One of Colombia’s best-known products, Aguila has over one hundred years of heritage and is a cultural icon.
Aguila stems from the city of Barranquilla in 1913 and its origins can be traced to eternal rivalry between the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla. Initially Aguila was brewed by Bavaria S.A., a Colombian company acquired in 2005 by SABMiller. The brand has sponsored the Colombia national soccer team in every category for over 17 years. Recently the brand’s alcohol-free version has also gained traction in the market.
Bancolombia is the largest commercial bank in Colombia and one of the largest in Latin America.
The bank was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Medellin. It belongs to the group SURA and is part of Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno. The bank has more than 8.1 million customers and a branch network of 779 Bancolombia branded locations and 2,876 ATMs. The bank employs around 27,000 people.
Shares of Bancolombia have traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 1995 when Bancolombia became the first Colombian company to enter the US market. The bank isa Multilatam company with presence in El Salvador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Panama and the Cayman Islands.
Poker is the largest selling beer brand in Colombia.
It was first brewed in Manizales in 1929 and soon spread to the Coffee Zone and the Valle del Cauca, becoming the lead brand in western Colombia. In 2004, Poker began a program of national expansion, entering Bogota and the center of the country and achieving rapid growth. A line extension in 2011 saw the launch of Poker Ligera, a beer with less alcohol, aimed at expanding consumption occasions.
In recent years, Poker has been known for its messages
of confidence and positive attitude towards friends, even creating the ‘Poker friend’s day’, a special day each year to share with friends and celebrate with a good beer. The brand is currently working on boosting consumption on other days with a consumer advertising campaign running on Thursdays.
Banco de Bogota is the oldest bank in Colombia, its history dates back to 1870 when it opened its doors with COP $500,000.
Since then, the bank has seen steady growth through mergers and acquisitions. In 2013, the bank expanded its operations abroad by acquiring Grupo Financiero Reformador from Guatemala, through its subsidiary Credomatic International Corporation, as well as BBVA Panama through its subsidiary Leasing Bogota S.A. Panama . The bank’s international operations are run by its own subsidiaries and agencies in Panama, the Bahamas, Miami and New York. In Colombia
it has around 263 branches. The brand has recently been investing in enhancing its virtual channels and modernizing its communications with clients and stakeholders.
Formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos S.A., Ecopetrol is Colombia is largest petroleum company; it is ranked 39 worldwide and in the top four in Latin America.
It is a vertically integrated oil company with presence in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and the US Gulf Coast. The company's operations include exploration, production, transport,
supply and marketing of its own oil surplus and by-products. Ecopetrol is a mixed economy company that operates under the laws of Colombia and is directed and administered by the Shareholders’ General Assembly, the Board of Directors and the company's President, the company's stocks are traded at the BVC (Bolsa de Valores de Colombia), the New York Stock Exchange, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. In the last year, it has lost much of its value due to falling oil prices.
Banco Popular is a market leader in consumer loans.
The bank was established in 1950 as a government owned institution and began the process of privatization in 1996 when entities controlled by Colombian finance magnate Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo acquired the bank.
Today, the bank is the seventh largest in Colombia with a network of 184 branches and 925 ATM’s.
An iconic logo makes Davivienda one of Colombia’s most recognizable brands.
The Davivienda brand’s presence in the market consists of a network of 743 bank branch locations in 176 cities, 2,000 ATMs and nearly 15,000 employees serving 6.6 million customers. The brand was founded in 1972 as the Corporacion Colombiana de Ahorro y Vivienda and initially operated as a savings and loan provider under the brand name Coldeahorro. The brand identity changed to Davivienda in 1973 when it adopted a distinctive logo known as La Casita Roja (little red house). It’s among the most identifiable corporate logos in Colombia. In 1997, the Corporacion Colombiana de Ahorro y Vivienda became a commercial bank and changed its name to Banco Davivienda SA. Davivienda has operations in Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Miami
UNE provides telecommunication services including fixed, local and long distance calls, wireless and digital television services.
Founded in 2006, UNE is a Colombian public company headquartered in Medellin. Control of the company lies with EPM (Unidad de Negocios Estrategicos) with a 51% holding; the other 49% is held by Swedish company Millicom International Cellular. UNE strives to get to know its customers in detail, identifying their consumption practices and then designing products and services accordingly.
SURA Business Group is listed on the Stock Exchange of Colombia (BVC) and is registered in the ADR program – Level I in the United States.
It is also the only Latin American financial services organization to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. This index recognizes companies that support best practices in economic, environmental and social issues.
SURA Business Group focuses on two types of investments: strategic (focused on financial services, insurance, pensions, savings and investment) and portfolio investments, mainly in the processed food, cement and energy sectors.
The country’s third largest mobile brand, Tigo has nearly 4.9 mobile customers in Colombia, 80 percent of whom use prepaid service.
The brand’s origins date back to 2004 when UNE Telecomunicaciones SA ESP and Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota ETB SA ESP created Colombia Movil to offer services under the Ola brand. The brand name changed from Ola to Tigo, a condensed version of the Spanish word contigo (with you), following acquisition of a majority position by Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular SA, in 2006. The company then merged with UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones S.A., Millicom Spain Cable S.L., EPM and Millicom to offer an integrated package including fixed and mobile communication, as well as pay TV and internet.
