Maria Teresa Arnal
CEO
Google Mexico
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Developing Digital Opportunities in Mexico

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 13:08

Q: What opportunities does the Mexican market offer to the development of Google’s business?

A: The word that defines my administration in Google is “opportunity.” Mexico is the 15th-largest economy in the world, meaning that there are great opportunities in many different sectors, including digital transformation, an area into which many companies are now venturing. Digital transformation does not only entail reaching consumers through the internet but also through every process within the company. The way companies think, understand and approach consumers is changing and Google can play a central role in this process. We can help companies change the way in which they develop products to allow them to reach more consumers. This is the opportunity we see with big companies. An interesting example is Nestlé México. Together, we developed a project to analyze the searches related to baby food and what parents search for. With this data, they were able to revamp and launch a new product in just nine months, shortening the process by over half the time.

We also see many opportunities with SMEs. The internet has no borders and Google allows SMEs to do business all around the world. There are many stories of Mexican SMEs working alongside Google that have managed to do business abroad. We estimate that Google has contributed MX$24 billion to the Mexican economy.

The education ecosystem has a big opportunity for renewal in Mexico. In general, education is an area in which we will see great technological disruption. We want to bring technology closer to the people and for technology to become an enabler for new learning and collaboration tools. Knowledge per se will not be the main driver, since the data is available in Google; being able to learn and work collaboratively will be the main drivers. Another important segment is related to empowering companies to be more productive. We see opportunities in helping companies improve its internal business processes and in the generation of intelligence from all their data.

Q: How does Google contribute to the expansion of digital skills in Mexico?

A: It is an interesting challenge. We work alongside different players in Mexico to push and see through the country’s connectivity and digital skills education agenda. We engage on projects that seek to reduce the country’s digital gap and empower those who seek to use technology to find solutions to everyday problems. We must play a significant role and help ensure that as many people as possible have internet access and the possibility to make the most out of these tools.

Google products are developed with billions of people in mind. We want our products to be as universal and inclusive as possible; however, this does not mean that we neglect characteristics inherent to particular groups. We take in consideration the most important particularities of each group and then try to compile those up in a single product. Mexico is part of an initiative called Next Billion Users (NBU). Technology empowers people to solve problems, but problems are completely different in developing countries like Mexico, India, Brazil and some others that are part of NBU. This initiative analyzes the problems we share and are inherent to our developing nature.

Q: What does the country need to do to develop more gender parity in the technology sector?

A: The problem in the technology world is the pipeline, something that does not happen in other fields. Part of it is that when girls reach a certain age they start losing interest in science-related subjects. This is the first hurdle we must overcome: we must find a way to show girls that science, technology, engineering, and math are fun. At Google, we partner with organizations such as Epic Queen and offer camps where girls can encounter fun ways to approach math and coding. This way you start generating an interest that leads to less desertion rates. We also need role models, and show them that the technology world includes us all.