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Gerardo Suårez Napolitano, CEO of Tuenti Ecuador, reflects upon the Telefonica offshoot’s rapid growth, 100% digital offerings and agile methodology


he global business landscape is being continually shaped and reshaped by evolving customer demand. In the tel-

ecommunications space, the rise of social media 04

and digital communication is provoking radical shifts in the way that operators approach new and existing markets. Tuenti came into being in 2006 as a social networking service targeting young people in Spain. Between 2009 and 2012, it attracted more than 15mn registered users, becoming known as the Spanish Facebook. Seeking new markets and customers, the company has transformed its offering over the past decade, now operating as a private brand which operates as an independent business unit of multinational telecom giant TelefĂłnica. The firm offers mobile telephone services accessible anywhere on any device with the strong digital operation.


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The Tuenti brand entered the Ecuadorian market in 2015, sponsored

Ecuador’s dramatic growth, and the

by José Manuel Casas, Telefónica

company’s vision for the future.

Ecuador’s Executive President, with the

“When we were starting out with

goal of capturing the millennial and and

Tuenti Ecuador, we wondered if it was

centennial market through a roster of

possible to create a new telco brand

simple, affordable plans as an alterna-

that was different from what millennials

tive to traditional mobile carriers. “We

and centennials were accustomed to in

started out with a plan to reach 500,000

Ecuador,” recalls Suárez Napolitano. “To

customers in five years. Four and a

accomplish this, we thoroughly inves-

half years into that plan, we have more

tigated what was positive and negative

than 900,000,” says Gerardo Suárez Napolitano, CEO of Tuenti Ecuador. 06

to discuss the strategies behind Tuenti

We sat down with Suárez Napolitano


Year founded


Revenue in US dollars


Number of employees


Share of market in telco prepaid segment

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘RECARGA BANCO GUAYAQUIL — STAR WARS’ 07 about these users’ experiences. We

have access to the same great offerings

became obsessed with their wants and

we present to our newest customers.

needs. From those inputs we created

Lastly, we don’t do small print or hidden

the Tuenti experience, which is the sum

conditions; our offering is so simple that

of an attractive commercial offering and

our customers will always understand,

a very simple product to use.” Tuenti´s

remember, and hopefully love it,” says

team operates in accordance with three

Suárez Napolitano. “When we designed

central rules for creating a superior

the product we dedicated a lot of time

telecommunications product: be data

to constantly achieving innovations that

centric, be pro client and keep it simple.

make the experience easier and easier.”

“Our target demographic wants data,

At the heart of Tuenti Ecuador’s suc-

so that’s at the heart of everything we

cess is a dedication to agility, simplicity

offer. We also value our loyal customers

and a constant focus on improving the

as much as we value our new ones, so

product. “Our User Experience (UX) is

long—term Tuenti customers will always

at the heart of everything we do.” The w w w.t u en t i. ec


simplicity of Tuenti Ecuador’s digital

The company eschews a physical

products also affords the company

presence, instead embracing a 100%

the opportunity for laser focus on the

digital offering delivered through chan-

intricacies of its offering. “Although the

nels such as Facebook, Twitter, Web

products we offer may be simple, when

Chat and the Tuenti Chat App. “We

we change and improve those projects

know that the best customer service

— offering new integrations, promotions,

is the customer service that doesn’t

etc — we work through those changes

happen because the client doesn’t

in great detail, investing time in test

need it, so we make it as easy as pos-

environments and, in many cases, we

sible for them to find the answers to their

integrate the developments in phases to

problems without having to pick up

ensure the best possible results,” Suárez

the phone. We don’t have any physical

Napolitano explains.

care centres,” says Suárez Napolitano.

