May 24, 2018
The team maker
Jorge Arpi made diversification his career. Today, he has to lead one of the most traditional Argentine agricultural companies.

Jorge Arpi went through a tobacco shop without being an expert in tobacco. He worked in a winemaking group without having experience in wines. He managed an appliance brand without being a specialist. And today he has to lead one of the most traditional companies of Argentine agriculture, once again, without coming from the sector.

It is that for this public accountant (University of Buenos Aires) with an MBA (University of Deusto), the strength of his profile is in being able to adapt his background to the context in which he works. The secret, he says, is in having a vocation to learn but, above all, a firm capacity to listen. "I believe that the basic capacity that they saw in me is that of a person who has been able to insert himself in different industries giving a general approach and contributing to achieve a systemic vision of the business and generate a concept of long-term development", defines Arpi.

The new CEO of Grupo Los Grobo refers to the characteristics that Victoria Capital Part ners saw, the private equity fund that in 2016 acquired the X5 percent of the group and injected US $ 100 million. They were old friends already. Further back in time, Arpi worked in the Peñaflor Group. He entered the financial area of ​​the wine group and then joined a project in which they acquired! two companies As a result, they created a vehicle called Bodegas y Viñedos. "I was General Manager until he was ready to join the whole operation, we divided Peñaflor between the domestic and international markets, and I took over that project to develop the fine wine trade abroad," Arpi recalls of his work in the company in which he was 13 years and that took him to travel the world.

"I lived on top of an airplane," he recalls. At that time the winery group was controlled by Victoria Capital and Arpi forged the relationship with those who last year called him to take charge of Los Grobo after the departure of Horacio Busanello. "He was one of the key executives in Peñaflor," admitted Carlos Garcia, number one in the fund, in the February issue of APERTURA.

In 2011, his path continued in Newsan, the consumer electronics company where he served as Commercial Director and, later, when the firm ventured into the white line with the reopening of the Siam factory, Arpi became its General Manager.

When he disembarked at Los Grobo, the executive had to adapt, again, to a context that he did not manage. "You have to have a frank attitude with people, I expressed that I have general management skills and that I know the technical limits of the specialty perfectly," the CEO admits, adding that his strength lies in being able to form good teams and detect people with potential. . He divides his week between Buenos Aires and Carlos Casares, where his central office is located, and changed the trips around the world for an extensive tour of the interior of the country, where they are present in more than 20 locations and where they hope to expand their footprint.

Its growth, however, will be moderate: "It will be responsible and in stages, we have no interest in an explosion of growth, but in an optimization of our spatial distribution, we have a five-year plan with new locations with the that new collaborators will also come ", remarks the CEO of the group that has 750 employees among its seven business verticals and last year billed US $ 524.9 million.

The call came with clear objectives and Arpi lists four that will mark its management. The first one, on the area of ​​operational improvements. Second, the development of a sustainable model for the company. Third, prepare it structurally for a growth phase and, finally, make explicit a medium and long-term development model. With the strategic plan until 2022 just completed, the group announced that it expects to double the size of the company in the next four years. "We expect to grow in all the business segments we are present in. We are in a stage of investing in what we call the preparation of the company for the future," Arpi adds, referring to the efforts that will be devoted to areas such as Systems, RR .HH. O Communications.

The irruption of technology in the field also spilled over Los Grobo. Focusing on precision agriculture, the CEO who joins a new segment ensures that he found a sector "growing, tremendously competitive, very dynamic and changing." That is why it is prepared to include more complex technological packages for an increasingly sophisticated business context.

Published on May 2018 edition of
Revista Apertura.
By Ricardo Quesada, Eugenia Iglesias, Francisco Llorens.
Automatic translation from spanish.

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