In October, Arturo Natho turned a year in charge of Copec. It was his return to the signing of the Angelini group, where he had been 16 years, from 1997 to 2013. In the middle, he completed four exercises leading Corpesca, just at the moment most turbulent because of his involvement in plate scandals policies A work step that describes how hard, but rewarding in many aspects. Today, look away from fishing. Its goal is now when combining two watches, as indicated: the traditional fuel business with the advance of electromobility. Everything, to advance in the Copec of the future, one where they are committed to continue maintaining the leadership that they show today, in the middle of the electrical activities.
How has this first year been in charge of Copec Fuels in Chile?
-This first year is a return. It's a return to a company that I know a lot, so it has been very easy, but also very entertaining, because although I found the same DNA, it is also a new world. Digitalization in these four years has been an interesting change. The business world has had significant changes in relation to society, so this year has been an arming of a strategy to tackle this new world.
What is this strategy?
-Copec is a solid company, with a very high market recognition, then when one thinks where we can go, the challenge must be disruption. In this area, we first define what we call "new balance", which is to try to understand that a company always has to handle with five groups of interest: customers; shareholders and the market; the community; the nature, and finally, the whole Copec team. This vision was, but we probably had not formalized it. Today, we have strengthened teamwork with dealers, with the different actors in the network, systematic work at the community level.
And why do you decide to formalize this work? Are you working with advisors for this?
-It is the changes to the change of administration. We are modifying some emphasis on this 80-year-old company. It is about starting to coordinate two clocks: the development of electromobility, digitization and all this world, but without neglecting the traditional business, which is the great one. We have a business in a certain way, and things like electromobility make one think how I plan ahead. And one has to start building scenarios today for something that is going to have a future far ahead and here we have worked with McKinsey, with the Boston Consulting Group. In digital transformation we are with Deloitte.
And are there specific goals?
-There are certain specific things. On Thursday we launched 20 points of electromobility from Marbella to Concepción. During this year we have a commitment to put 1,000 kilometers, today we have between 700-800. We are also carrying a super fast charger – instead of 20 it takes 8 minutes – it will be installed in Santiago. But, in addition, we will leave the service stations and we are moving ahead in an alliance with Turbus that brought an electric bus and we are going to provide it with energy.
What diagnosis do precisely of the electromobility?
-We see that electromobility is coming to stay. Authorities with a lot of conviction are moving forward in everything that is public transport, there are country goals in that: by 2050, 100% of the public electric fleet and the speed or not, this will depend on the technological developments, of how does the value of electric actuations evolve which, in turn, depends a lot on the cost of the batteries. It is estimated that at 2025 there should be a parity of costs between one act and another, but in any case we estimate that the change took time. 2018 is closing with 400,000 new cars, of which 200 are electric, then the exchange rate will take some time. Our focus is to go after customers and what their needs are, and if they need gasoline, diesel or electric power it is the same.
Are you reinventing yourself to make a sustainable Copec in the future?
-I do not know if reinventing or strengthening areas of development we had. In the whole area of Digital Innovation we have grown significantly. Before we were in a management with Commercial Planning, we separated it. Now there is a separate area, with 12 people and they report to me.
Your role as manager is to prepare this Copec for the future?
-It's all. They are both watches.
Does the plan aim to continue growing in conventional stations or more in energy points?
-This I mean with both watches. One has to be able to say today the fuel business is growing, the record growth of the car sales shows that the market continues with a clear trend that must be accompanied, and in some way it is necessary to go and position itself in the Future supply points for electricians. This transition must be modulated in relation to the arrival of new actions, of technological changes, this transition speed is something that we are going to have to watch over time.
Does this mean that the traditional business slowed down?
-No. The investment plan is keeping it alike.
With the same rate of openings?
-Yes, even more. We have a wide network, but given the growth of the park, the saturation and overload of certain stations begins to be high and, therefore, they need more.
But how much space there is to keep growing in Chile?
-The fuel market in Chile continues to grow. Diesel grows with the product, 3% last year, gasoline is 2%, therefore, there is room for growth at these rates. And, in addition, there are spaces in applications – they have close to eight – on improvements in operation, efficiencies and other developments. This year we started off with the production and sale of mining solvents, also a line of filters for mining, that is, there are different areas.
But growing at 2% -3% is like a maintenance rate, I imagine that you want to grow more?
-Yes, given the market share we have, we must grow at the rhythm of the market. But there are other services in Chile that are related to further develop the issue of convenience, see how we strengthen this. Fuel consumption is once a week more or less, convenience can be much more and we believe that here we have an important development focus.
And what could they do?
-We are always seeing options. One of the things that we are betting is to see how we accompanied you in the journey, here is Chiletur, Uber Eats in the Aviat.
What is the investment plan?
-Usually, they are US $ 130 million. There are new openings, remodeling, land purchase and the logistics theme. We are building a terminal in Mussels. We present an EIA for Colonel, because the fuel needs continue to grow.
The subject of automation is also in the agenda. In this sense, how did the automatic plants behave? It gives the feeling that they threw them, but they did not grow anymore.
– We stopped them in 2018, because we were adjusting technical developments, but it is already solved and growth is resuming. We plan to add 15 Zervo each year, by 2021 to complete a network with 125. Today we have 75 EDS that have Zervo Mixt-dealers and self-service- or Full. In 2019, they will integrate 15 more.
Self-service is something that is happening, it is a trend that is going to move forward. In addition, the availability of enthusiasts is also decreasing. This is the mix that is going to evolve.
What role will Chile have in the growth of Copec Fuels?
-In the outside we have taken important positions. And we are consolidating, we are not in the moment with eagerness to grow. And Chile has a very high standard and is the spearhead for many things that can be progressed in other countries. When talking about electromobility, the role of Chile is to be a spearhead, because even in the US zone, where we are, we can not see the subject of very strong electromobility.
What do you have in electromobility?
– We are seeing what potential we have to address this market, the strategies to address it and lead it with conviction.
Leading in what direction?
-Well, in fuel solutions, we are around 50%, we are interested in following the one closest to that. We want to be leaders in the charge of voice-electric wiring, we want to truly support the development and introduction of electromobility on the road, in the city, in mining, in transport. For example, in Norway, which is one of the most advanced countries in the subject, they say that the logical load is 100 performances per station, here we have 400 performances and we will have 23 stations, that is leadership, because I have to be available , I have to generate a network. It is like when we put a station on the Carretera Austral, it is not necessarily a business, but we understand that our customers have a need and we have to cover it.
That is, leadership is already part, because it gives the impression that no competitor has so many points?
-None to South America. There is no network.