12 successful Bolivian entrepreneurs | Inspiring role models

has proven to be fertile ground for entrepreneurship . Therefore, in this article we will introduce you to some successful Bolivian businessmen and what their projects are.

Get ready then to meet these characters who today are an example for many entrepreneurs in this nation.

What is the business context in Bolivia like?

Bolivian flag

Before talking about stories of successful Bolivian entrepreneurs, it is ideal to know the context of that country. To begin with, its economy is diversified, ranging from agriculture to mining . In addition, energy production and everything related to tourism are also present.

Bolivia has adopted pro-business policies that encourage investment and are supported by a well-trained workforce and infrastructure. However, it must be said that not everything is positive for this nation in the economic area. During 2023, there has been growing concern about the fragility of the economy .

This, after more than a decade in which what many called an “economic miracle” was experienced. The latter was due, in large part, to sustained growth and record hydrocarbon exports . In addition, this country had enviable inflation, added to a fixed exchange rate and subsidized gasoline.

Bolivia’s challenges in the economic aspect

Despite the fact that after the pandemic, the country achieved an important economic recovery, the outlook is not the best. High public debt and falling natural gas production have limited the government’s efforts to boost growth . In addition to this, the modest international reserves have also been another obstacle.

On the other hand, before talking about successful Bolivian businessmen, we must also talk about the risks that exist in Bolivia. On an economic level, this nation is exposed to other situations such as the volatility of raw material prices . In addition to these, also the global slowdown and the increase in international interest rates, according to the World Bank .

This country is also vulnerable to climate disasters such as drought or the El Niño effect, expected in late 2023 and early 2024. In this context, Bolivia’s sustainable recovery requires addressing structural challenges . The nation could benefit from establishing a strategy to address macroeconomic imbalances.

Likewise, it could also do so by supporting a more active role of the private sector and increasing resilience to changes in the international environment. Encouraging private investment would help accelerate growth, promote the quality of employment and diversify the economy .

12 Successful Bolivian Businessmen

Bolivia flag

After learning some details about Bolivia’s economy, it is time to talk about successful Bolivian entrepreneurs. In this list, we have tried to include different profiles of people who have achieved important achievements with their projects . With these, young entrepreneurs in Bolivia have great examples to follow.

1. Claudia Mendez

Claudia Mendez

When talking about successful Bolivian businessmen, it is common for the name Claudia Méndez to appear. With a career spanning more than 17 years, this businesswoman in the world of fashion is internationally recognized . Méndez has managed to establish himself as a force in online commerce, reaching various countries in the world, including the United States and some Europeans.

Its Sell Successfully Online project seeks to support small and medium-sized businesses to effectively use online platforms . His entrepreneurial journey began in 2003 and the road has not always been easy. With a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Virginia, this woman is an example of dedication, training and perseverance.

2. Ignacio Orihuela

It is undeniable that technology is today a sector with great influence and some successful Bolivian businessmen know this. This is the case of Ignacio Orihuela, who is the creator of iZi . What is this project about? It is a digital platform that has revolutionized the topic of business administration .

Because? It offers an ecosystem of integrated solutions to digitize and manage companies of all types and sizes. For this reason, it allows you to control a business in real time from any device and process data for decision making . iZi serves more than 200 companies in Bolivia and is a leader in electronic invoicing solutions.

3. Alex Zegarra

Alex Zegarra, example of successful Bolivian businessmen

Quality and sustainability are also an important part of entrepreneurship in Bolivia. Another case among successful Bolivian entrepreneurs is that of Alex Zegarra. This man is the co-founder and commercial director of the company Pure Cotton , which is a leader in the production and marketing of 100% cotton products.

Its focus is on authenticity and excellence, something that has made Pure Cotton a benchmark in the Bolivian textile industry. Among its achievements, one of the most relevant was obtaining the MAYA PRIZE as the best textile brand in Bolivia . In addition, they have six branches, work for more than 100 companies and institutions and export to England.

4. Natalia Daphne

Another inspiring story of women on the list of successful Bolivian entrepreneurs is that of Natalia Daphne. She is the creative mind behind Made in Chola , a highly popular hat brand in Argentina and Bolivia . Originally from La Paz, Daphne has shown that by migrating to another country, you can achieve relevant business achievements.

What started as a simple idea became a recognized brand with enormous growth potential. His creations have been worn by celebrities such as the Argentine actress Susana Giménez and famous musicians . In this way, the status of Made in Chola has made other brands interested in doing collaborations.

5. Mario Anglarill Salvatierra

Mario Anglarill

In this list of successful Bolivian entrepreneurs, we have decided to include different profiles. On this occasion, we will talk about Mario Anglarill Salvatierra, executive president of Sofía Ltda., a company originated in Santa Cruz de la Sierra . This company was born as a small family poultry business by the Anglarill Serrate couple in 1976.

