VSBLTY Announces All Systems Go for Successful AI Launch in Brazil

System administrator working in laptop for develop software of data protection reduce the vulnerability in their network

VSBLTY Groupe Technologies Corp, a leading software provider of AI-driven security and retail analytics technology, is pleased to announce the initial launch of its “Store as a Medium” concept in Brazil. Many years of partnerships and experience have culminated to achieve this new opportunity. VSBLTY has been able to attract industry leaders as partners whose visions are aligned.  

Initial installations have been executed perfectly, on time, on budget and are already delivering advertising impressions. The collective experience of the team from past deployments has made all the difference. 

Our media partner in Brazil is a well-established and respected firm working with major global and national brands. They understand the value of the “Store as a Medium.” They have existing clients that will be excited to buy media in an in-store, retail media network. This type of partner will accelerate the path to scale and revenue. The first installations of a planned 5,000 stores have exceeded expectations. 

“Our dedication, experience and technology focused on the “Store as a Medium ” has given the Company the credibility to have some of the world’s largest companies in their industries’ partner with us. To have one of the worlds’ best known consumer brands and one of Brazil’s advertising giants as partners is a great achievement for our firm, especially when our visions align so well.” stated VSBLTY Co-founder & CEO Jay Hutton.” 

The company and its partners are installing media screens in stores that will generate AI driven advertisements and shopper analytics that provide demographic information about the consumer, such as age, gender, dwell time  and other data points. This technology can provide data that no other form of advertising can deliver. The company’s technology, using its AI based software, can report for example, how many 30-year-old females watched their advertisement and for how many seconds. 

With traditional media, brands can’t tell who’s watching or listening or if anyone is at all, but with VSBLTY they can. Beyond the initial proven increase in product sales, the accumulating dataset that can be mined provides a new powerful consumer analytics tool that has never been possible before. Imagine definitive data or “what the camera sees” rather than approximate demographics. Would you like to know what time of day, or what day of the week sees the most 25 to 45 year old women shoppers, and what advertisements they engaged with the most? Computer vision technology is the most disruptive technology to impact audience measurement in advertising since the invention of radio, TV or even the internet.  

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Summit Nanotech and Power Minerals Announce a Binding Term Sheet for a Strategic Partnership

debris next to summit

Companies commit to produce economic, high-quality lithium via joint asset ownership at the Salar de Incahuasi to strengthen global lithium supply to EV manufacturers

Summit Nanotech, an award-winning sustainable lithium extraction technology company, and Power Minerals, a mineral resources exploration company, announced they have entered into a binding term sheet leading toward a joint venture (JV) agreement to accelerate lithium production through shared asset ownership and development at the Salar de Incahuasi in Argentina. This comes as the lithium market experiences unprecedented growth due to the increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries, particularly in the race to mass produce electric vehicles.

The JV concession at the Salar de Incahuasi is part of an alluvial fan that has high quality brines with consistent lithium concentrations and a low impurity profile. This shallow, clean salar has the promising potential to contribute to ramping up production of lithium from Argentina and is adjacent to assets owned by Allkem and Ganfeng Lithium.

Commenting on the agreement Power Minerals Managing Director Mena Habib said, “We are delighted with our proposed relationship with Summit Nanotech to expedite the development of the Incahuasi salar, one of our core lithium brine assets within the Salta Project area. Having assessed a range of DLE technology options, we see Summit as the ideal partner to help us unlock and maximise the value of Incahuasi for the benefit of our shareholders. Summit’s combination of leading-edge proprietary DLE technology, which demonstrates excellent environmental and sustainability attributes, and Power’s Incahuasi brines offer the opportunity for the parties to work together to produce commercial-scale volumes of high-quality lithium. We look forward to this being the start of a long and mutually rewarding working relationship with the Summit team.” 

Incahuasi salar brines work seamlessly with Summit’s sustainable DLE technology, denaLiTM, which is a patented process that extracts lithium from brine using a proprietary sorbent and water recovery solution. The transaction combines Summit’s first-in-class technology process with Power’s expertise in systematic exploration and project development.

