In November 2014, Spanish Lighting Designer, Ben Díaz joined SGM as Area Manager and Global Product Trainer. Since then, in an effort to rearrange SGM’s distribution network to match its growing presence in the architectural and entertainment markets across the Latin American region, Díaz relocated temporarily to Mexico. Now, less than a year later, a solid distribution network is starting to take shape across the continent.
With distribution partner, Representaciones de Audio, in place – offering a strong sales and support infrastructure to the Mexican market – Díaz has been able to develop other key markets in Central and South America. As SGM was already a force to be reckoned with in Colombia as well as Brazil, with 50 P-5s recently sold to Brazilian customers and a number of Q7s for Brazilian TV station TV Globo, much of 2015 was spent establishing new partnerships in Peru and Argentina, as well as increasing exposure in the emerging markets of Ecuador and Paraguay. Díaz elaborated:
“The growing economies of Peru, Ecuador and, in particular, Paraguay offer great opportunities and boast highly qualified professionals. With several projects pending in Asunción and Quito we are starting to secure a strong presence.”
The New World Trade Center in Asunción recently installed 16 P-5 washes and Peruvian SGM partner, GS-Lighting, are doing well in broadcasting with more than 200 LS-3.75 LED screens in operation.
Díaz also has high hopes for Colombia. One of the country’s major rental companies, Iluminación Jaime Dussán, carries a large number of SGM products in its rental stock, including G-Spot moving heads, P-5s, Q-7s and X-5 strobes. Díaz said:
“Iluminación Jaime Dussán provides a clear example of how rental companies can use our products to improve their performances with maintenance-free solutions. Dussán offers numerous G-Spots and G-Profiles as well as a number of P-5 washes and Q-7 flood/blind/strobes as part of their rental inventory. The LS-6.67 outdoor video LED screens have also been hugely popular, and have been used recently by bands such as The Foo Fighters.”
In Brazil, where LBO/Hot Machine has been the SGM distributor for many years, rental company Spectrum Design e Iluminação has used SGM on major tours and e.g. a DVD recording for Brazilian artists Ivete Sangalo and Luan Santana.
Panama has recently bought a large quantity of X-5 strobes, while SGM partner in Ecuador, EASA, sold a number of G-Spots for an outdoor venue. In Argentina, various projects are in the pipeline and according to Díaz, “an important project will be announced in Chile later this year”. Díaz also expects 2016 to bring developments in Uruguay, Dominican Republic as well as an increased presence in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Cuba.
SGM’s recent success in the Latin American region comes down to a strategy of considering the particular needs of each market, rather than treating Latin America as a single country. The SGM website has recently gone live in a Spanish language version and news, blogs and social media posts are published regularly in Spanish. Another key to the Latin American success is SGM’s transformation to LED. Díaz said:
“We have built our new LED fixtures for the long-term, and we are creating a full experience based on qualified service, permanent support and versatile solutions. As a result, we now have prestigious, multi-purpose solutions, and a mission to grow across the continent.”
Finally, Díaz acknowledges the importance of the strong relationships that have been established in the region:
“We are proud of our achievements; however we also acknowledge that a lot of it comes down to the hard work and dedication of our partners, customers and friends who have helped to expand the SGM family across Latin America. Thank you.”