Cloud Cultures, Part 5: Embracing innovation and preserving a vibrant identity in Mexico

Innovate, Connect, Cultivate 

The Cloud Cultures series is an exploration of the intersection between cloud innovation and culture across the globe. 

Last year, I visited Poland, Sweden, England, and Italy, and learned how the unique culture of each of these countries has shaped how they adopt and use technology, demonstrating the diverse ways in which technology can be used to enhance lives and societies. It was a fascinating testament to the versatility of technology, and there was clear evidence that people shape technology, not the other way around.   

Now, I start my next adventure in Mexico, a leading country in cloud adoption in Latin America.

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Mexico is a country of contrasts, where ancient and modern coexist in harmony. Its rich cultural heritage reflects the diverse influences that have shaped its identity, from pre-Hispanic civilizations to global integration. But Mexico is not only a country of tradition; it is also a country of innovation, where technology and business are constantly evolving to meet the challenges and opportunities of a changing world. In this episode of Cloud Cultures, I explore how three companies in Mexico are using technology to create a culture of reinvention, and the impact they’re making on both the economy and society.

Libertad Soluciones de Vida: A vision of financial inclusion

My first meeting is with José Ricardo Merino, the CEO of Libertad Soluciones de Vida, a company that is transforming the financial sector with a mission of social impact. Libertad Soluciones de Vida offers a range of financial services, from savings and loans to insurance and pensions. Their focus is to support people who are often excluded from the traditional banking system, and to create a more equitable world by empowering people with the tools they need to improve their lives.

Libertad Soluciones de Vida has been operating since 1960, but it was in 2018 that they decided to accelerate their digital transformation, using the cloud as the foundation of their new services. The cloud enables them to reach more customers, especially in remote and rural areas, and to offer them a seamless and personalized experience.

As José Ricardo Merino explains, the cloud is not only a technological solution, but also a cultural one.

“The cloud is a way of thinking, a way of working, a way of innovating. It allows us to be more agile, more flexible, more responsive to the needs of our customers and our society. It also allows us to be more creative, to experiment with new ideas, to learn from our failures, and to improve our services. The cloud is a catalyst for change and growth.”

José Ricardo Merino, CEO, Libertad Soluciones de Vida

The cloud is the foundation of their new services, helping to guarantee that everyone can use the same services no matter where they are located. Whether in the heart of the Mexico City, or in the forests of the Yucatan, members can log on and all have the same access.

Cemex: Builds a legacy 

Mexico is renowned for its rich archaeological heritage and ancient sites, spanning historical cultures and civilizations. Just as these beautiful stone foundations have stood the test of time, so too has Cemex, a company that has embraced innovation to construct a legacy that has endured for over a century.  

Cemex began as a regional cement company in 1906, but through mergers and acquisitions, they have grown into a global construction materials company, providing industry-leading products and solutions around the world. Fausto Sosa, the Vice President of Information Technology at Cemex, shared how innovation has been key to their success, with technology aiding their efficiency and ability to reinvent and create products and services. 

“We’ve initiated a program we call Cloud Transformation with a clear goal: to elevate customer experience. By expanding our capabilities and fostering flexibility and innovation, we’re striving to position our company at the forefront of progress.”

Fausto Sosa, Information and Technology Vice President, Cemex

In an industry built on traditional approaches, Cemex stands out by piloting innovation in small, agile batches before scaling across the organization. Moving forward, they are excited to explore how the cloud might enable further advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Grupo Bimbo: Nourishing a better world, through technology

The enticing aromas of Mexico City’s street food led us to Grupo Bimbo, a company that’s innovating to protect the planet, while feeding the planet. And while I visited, I spent a lot of time enjoying the amazing products they create.

From a single bakery in 1945, Grupo Bimbo has expanded to 34 countries with more than 100 brands. Their journey from a small bakery to world’s largest bakery company is a testament to their founders’ vision and fighting spirit. The success of the bakery is largely due to their knack for embracing innovation through technology, being the first bakery to use cellophane. 

“Imagine Mexico in 1945, it was just a small place, and the founders had a clear vision on where they want to take it. At the beginning, everything was done by them. They started that way and in 70 plus years, they became the biggest bakery in the world. Sometimes you need to overcome the struggles to find or to grow. That sentiment, that fighting spirit I think has made us who and where we are. The founder’s mentality, that fire, continues to be in our DNA.”

Juan Pajon, Business Technology Global Senior Vice President, Grupo Bimbo.

Today, they’re harnessing data and cloud technology to enhance their sustainability efforts, aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2025 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

What’s next

Change, as I’ve experienced in Mexico, is a natural, healthy progression that opens doors to fresh opportunities. Innovation doesn’t need to be abrupt; a gradual process allows us to discover what truly resonates with us. It’s through challenging the established notions that we pave the way for novel ideas. By welcoming change, Mexico is crafting a future as vibrant and rich as its past.

My journey to Mexico was fueled by a craving for delectable cuisine and priceless wisdom. Having savored both, my gaze now shifts eastward—to a young nation striving to bridge cultural, social, and geographical divides.

Let’s continue this journey of discovery, where technology, steeped in culture, shapes our everyday world.

See you next time for new sights, cuisine, and innovation!

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