This marks Summit’s first of many potential similar arrangements through which they will validate the performance of their DLE technology at scale for rapid future deployment at other lithium-rich salars in South America. Summit’s denaLi™ technology and engineering expertise will enable the partnership to efficiently deliver the large volumes of high-quality lithium needed to power the global energy transition in an ecologically conscious and community-oriented way.      

“We’re excited to partner with Power Minerals, a like-minded company that shares our vision and commitment to sustainable development – together, we aim to ramp up lithium production with innovation and responsible mining practices,” said Amanda Hall, Founder and CEO of Summit Nanotech. “We are very confident in the differentiated ability of Summit’s technology to unlock this and other resources, effectively and more economically than any other DLE technology.”

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Univar Solutions Expands Distribution Relationship with Leprino Foods Company to Include Brazil and Mexico

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Innovative dairy ingredient solutions can help food manufacturers address formulation challenges

Univar Solutions Brasil Ltda and Univar Solutions Mexico S De, both subsidiaries of Univar Solutions Inc. a leading global solutions provider to users of specialty ingredients and chemicals, announced an expanded agreement with Leprino Foods Company for a broad range of its nutritional ingredients and dairy products serving food and beverage customers in Brazil and Mexico. Leprino Foods’ ingredients are found in a variety of foods and beverages that health-conscious consumers seek out as they focus on enhancing overall health and wellness, including nutraceutical blends, sports and animal nutrition products, and other commercial foods and beverages.

“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with Leprino Foods beyond the United States and Canada and into Brazil and Mexico,” said Kevin Hack, global vice president of food ingredients for Univar Solutions. “Leprino Foods is a dynamic dairy ingredients company that shares our strong commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable product development. Our São Paulo and Mexico City Solution Centers and test kitchens will be a key resource as we work closely together to deliver the innovative solutions needed to help keep our communities healthy and fed now and in the future.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Leprino Foods in Brazil and Mexico,” said Jorge Buckup, president of Latin America for Univar Solutions. “Both of our companies are dedicated to food ingredient innovation, safety, and sustainability, and we look forward to helping deliver more diverse beverage solutions for our customers in these regions.”

From an expansive specialty ingredients portfolio to innovative recipe formulation and testing, food brands of all sizes turn to Foodology by Univar Solutions for help with innovation and product development challenges. Coupled with Foodology by Univar Solutions’ centralized distribution network and custom supply chain solutions that support critical business operations, customers, and suppliers have access to far more than a distributor. And now, with access to Leprino Foods’ trusted nutrient-rich dairy products, customers can better deliver food and beverage dairy solutions in Brazil and Mexico.

“At Leprino Foods, we are continually assessing market demands so we can offer our customers access to products and services they need to keep their business growing. We’re excited about building a strong and solid partnership with Univar Solutions, which reinforces our commitment to the food ingredients and nutrition market,” said Jason Eckert, senior vice president and general manager for Leprino Nutrition. “Aligning with our own commitment to sustainability, Univar Solutions also offers a sustainable and natural products portfolio as a differentiator in distribution as they embed these practices into each step of the supply chain.”

Both companies focus on innovation strategies and sustainability programs to help formulators and manufacturers create next generation end-user products. With a growing product and service offering relying on strong capabilities, deep industry knowledge, and expertise, Univar Solutions and Leprino Foods are well positioned to deliver business and technical success for food and beverage companies who are looking to improve efficiency, secure supply, and reduce costs of transporting food products.

For more information about Univar Solutions’ food ingredients business, visit univarsolutions.com/foodology.

