News Column

Going the Distance

July/August 2007, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

Keith Rosenblum

Marcelo Claure, Brightstar CEO
Marcelo Claure, Brightstar CEO

This year's Hispanic Business Top 50 Exporters list boasts companies sending abroad a gamut of tangible, intellectual, and even edible products, reflecting a vibrant present and, barring the unforeseen, an even more buoyant future.

The end-users of these exports are not automatically in Mexico, the Caribbean, or Latin America. Increasingly, Hispanic companies are exporting their products and services to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

This phenomenon is visible in every niche of the Hispanic Business Top 50 Exporters, starting with the No. 1 company on the list, Miami's Brightstar Corp., which notched $3 billion in export sales last year.

Latin America currently accounts for about half of the 10-year-old telecom supplier's revenue it's the largest cell phone distributor in every Latin American nation in which it does business. But CEO R. Marcelo Claure's five-year goal is to see a quarter of its revenue come from Latin America, another quarter from the United States, a third quarter from Europe, and the last quarter from the rest of the world.

Fastest-Growing Top 50 Exporters
Company 2006 export sales ($M) 2005 export sales ($M) 2005-2006 export sales growth
Bermello, Ajamil & Partners Inc. $6.62 $1.26 425.62%
Mercom Inc. $2.00 $0.50 300.00%
Sweetlake Chemicals Ltd. $5.20 $1.80 188.89%
Gusto Packing Co. $3.00 $1.20 150.00%
Compasa LLC $15.99 $7.32 118.41%
Ametza LLC $15.00 $7.28 106.04%
American Fasteners Corp. $2.60 $1.40 85.71%
USA Logistic Carriers LLC $18.23 $10.94 66.67%
Brightstar Corp. $3,053.00 $1,922.00 58.84%
Rody Truck Center Corp. $1.96 $1.26 56.37%
2007 Hispanic Business Inc. Reprinting, copying, or transmitting all or part of this information requires written permission.

"Just because we are the world's largest on a combined basis doesn't mean we are the largest in every country that we are in," Mr. Claure told Hispanic Business when his company topped the Hispanic Business 500 in June. "In the U.S., we are No. 2. We are No. 3 or No. 4 in a lot of Asian and European countries." He intends to make Brightstar No. 1 in every country where the company does business.

Bill Bernardo, CEO of Illinois-based Ebco Inc., a supplier of rubber and plastic vibration isolators and seals, returned recently from a trip to The Netherlands, Ireland, and England. "What astonished me is that America is now considered a 'low-cost' country," he says. "I find that phenomenal, but it is the type of thing you learn from traveling. When it came to negotiate contracts, I found Europeans adamant when it came to buying in dollars. This was their way of guaranteeing themselves a good deal."

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