Gamechangers Chile … Algramo’s sustainable tricycles to Cornershop home delivery, Jooycar insurance and Jeff Bezos’ NotCo plant food … finding inspiration with Banco Bci in Santiago

October 25, 2020

Crisis and downturns are the moments of shake-up … when companies drive innovation, and entrepreneurs disrupt markets. Now is the time to look forwards not back.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” said Abraham Lincoln.

The best opportunities for business – to find new growth, to engage customers more deeply, to stand out from the crowd, to improve their profitability – is by seizing the opportunities of changing markets. The best way to seize these changes is by innovating – not just innovating the product, or even the business itself – but by innovating the market.

In the old world we accepted markets as a given – the status quo – and competed within it, with slightly different products and services, or most usually by competing on price. Most new products were quickly imitated, leading to declining margins and commoditisation. Most companies now receognise that this is not a route to long-term success in a rapidly changing world.

Fast-changing markets demand fast-changing businesses.

Winning in this new world requires a bigger ambition – to change the game, not just play the game. Winners recognise that markets are malleable, geography is irrelevant and categories are outdated, that boundaries blur and new spaces emerge, and that practices and perceptions can be shaped to your advantage.

“Gamechangers” innovate their market, and then innovate their business with exponential impact. They start from the future back, making sense of change, seeing the new patterns and possibilities, harnessing the power of ideas and digital networks to win in new ways. This requires new leadership thinking, and for the whole business to innovate.

Who are the “gamechangers” of Chile right now?

Next month I will be working with Chile’s Banco BCI, to explore the challenges and opportunities of a changing world, with many of Chile’s business leaders.

Chile is often called “Chilecon Valley”, ranking among the top startup hubs in Latin America, and in 2019, it was considered the region’s most innovative country.

E-commerce to m-commerce, clean energy and agritech, are increasingly important sources of innovation in the country. In fact, with 44.2% mobile penetration and 82.3% of its population using the internet, Chile has one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the region.

Here are some of the most interesting companies:

Algramo … smart plastic refills by tricycle

In a pilot that the Chile-based startup Algramo has been running since May with Unilever, customers can bring a reusable plastic bottle back to a vending machine mounted on an electric tricycle that travels around the city offering refills. An RFID code on the bottle gives discounts on future purchases, creating an incentive for customers to bring the same package back over and over again.

Cornershop … the Uber of home delivery

Cornershop is a Chilean-Mexican last-mile grocery delivery startup that operates in five Latin American countries, as well as in Canada. The company’s recent $450M acquisition by Uber is pending as the Chilean government continues to investigate the transaction and how it will affect the market. However, Cornershop’s expansion throughout Latin America remains unscathed as it starts 2020 with full operations in Brazil and enters the Colombian market.

NotCo … AI-driven plant-based foods

NotCo is a foodtech startup that uses AI algorithms to recreate animal-based foods like mayonnaise and milk, using only plant components. The startup recently caught the attention of Jeff Bezos, who decided to make NotCo his first investment in Latin America. NotCo was also recently featured in YouTube’s ‘The Age of AI’. With plans to go public by 2021, NotCo is expected to be Chile’s first unicorn. NotCo’s products can also be found in Brazil, Argentina, and the US.

Jooycar … smart car insurance

Jooycar is a connected-car and user-based insurance platform seeking to disrupt the auto insurance market in Latin America. The platform informs users about maintenance checks, efficient fuel usage, and how they can improve their driving, among other features. The auto tech platform currently offers its services in Chile, Mexico, and Peru, and plans to launch in the US in 2020.

Join me for Business Recoded: What Happens Next? online with Banco Bci, 10 November 2020.

Image: Unsplash