The Pioneer

Gustavo Cisneros is one of the world’s most prominent businessmen. He is also part of a dynasty of entrepreneurs that began with his father, Diego Cisneros. The second generation of that dynasty has not only maintained, but exceeded, the achievements of the first. Gustavo Cisneros has managed to take an important and healthy Venezuelan business and turn it into a major global player in tune with the times in which we live.

Pablo Bachelet relates in a pleasant way the framework of a business with many heads that, as it continues to grow, also becomes much more complex.

In his book, Gustavo Cisneros – Pioneer, author Pablo Bachelet tells the compelling story of how a multi-faceted business has continued to grow and prosper as it becomes much larger and more complex. This business portrait of Gustavo Cisneros portrays him as a committed and visionary businessman and provides an accurate account of his values and democratic and social objectives.

A business portrait of Gustavo Cisneros, the book characterizes him as the committed and visionary businessman that he is; giving an account of his values and democratic and social objectives.

The book proceeds along four principal lines:

  1. The internationalization of  The  Cisneros Group, its transformation from a Venezuelan business group with ties to the world, to an international group of companies with interests in Venezuela. This process was initiated by Gustavo Cisneros through a precise vision of business trends in a global context.
  2. The concept of the business person as generator of constructive change and creator of wealth for the benefit of the community via technological innovation, employment, prosperity and enhanced individual well-being.
  3. The adoption and promotion by Gustavo Cisneros and his wife Patricia Cisneros, and the Cisneros Group as a whole, of the values and achievements of the Hispanic world, of the Spanish language and of Latin American art, including the art of indigenous communities.
  4. The development of the Cisneros business style characterized by calculated risk-taking, the value of human resources as a fundamental element, management by objectives within a framework of operational flexibility, a balance between boldness and caution, and the ability to learn both from successes and mistakes with a steady focus on excellence as a goal.

The book begins with a brief recounting of the history of the Cisneros Group of Companies, starting with its foundation, continuing with its growth in Venezuela, covering challenges and achievements in a dizzying race to multiply companies and businesses, first in Venezuela and later on in other places, especially the United States and Spain.

It also analyzes Gustavo Cisneros’ decision to begin a systematic process of internationalization of the Group; addressing the growing political and socio-economic difficulties that Venezuela was going through and that, in one way or another, affected the Cisneros Group at various times.

Furthermore, the book particularly emphasizes key junctures on the road to strengthening and consolidating the Group, as well as fundamental decisions that put into sharp relief his vision of the future and courage to take risks.  Certain transactions are described in full detail, such as the acquisition of “Galerías Preciados” in Spain; the joint venture with Coca-Cola, and the realization of new and successful businesses such as Cervecería Regional in Venezuela, highlighting the underlying lessons, achievements and challenges of this learning curve.

The book also dedicates numerous pages to the determination of Gustavo Cisneros to stimulate unity in the Spanish-speaking world and to underscore the impact of initiatives taken by Univision and DirectTV to strengthen the ties of Spanish-speakers in Latin America, Spain and the United States, as well as in the field of education, through projects such as  Cl@se, and Professional Development for Educators (Actualización de Maestros en Educación AME) in the Latin American arena.

It also comments on the tasks undertaken by the Fundación Cisneros for the promotion and protection of Hispanic-American art and culture, such as the “Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC)” of Hispanic-American painting or the "Orinoco" ethnographic collection.

Finally, the book achieves a social balance regarding how the activities of the Cisneros Group are reflected in aspects such as employment generation and well-being for individuals and communities, in the widest possible and positive social repercussions of the creative work of thousands of people.

Gustavo Cisneros, as leader of the Cisneros Group of Companies, emerges from these pages as a wealth creator with social awareness, a person strongly committed to democratic principles, convinced of the value of individual freedom and brotherhood among people and diverse cultures. He is also deeply identified with traditions and values of the Spanish-speaking world.