Kent Bjertrup, new Regional Director ALD Latin America: "Deploy an integrated ALD offer that covers LatAm"
Speaking for the first time about his appointment as ALD's Regional Director for Latin America, Kent Bjertrup hails the newly-created function, which starts officially on September 1st, as an “exciting new challenge”.
Kent Bjertrup had been appointed CCO for the global lease company in February 2016, but a recent reshuffle saw that role abolished. Latin America is a crucial growth region for ALD, which has subsidiaries in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia, and partnerships with Autocorp in Argentina and Arrend in Central America.
Why did ALD need a Regional Director for Latin America?
“In other regions, a country manager takes up the additional role of Regional Director. But Latin America is so big and vast that this was not feasible. Just one example: flying from Sao Paulo to Mexico City takes 10 hours. A separate function also underlines ALD's belief in Latin America as a promising and important region, one in which we want to have a strong foothold. Not just in the Brazil and Mexico, which are the region's biggest markets, but really throughout the entire region”.
Why base the Regional Directorship in Mexico instead of Brazil?
“We discussed both options. Both countries are big markets, and as such very important to us. Mexico is close to the U.S., the home of our alliance partner Wheels, Inc. That was one of the deciding factors.
We already had a board meeting with ALD Mexico a few weeks before my arrival in August. The only time before that I've been here was privately, 15 years ago. So this is going to be a brand-new experience, an exciting challenge”.
What's your brief?
“I will supervise the commercial and operational sides of our ALD subsidiaries in Latin America, coordinate our partnerships with Autocorp and Arrend, and deal with our international accounts that operate fleets across the region. And I'll report to Gilles Bellemere, our Deputy CEO with responsibility over Latin America”.
Can you tell us some of the first concrete steps you will be undertaking?
“In Brazil, we have a strong and solid position which we will grow even further, with full-service leasing, fleet management and new mobility services. For example, ALD Brazil has just launched a set of corporate mobility services, including carsharing and electric bicycles, under the ALD Sharing umbrella.
“In Mexico, our fast growth will continue, hand in hand with our high standards and quality of service. Here, we'll extend our service offer with our telematics solution ProFleet, our MyALD app, and our reporting tool ALDnet, to name but a few”.
“We are developing our activities in Peru and Chile, and we've just opened in Colombia; in these markets, we need to firmly establish our footprint”.
And what about your partnerships?
“We'll progressively strengthen our partnerships with Arrend and Autocorp, just like we've done previously with Wheels, Inc. in North America. And we'll also have a focus on reinforcing our partnership business with LatAm-based manufacturers and banks. Just like we do in Europe since 15 years”.
What does the future look like for ALD in Latin America?
“Look, it's no secret that ALD wants to cover Latin America as best and fully as we can. So if we see opportunities for partnerships or further subsidiaries – either by acquisition or as a greenfield – we will do it. But those initiatives require a thoughtful, balanced approach. We won't be shooting in the dark in the hope of accessing a new market”.
“For now, work really well with our country subsidiaries and with our partners in the region. It is now key that we really deploy an offer that covers LatAm in its entirety, with LatAm service and LatAm reporting”.