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Appian Signs Brazil Clean Energy Partnership and Equity Investment to Accelerate Portfolio Decarbonization Strategy

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  • Partnership with Detronic is key milestone as Appian looks to deploy clean energy solutions at its operations to off-set and reduce CO2 emissions on a portfolio basis
  • Development of 62.4MWp of solar power plants will provide attractive risk-adjusted returns given Minas Gerais, Brazil, a key mining region, is one of the most attractive regions for solar projects globally
  • Accelerates the internalizing of renewable energy skillsets to deploy across Appian’s mining portfolio as part of our clean energy solutions and mining adjacent strategy
  • Utilizing Detronic’s expertise to add inside-the-fence clean energy projects to Appian’s mining operations will lead to carbon emission reductions and reduce energy costs and margin volatility

Appian Capital Advisory LLP, the investment advisor to long-term value-focused private equity funds that invest solely in mining and mining-related companies, and Detronic Energia, an experienced renewable energy solutions provider in Brazil, are pleased to announce a clean energy partnership in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Appian has entered into a joint venture partnership with Detronic to develop a portfolio of 20 ready-to-build solar parks. The partnership will develop parks with a total capacity of 62.4MWp in Minas Gerais. As a leading mining state in Brazil, Minas Gerais is one of the most attractive regions for photovoltaic projects in the country and the world, due to its excellent solar irradiation and fiscal incentives. In addition to its planned projects in the state, Appian and Detronic are currently evaluating opportunities for additional solar farms at its individual mine sites across Brazil given the high suitability of the Detronic design.

The Detronic Appian partnership is a core element of Appian’s clean energy and mining adjacent strategy to support the business’ ambitions to decarbonise its operations and simultaneously improve margins.

The energy pricing environment, low project risk execution and the fiscal benefits for solar generation in Minas Gerais are key benefits of the Detronic partnership, which is set to deliver attractive risk adjusted returns for Appian’s investors. Minas Gerais is the largest distributed generation market in Brazil with 2.5GWp already installed. Furthermore, the development of the renewable energy portfolio in Brazil will serve as a hedge and reduce Appian’s exposure to future energy price rises at its operations in the country.

Alongside its environmental and economic benefits, this partnership will enable Appian to further develop its inhouse clean energy and sustainability expertise, particularly around incorporating renewable projects into Appian mine sites going forward.

Detronic’s business model is fully integrated covering everything from project development to final energy distribution and operations. With this 360° structure Detronic is able to support across the value chain for the development of clean energy portfolio.

The development of the 20 solar sites in Minas Gerais, which will be led by Detronic’s dedicated construction arm, is set to begin in Q2 2023. Detronic has an established track-record of developing solar generation on time and on budget, using a standardized design and repeatable execution methodology which is also suitable for Appian’s mines sites. It has 34 solar farms recently built and grid connected as well as a further 47 under construction. Detronic’s current operations are off-setting 6,263 tonnes of CO2 per year.


Michael W. Scherb, Founder and CEO of Appian, commented: “This is a significant milestone for Appian’s sustainability ambitions. As a leading investor in mining, we see ESG as core to the delivery of our strategy and the success of our investments. By partnering with an industry expert in Detronic, we have demonstrated that providing clean energy to our portfolio in Brazil is a priority, alongside delivering attractive, risk-adjusted returns to our investors in the process. I look forward to working with our team to deliver on the opportunity that this partnership presents for our business.”


Andre Barreto, Founder and CEO of Detronic, added“Working with Appian is the result of significant planning and preparation. We live in a connected and electrical world, and renewable energy sources are the protagonists of a sustainable future. This is a partnership built on purpose, and we are eager to combine the efforts of two incredible teams to achieve common goals and results. Appian’s strategic vision and global presence will be key foundations for the development of new projects across the planet.”

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Brazilian Coastal Communities Specify the Penetron System to Repair and Protect Concrete Sanitation Infrastructure

Professional workers waterproofing house construction site.

Extensive repairs and targeted upgrades for the sanitation infrastructure of Rio das Ostras, on the Atlantic Coast of Brazil, was completed in March 2023. Further upgrades and repairs continue to be made across multiple communities in the region. The specification of the Penetron System of concrete waterproofing and repair products ensures the durability of these repaired concrete structures.

A Brazilian city of over 155,000, Rio das Ostras is located 160 km (100 miles) east of Rio de Janeiro on the Atlantic Ocean. Home to public and private schools for primary and secondary education, Rio das Ostras also has many universities: Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Universidade Unigranrio, and Universidade Estácio de Sá. Popular attractions include Joana Beach, Ostras River, and Mirante da Praca da Baleia.

