Despite the global economic recession, the economies of Latin America have grown steadily throughout the past decade, and thanks to an expanding middle class and rapid modernization, this trend seems likely to continue for the foreseeable future. While many of today’s corporations focus solely on the expanding markets of the far East, it seems clear that technology and financial investors who also prioritize South America, Central America and the Caribbean stand poised to make a very significant profit.
One such investor, the French systems and services provider Thales, is leading the way, not only in its investment but also through its contribution to the development of Latin America’s infrastructure in the fields of air traffic control, telecommunications, and public transportation. In 2009, Thales established its regional office Thales Latin America, and since, its commitment to (and profit from) Latin America has only increased. Since its creation, Thales “LATAM,” led by Argentine managing director and VP Cesar Kuberek, has only amplified the company’s role in the economic and technological growth of the region.
Kuberek creates strategy for a growing market
Cesar Kuberek explains : “Thales has been consolidating its presence in Latin America for a long time. Our strategy to transfer technology, establish a local industrial base and develop industrial partnerships is in line with national investment policies. Thales is already transferring technology in the region: it’s a reality, not a promise. Our investment aims to have the right skills locally to further expand the technology base and the export market. Sharing key technologies is the Thales way: in the past, now and in the future”
Cesar Kuberek, who was appointed Vice President and manager of operations the year of Thales Latin America’s creation, has played a major role in both the consolidation of the company’s presence and the technological development of the region. In 2011, Thales acquired Omnisys, Brazil’s largest electronic systems company, and announced it would become manufacturing center for its state-of-the-art Ground Master 400 radar, giving Brazil and other Latin American countries access to advanced defense technology. The acquisition also helped Thales gain credibility in Latin American markets and secure contracts. These contracts provide advanced military and telecom systems to the Brazilian ministry of defense building the company’s profile and credibility in the region.
Major investments pay off
Thales has also made major investments and contributions to multiple development projects in Latin America, using its advanced technology and resources to solve major infrastructure problems. In 2009, it was awarded a contract from Mexico City to develop a system called “Ciudad Ségura,” or Secure City, the most advanced city-wide security network in the world. Secure City links more than 8000 cameras and sensors with Mexico City’s security centers, providing up-to-the minute data to protect the city dwellers from crime, fires, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. Thales is also Latin America’s leading supplier of Air-Traffic solutions, with its 130 radars and 224 navigational aids accounting for 50% of Latin America’s operational surveillance. With a record number of contracts signed in 2012, Thales’ “consolidation” of the market continues to grow.
Finally, Thales has played a major part in the development of Metro Lines in some of the region’s fastest-growing cities. In 2011, it won contracts to supply telecommunication systems for the new lines being built in Panama City and Santo Domingo, adding to the presence of Thales technology in Latin American transportation. “These two contracts,” said Cesar Kuberek, “will consolidate the strong position of Thales in the transport field in Latin America, where it already has a good reputation for its work on the Metros of Caracas, Santiago de Chile, Santo Domingo and the suburban line in Mexico City. Our knowhow is widely recognized and enables us to work on the most modern Metros in the world.”