IGNACIO ALVAREZ

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF POPULAR INC.

THOUGHT

Leader

AN INNOVATOR OF INDUSTRY
“PUERTO RICO HOLDS ITS OWN ON A GLOBAL SCALE.”

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Technological advances, changing customer expectations and a rapidly evolving competitive landscape have made innovation not a choice, but a requirement to remain competitive at every level. Countries, companies and individuals must constantly question the present and aspire to make the future better. Because innovation is not an end in itself; it is about devising solutions to improve people’s lives.

In the last 150 years, Puerto Rico has undergone dramatic events, including a change in sovereignty from Spain to the United States, the evolution from an agrarian to an industrial society and devastating hurricanes, including Hurricane Maria, which left the entire island without power, water or telecommunications for weeks. Throughout all of this, Puerto Ricans have gone beyond resilience. The need to address problems, find alternatives, think ahead, and have a positive attitude have made innovation an intrinsic part of our culture.

Puerto Rico has also developed an infrastructure that is highly conducive to innovation. We are competitive in high-end manufacturing, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and aerospace. The island also boasts a strong pool of top-notch professionals who have studied in excellent universities in Puerto Rico and on the mainland. Puerto Rico has also proven to be an ideal test market for new technologies and has become a leader in terms of 5G availability. Entrepreneurship, which is closely tied to innovation, has seen a recent surge on the island, with people of all ages and different backgrounds venturing to start their own businesses.

At Popular, we are confident about Puerto Rico’s ability to compete and succeed in a world where innovation is key. This conviction leads us to invest in our customers, our people, cutting edge technology, and state-of-the-art facilities. We have done so for 130 years, and our investment has always paid off.

Inspired by what we are fortunate to see every day—the enthusiasm of young professionals that bet on working here, despite having opportunities to work anywhere in the world, an increasingly strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, the ability to come up with better solutions and the willingness to adopt them, and a general confidence that we can work to make people’s lives better—we look to the future of Puerto Rico with great optimism.

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