In the new edition of 100 Colombians several Colombian entrepreneurs who have raised the name of Colombia abroad are highlighted. From a dancer who created one of the most successful companies in the world of sport, to a publicist who was named by the Advertising Age publication as the most influential Latin American in the media agencies industry, each one demonstrates why in talent, the answer is Colombia.
Andrés Roa Concha
This civil engineer from the Xavierian University arrived in New Zealand in 1995, on a scholarship from the University of Auckland, to specialize in Geothermal Engineering.
After a successful career that led him to work in major companies such as Sinclair Knight Merz Ltd. and Thorburn Consultants Ltd., he opened in 2003 AR Civil Consulting Ltd., his own consulting firm in civil and environmental engineering, which in recent eleven years has been stood out for its projects in environmental management of rainwater in the public and private sectors in New Zealand
Ángela María Tafur Domínguez
A Lawyer by the Xaverian University and with a Masters’ Degree in International Law by Cornell University in New York, Ángela María Tafur is the brain behind “Give to Colombia,” a model of strategic philanthropy that seeks to promote foreign donations to support vulnerable populations in Colombia.
In ten years, “Give to Colombia” has raised more than twenty million dollars that have been invested in projects in education, health, economic development and the environment.
Her work has been recognized with major awards such as the BID-FEMSA Water and Sanitation Award for Latin America and the Caribbean (2014) in the category of Management of Sanitation and a four-star rating in the Charity Navigator ranking.
Alberto “Beto” Pérez
This Caleño dancer began his career as a trainer and choreographer of important Colombian stars such as Shakira. In 1999 he immigrated to the United States, and thanks to his experience as a trainer he began teaching aerobics with his own routine, currently known worldwide with the name of Zumba.
In 2001 he founded Zumba Fitness, LLC, a successful company that sells Zumba videos, sportswear and grants licenses to the trainers interested in implementing the Zumba fitness program in gyms all over the world.
Javier Andrés Cardona Mora
A Business Administrator by the Externado University with a Masters’ Degree in Marketing by the EAFIT University, this Bogotano settled in 2011 in the United Arab Emirates; where a year later he opened the company Mobile Estrategies, through which, via SMS service, he offers entertainment and communication to the low-income immigrant population without access to the internet.
This Bogotano business administrator was the executive director of Kinetic Worldwide, Nielsen and Mindshare, a part of the WPP group, was the founder of Omnicom Media Group in Latin America and creator of BPN, a network of agencies with a presence in over 26 countries.
In 2009 he was named as “the most powerful Latin American in the business of media agencies” by the Advertising Age magazine and in 2010 he was named as “one of the 20 most influential people of the decade in the business of advertising, in Latin America” by the Ad Latina magazine.
Paola Tafur Jiménez
A business administrator by the Xavierian University, this Colombian based in Mexico is the founder of SBS Facilitadores, a company dedicated to designing and facilitating training and human development processes for teams and large multinational companies with offices in Mexico.
A Journalist by the Xavierian University, Paula Mendoza is one of the most renowned jewelry designers in the United States. Her designs are sold in exclusive boutiques in Australia, Europe and Latin America due to their high quality standards.
Her workforce is made up mostly by householder women in the neighborhood of La Candelaria in Bogota. “All I am achieving now is owed to the infinitely great team that I have in Colombia,” she says.
This Colombian businessman, based in Bangladesh since 2005, is the founder of Miaki, a company which is responsible for the management of information through telecommunications channels such as call centers, text messaging, etc., focused on entertainment, agriculture and health issues.
The company has won major international awards, such as the Connected World Forum – Innovation in Mobile VAS and the MIT Portugal Entrepreneur Venture Competition award.
Inti Vélez Botero and Daniel Mancini Barón
These young people from Bogota are the creators of the successful design studio Wanda Barcelona. Their work, in which the management of paper and cardboard techniques must be highlighted, has featured prominently in the shop windows of big brands like Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera and Cartier, among others.
In 2013, invited by the Spanish government, they took part in the Design Fair in New York; and in 2014 they were invited to the traveling exhibition Lady Dior As Seen By.
If you want to find out about other Colombians who have gained a lot of respect for Colombia abroad, please read the following articles:
8 ingenious Colombian businesses trying to achieve a breakthrough abroad
Six stars of Colombian sports that opened the road to victory