“The rejuvenation and upgrading of the local sanitation infrastructure has become urgent,” explains Cláudio Neves Ourives, CEO and Managing Partner of Penetron Brazil. “The completion of the Rio das Ostras project is a big step towards alleviating the dangerous levels of pollution prevalent in the rivers, beaches, and lagoons.”

BRK Ambiental, a water and sanitation engineering company in charge of the Rio das Ostras project, specified a combination of Penetron System products for the repair of the existing sanitation infrastructure:

  • PENETRON CR-90 – a single component, polymer-modified repair mortar for worn, spalled, and distressed surfaces

  • SURFIX BLEND PATCH (i.e., PATCHLINE) – a fast-setting, cement-based, one-component concrete and masonry patching material

  • PENETRON ARC – an active mineral protective coating specifically formulated for anaerobic conditions

The Penetron Brazil technical support team monitored the application of the topical Penetron repair materials by Concrejato, the Penetron-approved concrete repair team.

“Applying the Penetron System to the damaged sanitation infrastructure at Rio das Ostras has eliminated the previous sources of concrete deterioration – and will help make the waters of Guanabara Bay cleaner,” concludes Cláudio Neves Ourives. “Proven around the world in similar concrete repair projects, the Penetron System plays a key role in the waterproofing and protection of concrete structures exposed to aggressive environments.”

The Penetron Group is a leading manufacturer of specialty construction products for concrete waterproofing, concrete repairs, and floor preparation systems. The Group operates through a global network, offering support to the design and construction community through its regional offices, representatives, and distribution channels.

For more information on Penetron waterproofing solutions, please visit penetron(dot)com or Facebook(dot)com/ThePenetronGroup, email CRDept(at)penetron(dot)com or contact the Corporate Relations Department at 631-941-9700.

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Brazil Central Bank Seen Holding Rates, Eyeing Global Banking Crisis

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A more dovish tone from the central bank may ease intense public pressure to cut rates from the government

Brazil’s central bank is expected to hold interest rates steady at a fifth straight policy meeting on Wednesday, but all eyes are on how it describes the evolving balance of inflation risks amid a global banking crisis.

All 30 economists surveyed by Reuters forecast the benchmark Selic rate to remain at a six-year high of 13.75%. Several expect the bank to cite challenges to the global economy, which may open room for rate cuts to start earlier than previously thought.

The evolving balance of risks could open the door for the Copom rate-setting committee to make a cut as soon as June, said Jose Francisco Goncalves, chief economist at Banco Fator.

A more dovish tone from the central bank may ease intense public pressure to cut rates from the government of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, although few expect his harsh rhetoric to disappear until rates start dropping.

He has repeatedly called for lower borrowing costs, describing the current Selic rate “irresponsible” on Tuesday.

Lula also put off a proposal for new fiscal rules to keep a lid on public debt levels – one of several upward inflation risks flagged by the central bank at recent policy meetings.

While annual inflation rates cooled in recent months, inflation expectations worsened since the bank’s February policy meeting.

On the other hand, high-profile bank closures in the U.S. and the Credit Suisse rescue have raised concerns about the risk of a more severe crisis in the global financial system.

Investors are closely monitoring the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to see if it will keep raising interest rates.

“The data since the last Copom were bad for the inflationary dynamics, but uncertainty has increased,” said XP chief economist Caio Megale in a note to clients.

Although he predicts stable interest rates through year-end, Megale said he now sees a chance of rate cuts starting sooner.

The median forecast among economists in a weekly central bank survey showed monetary easing kicking off in November, with the Selic ending the year at 12.75%.

That outlook has remained unchanged since policymakers signaled they were considering holding rates higher for longer than market expectations due to fiscal risks, although the yield curve already points to a first cut in June.

On fiscal policy, which the central bank has flagged as a key inflation risk, Brazil’s government chose to partially resume taxes on fuels, helping to ease a budget deficit. But Lula has put off announcements about new fiscal rules until he returns from a trip to China next week.

