Mr Carlos Slim- The Mexican Telecoms Magnate


Havaianas flip-flops footwear and a cell phone network are owned by Mr Carlos Slim. Both have become transnational brands.

Havaianas flip-flops began life 50 years ago as a basic shoe for poor plantation workers in Brazil. 15 years ago the parent company, Alpargatas, decided to reposition the brand as an aspirational fashion product, hiring designers to create an attractive range with different colours and designs.

The strategy was so successful, that by 2007, the company was selling 850 pairs of flip-flops for every 1000 Brazilians. With the domestic market saturated, Alpargatas began overseas expansion in 2008.

With the flip- flops now sold in 80 countries, including stores in Rome, Paris and London, Havaianas flip- flops tirned into Brazil’s first truly global brand. Today it has a brand value of about $422m, according to Brand Analytics.

Carlos Slim’s Mexican fixed line company, Telmax has a brand value of $2.8bn, while Telcel, his Mexican mobile arm has a brand value of $6.6bn.

Today Mr. Slim’s brands include Claro, his pan- Latin American mobile brand (excluding Mexico), which has a brand value of dollar 4.5bn. He also controls Trac Fone, a US business marketed under the Telcel America brand aimed at the Hispanic community in the USA has 22m subscribers and more than $4bn annual revenues.

Over the past years Havaians brand value has almost doubled, while Telcel’s brand value has slumped by almost a quarter despite its 70m subscribers. This is largely due to greater regulatory scrutiny and the Mexican president wanting to break Telcel’s near monopoly grip.

Out of the Top 50 Latin American Brand in 2013, Mr Carlos Slim’s  Telcel is ranked 2nd with a brand value of $ 6,577mn, Claro ranked 8 with $ 4,454 mn, and Telmex ranked 21 with  a brand value of $2,768 mn.

Author: Dr. R. Ravichandran

Dr Ravichandran Dr. R. Ravichandran is a Mentor and Professor at IFIM B-School. He has an academic work experience of 12 years and  corporate work experience of 32 years. Having traveled to 64 countries, Dr. Ravichandran is an expert on International  Business and Logistics.


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