Spreading risks

In almost 10 years of business, R. Marcelo Claure has embodied Charles Darwin’s survival of the fittest model by carefully selecting new traits for his business. The president, CEO and chairman of Brightstar Corp. recognized early on that if he wanted his wireless product distribution company to endure, it had to evolve beyond just simple distribution.

When he started the business, Claure took advantage of enormous growth in the wireless industry and focused on Latin America.

“The wireless industry has been growing exponentially since the late ’90s,” he says. “We were lucky enough to start in a region where the wireless penetration was extremely low.”

Knowing the high-growth rate wouldn’t last forever, Claure sought new opportunities to reduce the company’s risk and maximize its chances for survival.

“One of the things that we realized, if you want to be able to build a sustainable model, you’ve got to be able to involve yourself in certain segments of the value chain,” Claure says. “When you’re just a distribution company that buys and sells products to make a profit, it will not take long for buyer to connect with seller and go direct.”

While the company continues to distribute products in Latin America and in other parts of the world, Claure has added manufacturing and supply-chain management to Brightstar’s offerings. The result has been financial success and a company that constantly evolves to take advantage of new opportunities.

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