Latino Tech CEOs Say Invest in “Latino Cohort”
At a Fortune conference, CEOs Sol Trujillo and Steven Pereira spoke about the purchasing power, GDP, and economic growth the Latino community has.
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In July 2022, Fortune held a series of conferences focusing on technology, called Brainstorm Tech 2022. One conference, called Tech and the Latino Market, focused on the Latino consumption of communications technology was held on July 13.
Guest speaker Sol Trujillo, Chairman of the Trujillo Group LLC and previous CEO of companies Orange S.A. and Telestra Communications, spoke alongside Steven Wolfe Pereira, CEO and co-founder of Encantos and the new Chief Business Officer of 3Pas Studios. The session was moderated by Terri Burns, a partner at GV (previously Google Ventures).
Trujillo has been working with technology since the 70s, the period where he was the first business leader to employ broadband communications.
Currently, he is Chairman and CEO of TruCo Technology LLC, a tech company focused on equity investment, executive counseling, and interim/long-term corporate management.
Pereira’s career began in finance on Wall Street in 1994 as a part of a plan to diversify the industry. But over the years he has found his career in working in the tech industry.
At his current position with Encantos, a children and family IP company, understanding how the next generation interacts with technology is crucial.
The next generation of Latinos was a recurring topic in their conversation. As Baby Boomers grow older and newer generations take front and center, they both want to capitalize on this change.
“The most common age of a Latino or Latina in the country is eleven,” Trujillo said. “To put it in context, the most common age of the Anglo-American cohort is fifty-eight.”
“We have to be thinking about our succession as a nation,” he continued. “Well, guess what, we have a unique differentiator in our country, called the Latino cohort because they’re so young.”
Trujillo’s business practices affirm that it isn’t just about the conversations about technology, but about who is using technology, consuming it, and ultimately who is paying for it. In the conference, he cited a report on the U.S. Latino community and their economic power.
“I want to put an exclamation mark for everybody here to understand that in the United States, the U.S. Latino cohort is generating $2.7 trillion dollars worth of GDP,” Trujillo said. “So what does that mean? It means it’s the equivalent size of France.”
“It’s growing our GDP within the economy today at nearly 30% of the total volume of GDP growth in the country,” he continued. “They’re buying more, consuming more. 52% of all new home sales in the United States, new mortgages taken out, are to the Latino cohort.”
He emphasized other statistics such as how the Latino cohort comprised about 80% of all net new businesses in the last decade and a half, 50% of all net new employer based businesses, and supplying 80% of all net new workplace entrants.
Pereira pointed out how the next generation, composed of children born after 2010 named Generation Alpha, is growing up immersed in technology. Things such as smartphones, Alexa, Google Home, and Siri are all in their homes.
The issues he’s tackling aren’t just economical, they’re cultural. Across all children’s stories, children are more likely to see an animal character than a child character of color.
But Pereira has a solution for this. It’s not just to talk about diversity, but to bring the discussion to the business opportunities this Latino cohort will bring.
“Growth is only going to happen with this Latino cohort,” he explained. “So the more that we talk about it from a business driver perspective – not from a charity, not from a diversity perspective, an HR perspective – from a business growth perspective; this is the growth engine.”
But is this growth actually happening? Pereira says ‘yes’ as he describes how the U.S. market is not just expected to grow and shift to favor Latinos, but has already begun to.
“And as goes the Latino market, again 18% today, going to 30% – a third of the country – by 2040,” Pereira continued. “But you don’t have to wait for the future, the future is now because in every major market, every top 20 DMA [Designated Market Area; used to determine the percentage of U.S. population that will see a TV ad], it is a multicultural majority today, led by Latinos.”
Trujillo holds the same values. His business event, L’ATTITUDE, draws in prominent figures from across the world to give speeches and insights, and stresses the idea that by focusing on the business side first, the rest of the goals Latinos have will follow.
“L'ATTITUDE, where I will have a lineup of 10 or 12 major global CEOs, I always tell them before they come, ‘We don't talk about diversity, we don't talk about inclusion, we talk business,’” Trujillo said.
For Trujillo, the matter is clear: if you want to make money you need to know where growth is happening. This knowledge needs to be known by all the leaders of a company and known by its investors. Not doing so just simply isn’t good business.
Trujillo gave a final remark at the end of his and Pereira’s session, answering the question of whether or not the Latino market should be invested in.
“I’ve made my shareholders tens of billions of dollars of value, and I want to encourage all of you that are innovating, that are running companies, building companies, to think about this as you are building your teams, as you’re thinking about allocating capital, and as you think about: ‘What are the platforms that are going to be the most interesting to the cohorts that are of high volume?’” he asked.