Interview with Juan Alvarez, BTW Holding, Colombia

Sometimes deciding between the decision of joining the family business or opting not to weighs heavily on younger members of the family due to how definitive such a choice may appear. That there is more than one way of being there for your family and that contributions may vary over time is something that is not obvious to everyone. Juan Alvarez who is a third generation family business member of an esteemed Colombian auto parts firm shows that things can be done differently. Alvarez spoke to Tharawat magazine about joining the family business, leaving it, and joining it again and how this approach has enabled him to continuously contribute to the legacy he is a part of.

After 28-year old Alvarez graduates with an MBA this summer, he will be joining his family business in Colombia for the second time. The Alvarez family commenced their business operations in 1968 as Importadora Cali S.A in Cali, Colombia and with the assistance of 200 employees today specialises in offering their respective markets wholesale auto and motorcycle parts. The company has grown into what is now known as BTW Holding, with business units in Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Chile. “I work with my brother Daniele and my sister Sandra. The second generation is represented by my father Bernardo and my uncle Luis Fernando. In total we are 13 family members whereby only the second generation are managers, owners, and family members at the same time,” explains Juan.

“When I was a child I always wanted to become a football player. It has been my passion ever since I could remember,” Juan confesses. He sighs, “However, as these things go, I grew out of the age for playing football and decided that it would be best for me to become a business man.” Today, Juan’s dream has moved from the football field to delivering a good service to the society, which surrounds him through his family business.