When I was a young man the FARC rebels kidnapped my grandfather. Colombia was a lawless land ruled by Pablo Escobar and the cartels. Our daily news was filled with stories about bombs and rebel attacks.
I became part of the generation that fled the country. It was only after I arrived in the U.S. to study that I understood how numb I had become, while living without opportunity or hope.
Then in 2002, Álvaro Uribe became president. From then until 2010, his government followed polices that set off an economic boom. Colombia’s expats started coming back. Entrepreneurs, bankers, lawyers, accountants, doctors, scientists, and future politicians came home. I was among them. We had dreams of new business opportunities in our beloved Colombia.
My passion when I returned more than a decade ago was anti-corruption compliance and AML. Those had become dangerous topics to speak about publicly during the five decades of internal conflict and the rise and fall of the drug barons and cartels.
But I believed ten years ago that transparency and accountability would be essential ingredients for the reconstruction of Colombia. I still believe it. And I know countless returnees who feel the same way. We want a Colombia that’s different, where business is done in a way we can proud of, that reflects global best practices.
Now a days my passion is to connect entrepreneurs from the United States with some of this amazing talent in Colombia. The benefits of a regional operation between the US and Colombia are limitless.
Such a combination proved to be one of the main reasons why World Compliance, my first client did so well; Low cost and high revenue.
By combining and operation in the Americas between Miami and Bogota we had a multicultural team from Miami powered by an army of Virtual Assistants in Colombia that handled a great deal of the day to day operation at a bargain cost.
President Juan Manuel Santos has been in office since 2010. He’s continuing the prior government’s pro-growth policies. And in mid 2016, he announced that the government had reached a peace agreement with FARC to formally end the internal conflict.
If Colombians have managed to build such an incredible country during five decades of internal conflict, imagine what we’ll do in half the time during a lasting peace.
Today Colombia is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the Americas. The middle class is rising and foreigners are here for tourism and new investment. Colombia isn’t perfect. But we finally have the opportunity to create the future my generation dreamed of when we outside looking in. I am proud to say at Vantech we have created a multicultural global organization that connects communities of entrepreneurs, executives with amazing talent in the shape of virtual assistants.