Juan Manuel Casanueva, Founder and Chairman, Grupo Gtd

In the mid-1970s, Juan Manuel Casanueva gave up a comfortable career as a civil engineer to found Grupo Gtd, quickly attracting investors and establishing it as the first major private company in the Chilean telecommunications sector.

In the 41 years since, Juan Manuel has turned Grupo Gtd into one of the country’s most successful companies. It now employs more than 2,700 people and has operations in Chile, Colombia, Peru and Spain. Since 2001 alone, it has tripled in size. Juan Manuel believes the reason for this strong growth is that the company has kept to its motto: “never stop innovating and taking risks while pursuing business expansion.”

Juan Manuel now aims to secure the future of the family business and is focused on succession planning and legacy. All seven of his children are deeply involved in the company, and he has 27 grandchildren. As a family, they have established several foundations that support the arts, at-risk youth and older adults.