Investors are anxiously awaiting a new fiscal framework in Brazil after Lula got congressional approval for a major spending package bypassing a constitutional spending cap to meet campaign promises. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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Swiss Cuban Cigars Reviews Habanos SA and it’s Fascinating History

Swiss Cuban Cigars, is one of the biggest sellers of Cuban cigars online.

Buying Cuban cigars online can result in customers coming across sites selling fake Cuban cigars, which is not only illegal but extremely disappointing for cigar lovers.

The customer service team at Swiss Cuban Cigars prides itself on only selling authentic Cuban cigars.

And, as well as all of the services you’d expect, such as fast worldwide shipping, easy and secure payments, fast delivery and advice from the experienced customer service team, the company sells only very high quality authentic Cubans.

Information about Cuban cigars online

Anyone who is searching for the best Cuban cigars online should check out Swiss Cuban Cigars for all the information they need.

All the cigars sold by Swiss Cuban Cigars are, of course, the real thing. But more than that, Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews different brands on a regular basis.

Everything from the smoking experience to how many gold medals the brand has won are
covered, ensuring the largest selection of truly quality products available online.

Dodging fake Cuban cigars when buying online

The in depth knowledge of the team contributes to the great service overall, and ensures buyers avoid fake Cuban cigars.

Fake cigars continue to be a problem across the market for Cuban cigars, and there are a number of ways that buyers can check their product to avoid being stuck with ‘premium cigars’ that are anything but.

For example, cigar brands that display labels inside the box rather than on the product or box, then the retailer is trying to sell fakes.

Always look for the original sealed box when you buy Cuban cigars, particularly extremely popular brands on sale at a suspiciously great price.

From the first purchase at Swiss Cuban Cigars, the customer can rest assured that whether they buy a thousand boxes or stick to a few limited editions, every Cuban cigar will come with the appropriate green seal and exact boxes.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews Habanos SA

When it comes to seeking out the best Cuban cigars, customers need more than great customer service (although this, along with easy and secure payments is certainly important!).

Great service and great cigars should come along with all of the expertise and expert knowledge offered by Swiss Cuban Cigars. Understanding the market, different brands, the danger of counterfeit cigars and how to avoid fake products should be part of the service.

This is why Swiss Cuban representatives often write reviews of different brands, from Romeo y Julieta to the official Habanos manufacturing company in Cuba.

The history and development of Habanos SA

Habanos SA is Cuba’s tobacco manufacturing company that controls the distribution, production and export of premium cigars around the world. The Cuban cigar manufacturer launched in 1994 and is partly owned by the state.

The ownership of the company is split between the Cuban state owned Cubatabaco and until 2019 Imperial Tobacco.

Global sales of authentic products from Habanos include Romeo y Julieta, Cohiba and Montercristo brands among many others.

What makes a cigar a Habanos?

The Cuba based company owns the trade marks of every quality Cuban cigar brand in the
nations they export to.

‘Habanos’ itself translates as ‘something from Havana’, which is why it has become the byword for cigars from Cuba, as well as cigars in general for some people.

Buying cigars is rife with fakes and counterfeit cigars, so the company keeps a tight control of which companies it exports to in other countries.

For example, the only place that Habanos exports to in Germany is 5th Avenue Cigars. For the UK and Gibraltar it exports to a company called Hunters & Frankau, for Swizterland it’s Intertabak.

The US trade embargo and Cuban businesses

The only country that Habanos does not sell quality products to is the United States. This is because of the US trade embargo against Cuba, which has been in place since 1962.

Today, this embargo is facilitated through various Acts, including the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917, the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, the 1963 Cuban Assets Control Regulations, the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act, the 1996 Helms-Burton Act and the 2000 Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act.

Recent acquisitions and developments

It wasn’t until 2000 that Habanos split into two separately owned sections, when Altadis
bought 50% of the company. Since then, the largest selection of brands on offer has been restructured and updated.

In some ways, it appears that Habanos has adopted the marketing and selling practices of US-based companies since the acquisition in 2000.

This includes expanding the biggest range of ‘special release’ and limited edition cigar brands.

