Chairman, La Fragua Vice Chairman, CARHCO Guatemala City, Guatemala
Fernando Paiz started his first business at age 13, and his entrepreneurial spirit has never wavered. “When I see a problem, I am driven to start a company that provides a solution,” he explains.
Today, the ventures he has founded in his native Guatemala and elsewhere in Latin America cover a wide playing field, extending from telecommunications to forestry and mangoes.
While maintaining an ownership stake and board-level oversight in these ventures, Paiz devotes himself to his responsibilities in his family's businesses.
Paiz and his siblings literally grew up in La Fragua, the retailing company founded by his father, and developed a healthy work ethic along the way. Paiz is now chairman of La Fragua, Central America's largest supermarket chain, and vice chairman of the Central American Retail Holding Company (CARHCO).
A partnership among La Fragua, Costa Rica's CSU, and the U.S. multinational retailer Wal-Mart, CARHCO is the largest company in the region, with strong market share and over $2 billion (U.S.) in revenues.
Fernando Paiz studied industrial engineering at Northeastern University, spending his co–op terms re–engineering meat packing houses in Boston in preparation for returning home to head up La Fragua's meat packing division.
After working his way up to vice president of operations, he led the U.S. buying office for La Fragua to mitigate the severe credit risk in 1980s Guatemala. Influenced by his brother Sergio, SF '86, Paiz decided he needed a broader perspective and enrolled as an MIT Sloan Fellow.
Opportunities in Building More Sustainable Supply Chains
as author at MIT World Series: MIT Sloan 2008 Convocation,
together with: Richard M. Locke, Bonnie Nixon-Gardiner,