David Benitez (OPM 46, 2014) is founder and president of Intelligent Mexican Marketing (IMM Latino), a company that provides a brand-building platform in the United States' Hispanic market by being the largest connectors of Latino products, services, and experiences. In this interview he explains the company’s name and philosophy.
“The name Intelligent Mexican Marketing was [developed] because we wanted to challenge how Latinos were perceived in the United States. Our objective as a company was to make sure everybody is able to enjoy the best Latino brands.
“We decided that the only way to accomplish that was to create their own distribution network. Therefore, we are able to control how the brand should look like, how the brand should be able to be established in the marketplace, and how that brand could revolutionize context in any given market or any given store or any given chain.
“If you fast forward 11 years, what we have been able to accomplish is, first of all, an insanely rapid growth. We have doubled the size of the business every two years. Second, we are close to servicing around 8,000 stores directly with our own distribution network, with over 100 vehicles.
“What we did, one step at a time, is bring together concepts and brands from Mexico and from Latin America, establish them in the marketplace, and work them hard to visually have an influence at a store level. We have been responsible, actually, for quite a few interesting brand developments in the country.
“And today, we have 250 to 300 products and brands that are properly represented at a store level. We're also starting to develop our own set of products and brands to try to maximize the possibilities of a product or fill up a need that, for some instances or some situations, companies are not able to provide them properly in the United States.”
Reflecting on the Owner/President Management program that he attended at HBS, Benitez said:
“One of the things that probably any OPMer in the world is going to be able to share with you is that it changed your life forever. It'll give you the ability to catch up and reconfigure your efforts as a business person, as an owner, as an entrepreneur.
“I think not only the learning part helps, but it's also the connections and the networks you do, because every time you come, you meet someone new. And these relationships, they challenge me more to have more aspirations and to try to accomplish things and to try to move the world in a way that, at the end of the day, I can look back to my kids and say, ‘I'm leaving you in a better world.’”
(Published March 2019)