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N A L P A H T I W UT O D E T R A T S S R E M “WE O T S U C 0 0 0 , 0 0 5 H F L A H TO REAC A D N A R U O F . S R A E E V A H IN FIVE Y E W , AN L P T A H T O T YEARS IN ” 0 0 0 , 0 0 9 — N MORE THA Gerardo Suárez Napolitano, CEO, Tuenti Ecuador


Gerardo Suárez Napolitano Suárez Napolitano is an executive with over 25 years’ experience in several commercial assignments in Latin America. He worked in massive consumer products companies such as Procter & Gamble in Venezuela and Argentina, and Empresas Polar in Venezuela. His last 15 years has been spent working in telecommunication business in the hand of Telefónica as a Commercial Director in Venezuela, Sales Director of Telesp in Brazil and Commercial VP in Ecuador. In October 2014, he was appointed as Tuenti Ecuador’s CEO and launched the brand in June 2015 as separate business unit of Telefónica. Suárez Napolitano is an Industrial Engineer from UCAB — Venezuela, Finance Magister from Unimet — Venezuela and Telecom Business Master from Catalunya University in Spain.

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HE T G N I D E E C EX D N A G N I T E AN L “ME P S S E N I S U RB U O F O S L A GO ING Z A M A E H T O T E U D N E E B HAS ” M A E T R U — O F WORK O Gerardo Suárez Napolitano, CEO, Tuenti Ecuador


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, T N I O P R E “LESS POW ” N O I T C A E MOR — Gerardo Suárez Napolitano, CEO, Tuenti Ecuador


“Instead, we have an omnichannel customer service offering supported by our own proprietary chat bot that allows us to optimise our service and increase customer satisfaction.” As a result, Tuenti Ecuador has been recognised as having the best digital customer service record in the market, reaching 72% of NPS (Net Promoted Score), Internally, the company has achieved a 60% level of automation regarding customer service. Agility and innovation are impossible, however, without deep, meaningful understanding of the target market. Súarez Napolitano prides his team on being young, diverse and creative. “Meeting and exceeding the goals of our business plan has been due to the amazing work of our team,” he says. “To create this team, we sought to integrate a diverse mixture of talents, incorporate a large percentage of millennials into the company, hire people with experience inside and outside the telco sector, as well as people from different geographies of the country, and ensure an even mix of genders.” This small and diverse team has been essential to Tuenti Ecuador adopting a successful digital strategy, with the agility to evolve and w w w.t u en t i. ec




suit the needs of a market based on clear

Tuenti Ecuador has become the

understanding of consumer demand.

preferred brand for millennials and

This agile methodology is not restricted

centennials in the telco industry. The

to the company’s internal operations.

company’s brand communication and

Suárez Napolitano explains that, through

media strategy are based on awareness,

Tuenti Ecuador’s relationships — all of

consideration, performance and loyalty.

which are based on a commitment to

Continuously, the firm creates cam-

maximising agility — with a growing

paigns with direct collaboration

network of close partners, the company

from Facebook Creative Shop and

has dramatically improved the quality

Google Excellence, who guide them

of its offering and reduced delivery

in the best practices of creative

times across its supply chain.

execution and media.


Looking to the future, Suárez

avenues that aligns with and expands our

Napolitano sees Ecuador as a place

current offering,” he enthuses, adding

of limitless potential. “In 2020, there

that Tuenti Ecuador is a business that cel-

are three key areas we will be pursuing:

ebrates success, takes risks, learns from

ensuring that the Tuenti team continues

its failures, and constantly innovates. He

to operate with the same passion, humil-

laughs, adding one final thought: “Less

ity and individualistic spirit that has seen

PowerPoint, more action.”

us change and grow to become the preferred brand for the country’s young people; expand the capabilities — and therefore the user base — of our digital platforms; and develop new business w w w.t u en t i. ec

Tuenti Ecuador Avenida de las Américas Aeropuerto Jose Joaquín de Olmedo Guayaquil-Ecuador EC090505 T +59 34 372 606

Profile for Business Chief Europe

Tuenti Ecuador December 2019  

Tuenti Ecuador December 2019