Grupo Bolívar Success Story

Supporting a Future-Forward Strategy with a Trusted Source of Information

Oscar Fernando Rodríguez Vélez

Vice President of Innovation, Grupo Bolívar

Key Results:

  • The Startups Unit uses CB Insights for around 90% of its reports
  • Three current startup pilots were identified through CB Insights’ research
  • CB Insights helps to inform partnership, investment and venture capital decisions

CB Insights Products Mentioned:

Finding innovative partners and ideas isn’t a nice to have anymore, it’s table stakes. But innovation can be complicated for large enterprises, who may find it difficult to align and coordinate business goals among multiple divisions. Despite the challenges, innovation is the only way for companies to remain relevant—and that requires cross-organizational cooperation. The best way to build this foundation is through comprehensive information from a trusted source.

Founded 80 years ago, Grupo Bolívar is the second largest holding company in Colombia. With a multi-Latin approach, the group serves individual consumers, small businesses, and large enterprises in various financial services. The synergies between our companies serve to collectively enhance their performance, optimize results, and serve the groups higher purpose: “To Enrich Life with Integrity.”

Maintaining market leadership within the banking, insurance, and construction industries requires keeping a keen eye on trends and focusing on adapting and adopting as necessary. Within Grupo Bolívar, my team at the Innovation Observatory leads that effort. I have been with Grupo Bolívar for more than 20 years. I am currently the Vice President of Innovation, responsible for developing and promoting the innovation model to accelerate and mobilize Grupo Bolívar’s strategies.

We are currently interested in eight ecosystems that represent enormous opportunities for growth in our business models. That is, if we can accurately predict and find the best partners.

Global innovations can affect our future, so we need a tool that can help us keep track of everything, everywhere. That’s where CB Insights is valuable.

Predicting the future seems exciting, but it is daunting. While we mostly focus on Colombia and  Central America, innovations can happen anywhere and can impact the landscape today, as well  as our 2030 goals. Our many challenges include staying one step ahead of technology trends,  identifying new developments in potential markets, and seeking new business models that  promote innovation throughout the group’s companies. For all of this, we lean on CB Insights.

A Commitment to Connection 

Every year, the Innovation Observatory creates more than 100 trends reports related to the future of the eight ecosystems. This helps the leaders of each Grupo Bolívar company make strategic decisions for the future. The majority of the research we repurpose comes directly from CB Insights. And for our Startups Unit, three of our current pilots came from CB Insights’ research as well. 

CB insights has become a trusted source for all of our organizations, including  the presidents of our companies.

A Comprehensive Solution That Serves Multiple Business Units 

Since our relationship with CB Insights began in 2018, they have become a huge partner for  both the Innovation Observatory and the Startups Unit. Nearly everything we do to advise Grupo  Bolívar incorporates data and trend analysis reports from CB Insights. 

The Startups Unit is attuned to small and emerging businesses doing amazing new things within the banking, construction, and insurance industries. One of the unit’s main projects is Startup Radar, which is our way of tracking trends and new players in our ecosystems. These  trends can help to inform our partnership, investment and venture capital decisions, and we use  data and information from CB Insights to compile this information and share insights internally.  

Market Maps is a great CB Insights feature that leverages visual storytelling to help us  understand markets quickly. With CB Insights’ Market Maps, we can get a better picture of how a company fits into the local and global landscape. They also indicate whether gaps exist that can  be opportunities for us. We then drill down by examining individual companies through their profiles on CB Insights. These can inform us about critical background and funding information, such as investments and venture capital funds.  

CB Insights fast-tracks the work of our Innovation Observatory and Startups Unit, who go from  global trend analysis to identifying individual companies with blazing speed. Today, the Startups  Unit uses CB Insights for around 90% of its reports, which contain infographics and insights that  are concrete and easy to understand. They save us a lot of time in research and compilation so  we can focus on making smarter decisions. 

Because our Innovation Observatory is responsible for providing information for forward-thinking decisions, they love CB Insights for the power of its on-demand research. We can download  information about specific regions, industries, or ecosystems at a moments notice. CB Insights helps Grupo Bolívar shift away from producing static reports to providing relevant and timely business intelligence that supports strategic planning. Rather than just using word of mouth or internet searches to find partners, we can conduct a thorough global trend analysis. By the time we start to search individual organizations, we have a good idea if they’re an appropriate fit.

We see in CB Insights a world-class ally that, thanks to its platform and team, has all the tools and capabilities to identify and predict emerging trends in technologies, markets, new players and investments. CB Insights builds trust in us and allows us to leverage our innovation strategy.

Concrete Data for an Uncertain Business Climate 

These days, it’s common for our C-Level executives to ask, “What does CB Insights have to say about ‘x’?” They love the power of getting quick and comprehensive analysis to inform every move. CB Insights is our best tool for business modeling in an uncertain world. We have a future forward strategy, and the resources within CB Insights help us connect that vision to practical  and intelligent decisions.

Oscar Fernando Rodríguez Vélez

Vice President of Innovation, Grupo Bolívar 

Óscar Rodríguez is the Innovation Vice President of Grupo Bolívar. He is responsible for the innovation strategy for the holding company, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panamá and Miami. In his role, he has to develop and implement strategies for strengthening the culture of innovation, research, the creation of alliances with the government, universities and other companies, as well as the attraction of startups that allow us to improve our value proposition for the customer.

Ready to get started?

Let’s talk.

Request a demo