In Colombia, Tigo were among the first mobile operators to offer pre- paid cell phones and on demand access to the web
Banco de Occidente focuses on businesses and affluent individuals.
Founded in 1965 in Cali, Banco de Occidente was acquired by one of Colombia’s wealthiest individuals and major bankers, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, in 1971. The fifth largest bank in Colombia, it offers comprehensive banking services with a special focus on serving large and medium sized businesses along with medium and high income clients. Today, Grupo Aval and other entities controlled by Sarmiento Angulo own 85.5% of Banco de Occidente.
Founded in 1949 by Mr. Gustavo Toro Quintero in Medellin, Almacenes Exito S.A. is Colombia s leading retail brand.
The company operates 470 stores in Colombia and 54 in Uruguay, offering food and non-food products. Some of its stores include brand names like Surtimax, Home Mart, Disco, Devoto, and Geant. Besides its core products, the Exito brand is leveraged across
a portfolio of businesses that include consumer credit, travel agency, insurance, textile and food, e-commerce, gas stations, and shopping center development businesses. In 1998, Exito began online sales. From 1999, France’s Groupe Casino acquired an increasing stake in Exito, gaining majority control in 2007. Exito expanded internationally for the first time in 2011, when
it acquired 52 Casino stores in Uruguay that were operating under the banners of Disco, Devoto and Geant. In 2013, the brand launched “Movil Exito” offering mobile phone services including voice plans, SMS and data. In December 2014, the Exito Group’s Colombia store portfolio reached the 100 mark.
Brewed since 1904, Pilsen is the leading brand in the Antioquia region.
Pilsen is the official sponsor of the Festival of Flowers in Medellin and aligned to the customs and traditions of the region. The brand is promoted as being ideal for sharing with friends after work.
Avianca is a subsidiary of Synergy Group in Brazil and is the third largest flight company in South America, with more than a hundred destinations around America and Europe.
Formerly known as AviancaTaca AirHoldings Inc., Avianca Holdings’ history started in 1910 under the name “Sociedad Colombo Alemana de Transporte Aereo, SCADTA.” In 1940, the company was constituted after the integration of SCADTA and the Servicio Aereo Colombiano – SACO. The first international flights covered routes to Quito, Lima, Panama, Miami, New York and Europe. In 2009 the company merged with Central American carrier TACA Airlines, and during 2010 it formalized
a strategic union which includes Avianca, Tampa Cargo and AeroGal. The company trades at the NewYork Stock Exchange as ANH, and in the Colombian Stock Market as AVT_P.
Pietran was launched in 2001 and is owned by Zenu.
The company specializes in the premium segment of the category of lean meats and is a highly recognized brand in the sector. A key competitive differentiator is that its products contain 25% less sodium.
Zenu is a well-known name in meat production and distribution.
Zenu began in Medellin in the 1950s, and today is recognized for its high technological standards, quality control, unique flavor, and for innovating several brands in canned meats, sausage products and frozen fast foods, among others. Today the company has more than 2,500 employees and continues to be one of the most reputable companies in the country.
Doria is the country’s largest pasta brand, with three product lines: Pasta Comarrico, Pastas Doria and Pasta Monticello.
The original company was founded in 1952 and installed its pulp mill in the former headquarters of Sweets and Pastries Papagayo Company in Bogota. Pastas Doria has long been a well-known brand in Colombia, widely recognized for its mustache-wearing chef with a catchphrase of”Ciao bambino” – which has become the staple slogan of the brand.
Cementos Argos is a major player in the Colombian cement industry.
With 51 percent market share, Argos is the fourth largest cement producer in Latin America, the only white cement producer in Colombia and the second largest in the South-East of the United States. The company belongs to Argos Group, founded in Medellin in 1934. The operation has 388 plants worldwide, with locations that include Panama, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Suriname. Recently the company entered the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, an indicator used to monitor the performance of leading companies in economic, social and environmental terms.
Chocolates Jet is a chocolate bar manufactured by The National Chocolates Company, part of Grupo Nutresa, headquartered in Medellin.
The company started operations in 1920 as the Red Cross Chocolate Company. The National Chocolates Company is known for being the first industrial producer of chocolate confectionery and for offering the chocolate drink that has been part of Colombian life since the 1960s. The company produces 27 brands across chocolate snack treats, hot beverages, milk modifiers, nuts, cereals and baked-goods. It was the first company to be certified as a Healthy Organization by the Colombian Heart Foundation. Recently it has been judged to be one of Colombia s top three best companies to work for and number one to work for in the food sector.
Banco AV Villas began in 1972 as Savings and Housing Corporation Villas, an entity dedicated to financing for the construction sector.
In 1998, the company joined Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores SA, making it part of one of the largest financial conglomerates in Colombia. As well as the AV Villas Bank the group includes Banco de Occidente, Banco de Bogota, Pension Management Company, Porvenir and Banco Popular.
In 2002, AV Villas officially became a commercial bank in order to provide a large portfolio of products and services.