These are marketed for a special occasion and on the quality of the cigar, including its flavour profile and how much customers enjoy the smoke.

Habanos are better quality than ever before

There has been a corresponding uptick in quality for Cuban cigars, which many believe dropped during the 1990s in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union.

In 2008, Imperial Tobacco acquired Altadis and by May 2019 had announced its plan to sell the Cuba based Habanos SA for more than £1 billion to Gemstone Investment Holding Ltd and Allied Cigar Corp.

Habanos cigars are hand rolled using traditional manufacturing methods

Let’s go back much further to the discovery of tobacco itself.

It was in Cuba that the Christopher Columbus-led expedition first came across tobacco being smoked by the Taino Indians, wo called it ‘Cohiba’.

Since then, tobacco has been traded and grown all around the world. It’s generally accepted that the finest tobacco in the world is grown in Cuba, thanks to the specific growing conditions in certain regions.

Cuban tobacco is so perfect for special occasions thanks to its quality of smoke and flavour. And this is because of four factors that are only found in one area – the climate, the soil, the varieties of black tobacco seed and the special know-how of Cuban growers and farmers.

How to get DOP status

Habanos as a term isn’t a distinction given to every cigar.

The term is the Protected Denomination of Origin (Denominacion de Origen Protegida –
DOP) that only goes to a the most outstanding cigar brands and those that are manufactured and processed to the highest standards.

A distinction of Habanos cigars is that they are all hand-rolled (totalmente a man) and never made by machine.

Traditional manufacturing and rolling techniques

This tradition goes back more than 200 years and the specific technique is pretty much the same now as it was then.

The amount of work that goes into growing tobacco and manufacturing Habanos is truly impressive with more than 500 tasks along the way.

These excellent services are why every cigar ends up being suitable for any special occasion, whether as a wedding gift or for an expert in Habanos.

An authentic smoke in every box

If you’re new to the cigar world and have been wondering how to be totally sure your chosen box is authentic, you may find the following information useful.

Swiss Cuban also recommend finding and reading positive reviews on each cigar too. these will go into the quality of flavoured cigars and point you towards full flavoured cigars or lighter options, depending on your preferences.

Always check for the warranty seal

But to buy an authentic Habanos cigar, you should check the green seal of warranty. Every box will have a hologram on the right and a bar code on the left.

Furthermore, the label itself will always be displayed on the upper left side of the container and will leave between three and six mm around the edge.

Habanos are all authenticated at source

Habanos has developed this seal using synthetic paper that incorporates various anti-tamper elements.

Any attempt to remove or change the label will cause the seal to be automatically invalidated. And, whether you buy your Habanos from Swiss Cuban Cigars or other websites, you can enter the barcode into the habanos.com website to check the authenticity.

How to choose the right Habanos brand for you

The exact brand of Cuban cigar that suits you will depend on why you’re buying it and where it will be smoked.

For example, looking for a suitable gift for special occasions is different from finding a flavour profile for you specifically.

Swiss Cuban Cigars can help you find the ideal cigars for your needs

Swiss Cuban Cigars may be based in Gran Canaria but it uses world class experience to ensure customers find exactly what they want.

Excellent service along with fast shipping, a large selection of Cubans and guarantees of authenticity go a long way to making the buying experience as simple as possible.

Which brands are managed by Habanos?

There are 27 brands managed and sold by Habanos, which includes everything from formats, flavours, brand positioning, where they’re sold and the characteristics of each.

These 27 Habanos are protected by the DOP as explained earlier.

The brands are:

  • Cohiba
  • Montecristo
  • Romeo y julieta
  • Partagas louisitanas
  • Hoyo de Monterrey
  • H Upmann
  • Jose L Piedra
  • Cuaba
  • San Cristobal de La Habana
  • Trinidad
  • Bolivar
  • Fonseca
  • Punch
  • Quintero
  • Vegas Robaina
  • Diplomaticos
  • El Rey del Mundo
  • Juan Lopez
  • La Flor de Cano
  • La Gloria Cubana
  • Por Larranaga
  • Quai d’Orsay
  • Rafael Gonzalez
  • Ramon Allones
  • Saint Luis Rey
  • Sancho Panza
  • Vegueros

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Pedro Salles, a Top Agribusiness Executive, Joins Agro.Club in Brazil to Lead Growth and Development in the Country

Hand planting seedling growing step in garden with sunshine.

