Long Distance Plans, Virtual Numbers and Carrier services.
Orbitel’s Carrier Services Department is an important buyer and seller of quality wholesale traffic, moving over 200 million minutes a month for our clients as well as all of Orbitel’s own minutes. Orbitel® is among the top carriers of international traffic in Latin America recognized for its reliable and quality routes

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