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Karl Maslo | Karl Maslo participated in the “Productivity: The pending challenge“ forum

Karl Maslo participated in the “Productivity: The pending challenge“ forum

The CEO of the company had an important role in the forum organized by the National Confederation of Privately Business Institutions (CONFIEP).

The CEO of the company had an important role in the forum organized by the National Confederation of Private Business Institutions (CONFIEP).


Karl Maslo, in an interview with Martín Pérez Monteverde, President of the National Confederation of Private Business Institutions, emphasized the invocation within the main theme of the forum "Productivity: The pending challenges".


1. How is innovation related to productivity?


As you all know, total productivity is defined as the sum of labor productivity, capital productivity and total factor productivity. Labor productivity only increases by increasing the number of workers and / or working hours of these, and capital productivity is increased by adding more equipment or machines. Both, obviously, have great limitations to achieve a significant and continuous increase.


On the other hand, total factor productivity, which measures the increase in the efficiency of the labor force and assets, is what really makes the difference, and one key tool for this is, ultimately, innovation.


Incidentally, innovation is not related to doing the same thing as it has always been done, just a little more efficient or better. That is not innovation. That is simply operational excellence, which is fine, but it is not far enough for what our country needs. Innovation is nothing more than an idea, which faces our well-known Peruvian "can not" attitude and is transformed into a completely new or ostensibly improved product, service or process, but which shows the necessary viability, and at the same time, a visible generation of value.


To illustrate the difference between operational excellence and innovation, let's take, as an example, how the transit time of passengers at airports has been reduced. On one hand is the carry-on suitcase that emerged from putting wheels and telescope-like fixed handles onto traditional suitcases to facilitate handling by the passengers, which demonstrates an obvious improvement, and is clearly an innovation. And on the other is the reduction of the distances between the check-in counter and the exit gate, which results in greater efficiency, but is nothing new and is, therefore, only defined as operational excellence.


2. Now, everyone will ask, how can we promote innovation consistently and successfully in a country?


The solution is simple, but the implementation is quite complex. The requirement is to build a solid triumvirate between the State, which provides the regulatory framework, incentives and even financing facilities, universities or research institutions, who provide the infrastructure and the "geniuses", and finally the private company, which contributes economic resources and the market, without which, it’s impossible to exist. However, it is important to emphasize that it is the State that has to assume a leadership role and be the promotional entity at all levels, as is the example in many other countries that have leadership in this issue, among them, South Korea, as Dr. Carranza mentioned.


Another example is the case in Singapore, which I have also seen in one of Dr. Carranza's slides and is the country that has the most competitive petrochemical industry in the world, and that, amazingly, doesn’t produce a single molecule of natural gas, which is imported at prices 4-5 times higher than shale gas. How have they done it? Well, at the point of innovation, promoted by the same State, but in action, with the most renowned companies in the industry and innovation laboratories created by the same State. And to think that Peru has the most precious natural gas in the world. Our natural gas has double the amount of ethane versus natural gas from other countries, and it is precisely ethane that is the main input for the production of plastics. I wish we could take better advantage of our rich natural gas, as Singapore does.


So that they don’t accuse me of plagiarism, I’m going to read a quote from the World Bank: "innovation has always played a decisive role in the social and economic development of countries; it is the main source of economic growth, helps improve productivity, it is the foundation of competitiveness and improves the welfare of citizens. " This clearly describes the case in Singapore.


And how are we currently doing in Peru in relation to innovation? Although already mentioned by Dr. Carranza, the figures speak for themselves. Peru annually invests in Research and Development and Innovation at a rate of 0.16% of GDP, Latin America 0.7% and OECD countries 2.5%. I don’t think that requires further comment.


Now, for this triumvirate to work, there must be a commitment to innovation at the highest level of the government. That is, the President himself must wear and sweat in the shirt of innovation, as well as to make sure to replicate it at every level of the State.


3. But innovation is not only a matter for the State, but also for private companies. You may ask, what specific benefits would companies specifically obtain?


Studies conducted in Australia have determined that, for example:

  • Innovative companies are 31% more likely to increase their revenues, and 46% more likely to achieve an increase in profitability.

  • Companies that innovate are 40 times more likely to have higher productivity than those that do not. 40 times more!


As in the case of the State, leadership is key to the success of innovation in a company, which is a function of the highest-ranking executive, who has to have the vision and set the guidelines for innovation, build the structure required for the organization, grant the necessary resources and to establish the corresponding objectives to give continuity to this process in the future.


As an example, at EXSA we have managed to develop a disruptive technology for rock fragmentation, the Quantex Technology, which brings enormous benefits to mining, because it not only drastically reduces the costs of acquiring the inputs for blasting, but also achieves strong savings in operating costs and, at the same time, reduces the carbon footprint by almost 20% in comparison to traditional technologies, which in sum, we would colloquially say: "we are giving much more for much less".


Without being disloyal, this technology has achieved savings of tens of millions of dollars a year in large mining operations, which has obviously been very well received by mining in this adverse context, in which it is located. And the positive effects for EXSA are beginning to be seen and I hope to soon find ourselves within the forecasts established by the Australian studies.


I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity by doing a small advertisement, because Quantex Technology is one of the only 4 Peruvian patents registered in the US in the last 5 years according to INDECOPI.


For EXSA, there are three keys points that have determined our path through innovation:


  • First, we managed to generate an innovation ecosystem with the involvement of all participants, bringing them in to work together. In our case, it is the mining companies, other suppliers, universities and the state.


  • Second, we have defined 3 specific areas in which to work:

  1. Border technologies, which are those developments that we can tackle with our own resources, such as lead-free and environmentally friendly detonators, 4b electronic detonators, new generation of Quantex Technology, etc.

  2. Exponential technologies, which are developments based on mixed teams of EXSA with third party experts, or with start-ups, such as e.g. applications of augmented reality in mining, simulation based on virtual reality for training ,etc.

  3. Disruptive technologies, which are those that need to be developed by research institutions and / or external experts, such as e.g. nanotechnology, alternative energies for rock fragmentation, etc.

  • Third, we generate spaces to receive inquiries about new developments in innovation:

    • Meetings with mining CEOs.

    • Technological missions, etc.


Finally, I would like to thank the CONFIEP for inviting EXSA to participate in this forum, and taking advantage of the fact that the heads of the government have plans for various parties with us. I would also like to leave you with a question: is your candidate willing to wear the shirt... of innovation?


Thank you very much

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24 june, 2016

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