Market acceso: How Grupo Avance found a niche in helping local companies tap markets south of the border
Minnesota Business Magazine, October Issue
By Caitlin Hill
After moving from Mexico to the United States, Juan Ramirez received an MBA from the University of Minnesota and spent part of his career working in corporate America, including stints at IBM and General Electric. But an entrepreneur by nature, he eventually began to ponder other paths.
“I started looking at different potential opportunities [to start new companies] and didn’t realize it was staring me right in the face,” Ramirez says. “Someone told me to look at the trends, and I realized that the trend was that emerging markets were growing in Latin America, and in the United States within the Hispanic markets.”
In 2003, he leveraged his experience and cultural knowledge to launch a consulting firm that helps companies expand business in the Mexican, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic markets. Called Grupo Avance, today the Minneapolis firm includes a handful of executive consultants who on average have 15 to 20 years of international business experience.