A large blackboard presides over Lizandro Ramón’s small office. On it is written “I am trustworthy (de confianza, in Spanish), and that is why my acts and decisions are a reflection of my integrity”.
The sentence alludes to the essence of Financiera Confianza, BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s institution in Peru. Up until a few months ago, Lizandro was the branch manager in Santa Anita, one of Lima’s most populous neighborhoods. For the last year he has been the regional manager of Lima 2, a promotion that was due in large part to the experience he has gained heading several branch offices and the training he has given to officers.
“What makes us different is the personalized attention we give to entrepreneurs. We try to go a bit further: to stay close to them and to understand clients’ real needs”, he explains.
Lizandro has swapped his former office in Santa Anita for a more dynamic job: one day you might see him on a trade committee at one of the eight agencies that report to him; on another, he could be meeting the heads of those agencies to define the strategies that will let them better meet their purpose, and on a third, he could be accompanying a team that needs his drive and leadership to achieve their goals.
What makes us different is the personal attention we give to entrepreneurs. We try to go further: to stay close to them and to understand clients’ real needs”
Although now his role has changed, he will never forget the morning meetings with his team, presided over by his blackboard and surrounded by blue Financiera Confianza ring binders, where thousands of files are kept, as many as there are entrepreneurs served by the institution in Lima. Many are traders, ironmongers, shopkeepers, motor taxi drivers or bakers … Stories of people overcoming difficulties and who, thanks to their small businesses, are making a go of it.
“They are the reason why we put passion into what we do. You get passionate when you go visit them in their place of business, and you see for yourself that they are doing well.” Lizandro caught the bug immediately, the enthusiasm that characterizes all the institutions in the BBVA Microfinance Foundation. So much so, that when he joined Financiera Confianza in 2004, he did so on the same day as his job interview, not even returning to the university press where he had been working.
Intern, junior officer, senior officer, administrator of several offices in Lima… and now regional manager. Lizandro has been growing professionally within the institution. The visits to entrepreneurs, seeing them in their place of work, has enabled him to understand their real needs and see on site how they are doing, whether they might need a loan to upgrade their premises or to buy more materials … it is a holistic vision that has enriched each stage of his career.
When he comes to the end of his working day, Lizandro surely remembers another of the phrases he used to write on his blackboard: “I do it for my family, for my clients and for my future.”
Cristina González del Pino, BBVAMF Communications