Since entering Brazil last year, Agro.Club has been experiencing strong adoption of its B2B marketplace with a growing number of farmers, grain companies, and transactions. With a deep understanding of the Brazilian grain trade, Pedro Salles joins Agro.Club Brazil as its Chief Executive Officer. His appointment will drive the business to the next market expansion phase. Agro.Club’s marketplace fills a large gap in the digitalization of the grain trade by making it more efficient, risk-free, and transparent for all participants.

Pedro Salles has over 15 years of executive experience in agricultural commodities trading. Through his years of leadership at Gavilon and Agribrasil, he played a key role in building and managing the trading businesses for these successful companies.

Mr. Salles joins the Agro.Club Brazil team of agriculture professionals and will oversee all strategic and operational aspects of the company’s business to establish it as a major and value-added player in the local market.

“I am confident that my experience in agriculture commodity trading in Brazil and internationally will accelerate the company’s success both locally and globally. I am inspired by the way Agro.Club is integrating digital technologies into a complicated grain trade process,” says the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Agro.Club’s Full-Stack B2B Grain Marketplace aims to add more value and convenience to all the participants. Its algorithms analyze thousands of offers in search of the best supply-demand match. Quality control, logistics, and financing are also carried out by the company, making grain deals secure and hassle-free for the farmers and grain companies.

“I am thrilled that Pedro Salles decided to lead Agro.Club Brazil and put all his efforts and expertise into the development of our grain trading marketplace,” says Egor Kirin, CEO of Agro.Club. “Pedro is one of the most successful executives in the ag-commodities space, with a comprehensive perspective and understanding of LATAM markets. With him on board, we will be able to expand our global grain marketplace faster and fulfill our mission of making the global food supply more secure and sustainable. The platform has already found its market fit with over 40,000 farmers and grain companies worldwide, of which over 5,000 are from Brazil.”

Agro.Club is a US-based AgTech company now present in three of the largest agricultural hubs. It runs a full-stack global grain marketplace, enabling its users to trade grain worldwide. The company has over 200 employees globally and a top-tier executive team with global agricultural, digital, and fintech expertise. Agro.Club raised capital from marquee international investors such as Rabo Frontier Ventures (Rabobank), Speedinvest, VentureFriends, and Elevator Ventures (Raiffeisen Bank).

Follow Agro.Club on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/agro-club/

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Self Storage Rental Service Company of the Year – South America

Storage in an industrial building for rental to entrepreneurs or individuals with recyclable cardboard boxes on top of a pallet rack

Self storage is such an important feature of economies the world over, but providing a premier service is no mean feat. The team at Aki KB Minibodegas have led the way in this regard, with their efforts pushing the boundaries of what it means to service communities throughout Chile and Costa Rica. With success in the Latin and South America Business Awards 2022, we take a closer look to find out more.

Now established as market leaders in Chile, the team behind Aki KB Minibodegas have found time to reflect on some of the decisions that have led to their incredible success. Over the years, the business has grown from humble origins to an organisations with 16 facilities in Chile and one expansion into Costa Rica. Such growth is no mean feat, and reflects the incredible efforts of staff in every part of the business.

The driving force that sets the team apart is their determination to provide a truly stunning customer experience. People are always first in this team’s mind, and finding ways to assist them and serve them as effectively as possible. Hiring a staff who share this passion for supporting others is vital to the continued success of Aki KB Minibodegas, and is why any new hires are made only if they are aligned to the firm’s organisational culture.

The team operate in a manner which is effortlessly dynamic, proactively exploring new and exciting ways of working. Challenges may arise, but the team meet them with the greatest possible determination. As the business has managed to thrive, everyone involved has committed themselves to growing new facilities and to exploring the potential of new market opportunities.