Currently, Sofia Ltda . It is an example to follow for the high quality foods it offers to its consumers. There are more than 3,000 direct jobs and nearly 30,000 indirect jobs that this company generates. Without a doubt, its impact has been very positive for the national economy of Bolivia and the bet is to be able to expand to other territories.

6. Maria del Rosario Paz Gutierrez

For Bolivians, the names Farmacorp , Dr. Osvaldo, Amarket and Salud 360 are very common, chains that belong to Farmacias Corporativas S.A. Maria del Rosario Paz Gutierrez is the president of this corporation. It has more than 200 stores throughout the Bolivian territory through the brands already mentioned.

Paz Gutierrez inherited the vision of her grandfather, the founder of Farmacia Gutierrez, and has transformed this family business. This woman appeared on the list of the 500 most influential businessmen in Latin America , which was compiled by Bloomberg Linea . Farmacorp operates under the omnichannel model and has transformed the concept of retail in the country.

7. Pablo Guardia

Pablo Guardia, example of successful Bolivian businessmen

Continuing with this group of successful Bolivian businessmen, a story that may inspire you, that of Pablo Guardia Vásquez. This man is currently the CEO of TIGO Bolivia , but before occupying this position he had to go through a long road . Guardia entered the telecommunications sector 23 years ago as a direct sales force supervisor.

In fact, in his past there are also other jobs such as being a soccer player or selling clothes, bicycles and spare parts. This, as he himself says, helped him develop resilience that has led him to overcome different adversities. Currently, he manages 13 managers, more than 3,000 direct employees and another 100,000 indirect employees .

8. Jorge Lopez Lafuente

Among the millionaire Bolivian businessmen, one name can stand out and it is Jorge Lopez Lafuente. This man is a Silicon Valley veteran, who decided to start a business in Cochabamba. And he didn’t do it just in any way, because he developed an ambitious software production project that has turned Bolivia into a hub of computer development .

Jalasoft was founded with only six engineers, later establishing itself as the first in its sector in Bolivia. Today, this company has more than a thousand collaborators dedicated to software development , in addition to being part of the Jala Group. In addition, Lopez Lafuente developed a scholarship system called Fundación del Saber and also the Jala University.

9. Cristobal Roda Vaca

Christopher Roda Vaca

Another of the successful Bolivian businessmen who have had an extensive career is Cristóbal Roda Vaca. This man studied civil engineering, with an emphasis on calculations, although he has worked more as an administrator. His father, in the 80s, already had large companies in sectors such as wood, ceramics, construction and agriculture .

When his father died at the age of 40, Roda Vaca had to take over the management of the Roda Group . Among his achievements is having created the first cable television company, Multivisión , which was sold to Tigo. Today, this man is accompanied by his son, Cristóbal Roda Roden, who is general manager of the Ingenio Sucroalcoholero Aguaí.

10. Ivo Kuljis

Next, one of the successful Bolivian businessmen who have achieved the greatest renown in the department of Santa Cruz. Ivo Mateo Kuljis is the founder and president of the Kuljis Group, a business conglomerate with interests in various sectors . Among these are agribusiness, construction, hospitality and commerce.

Since its inception, Kuljis has always demonstrated commitment to corporate social responsibility. It has been characterized by the creation of jobs and the infrastructure of the region , as well as its support for various charitable causes. For facts like these, last September he was honored with the title of Illustrious Son of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

11. Herbert Vargas

Herbert Vargas

What better qualifier for a company than being the most attractive to work for according to the public? During 2022 and according to Captura Consulting, EMBOL was chosen by Bolivians as the preferred one to work for . Its general manager is Herbert Vargas Campero, a prominent businessman in the region.

Embotelladoras Bolivianas Unidas, EMBOL SA, is a company with more than 20 years of experience. Vargas Campero, 51 years old, arrived at his current position in 2019 to command a work team with more than 2,700 collaborators . Among his achievements is that Embol obtained the Sustainability Seal awarded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

12. Ximena Behoteguy

To close this list of successful Bolivian entrepreneurs, we have Ximena Behoteguy. Since 2012, this woman was also included in the aforementioned list of The 500 most influential people in Latin America in 2022 . As for her charges, practically a single article could be written to talk about them.

This specialist in business law and corporate governance is president of the Board of Directors of Banco FIE . Likewise, she is executive president of the OSC FIE, vice president of CONFIE Latino América SRL and is, in turn, founder of the Magenta FIE Collective. Among other tasks, she is also the founder and director of the Chamber of Business Women of Bolivia (CAMEBOL).

In this way, we conclude with the list of successful Bolivian businessmen. We hope you have been able to discover inspiring stories, which can serve as an example for your projects.

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