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Microchips and Mergers

Dec 1, 2004

In the corporate world, Latin America's traditional family-controlled companies may dominate today, but they will be the dinosaurs of tomorrow.

Beyond Telenovelas: Mexico's Televisa may be one of the few family-owned companies in tomorrow's Latin America.
Mexican company Neology produces high-tech radio-frequency chips to track people and vehicles. Its chips are buried in Delta Air Lines luggage tags, embedded in Saudi Arabian passports and attached to government cars in Mali. Four years ago, Neology CEO Francisco Martínez launched his company and happily brought in annual revenues of $300,000. This year, the 40-year-old entrepreneur is overseeing a firm with offices in two countries, 180 employees and sales expected to near the $15 million mark.

"If you look back, there was a time when large corporations thought they could do everything. But that's not possible anymore, especially when it comes to technology. Markets are getting more specialized. As the big companies shrink and go back to their core business, they're leaving opportunities for us," says Martínez.

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