The team has had to overcome many difficulties, despite their growth. Primary amongst these is the increase in costs when it comes to construction. New properties are difficult to create at accessible prices, which makes achieving an effective company return difficult. Considerations of environmental impacts also bring their own challenges to construction, but many of these challenges have been overcome by the tireless efforts of the Aki KB Minibodegas team.

Working for Aki KB Minibodegas has seen the business adopt an approach which is modern in every respect, but clearest amongst these is the way in which the business has managed to expand over the years. Looking forward, the firm’s leadership is exploring new ways of developing new projects, of acquiring new properties and of making the operation of the firm more efficient.

The future looks bright for this incredible firm, as the team step boldly forward into a brave new world. Their attitude has brought them astonishing levels of success as they have reinvented how many see the world of self-storage. For many in South America, Aki KB Minibodegas is synonymous with how to achieve something great. We cannot wait to see what they do next!

For business enquiries, contact Alan Stehberg from Aki KB Minibodegas via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.akikb.cl

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22% of Costa Rica’s ICT Business Park Offers Technologies Linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Aerial view of business and finance district with new office building surrounded by parking and road.
  • Technology 4.0 exports exceeded $11.4 million in 2021. 
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 of these companies are exporters. 


Companies linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution made up at least 22% of the total ICT business park in Costa Rica in 2021 (estimated at 450 companies), according to findings from the study Profile of the Costa Rican supply specialized in 4.0 technologies (II Edition, 2021), prepared by the Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica (PROCOMER).

This is the second edition of the study conducted by the Promoter, the first of which was conducted in 2019.

Marta Esquivel, director of business planning and intelligence at PROCOMER, explained that the services offered by these companies are mainly: cloud computing (20% of the companies), industry 4.0 integration (19%), the internet of things (13%), robotic process automation (10%) and big data(9%), among a total of 10 technological categories.

“By the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we mean the interaction between digital technologies, cyber-physical systems, and cloud networks, for example. The world is undergoing a dizzying transformation that is radically changing the way we produce, consume, market, and work. A process of change to which numerous companies have been added at the national level,” stated Esquivel.

She added that, among the main technologies offered by this group of companies, it is industry 4.0 integration that recorded the greatest expansion between 2019 and 2021, going from 2% to 19% in the total number of companies in the sector that specialize in it.

In 2021, the sector was characterized by a greater number of small companies (54%) and micro companies (32%), that is, between 1 and 30 employees. Among the companies surveyed for this study, the sector registered 1,090 direct jobs, an increase of 120 positions compared to 2019, with companies specialized in cloud computing reporting the largest number of jobs.

Erick Apuy, economic analyst in charge of the study, explained that “these sized companies, measured in terms of employees, allow the sector to have some flexibility to develop their operations, not to mention that some of their services may have an experimental or exploratory aspect to them with high added value,” said Apuy.


Export experience 

78% of these companies recorded exports, and in 2021, an estimated at least $11.4 million in international sales: Colombia (43% of exporters), Mexico (42%), the United States (40%), Panama (38%), and Guatemala (36%) the main destinations for the commercialization of 4.0 technologies.

In addition, Apuy stated that the local market is still the main consumer of 4.0 technologies for this sector, representing 63% of total sales in 2021 (close to $19.5 million), and this participation increased compared to 2019 when it recorded participation of 56%.

“This may show a greater openness on the part of local demand for digital transformation integration processes. Additionally, as demonstrated, there is still room to develop more local chains, more sales, and a closer relationship between the two parties,” the analyst concluded.


Technology, health care, and the pandemic

The PROCOMER study shows that, between 2019 and 2021, a majority of the sector (78%) developed or prepared technological solutions in response to the needs raised by the pandemic, for example, solutions such as remote working, product traceability, digital payment systems, and others, such as applications for the health care sector.

Regarding this last area, Apuy points out that, in 2021, the sector showed customer growth in health care, medical devices, and the pharmaceutical industry, which reflects signs of the sector’s ability to adapt and explore new value-added opportunities derived from the market post-pandemic.

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