Covid-19: The view from Mexico


Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of IGNIA venture capital and Maria Ariza, General Director of the New Institutional Stock Exchange (BIVA) in Mexico joined Matthew Amengual, Associate Professor in International Business at Saïd Business School in a discussion of the impact of Covid-19 on the Mexican economy and financial markets, led by Peter Tufano, Dean of Saïd Business School.


Mexico faces significant social and economic challenges, but the country can be a 'land of opportunity' for those who can be entrepreneurial through the Covid-19 pandemic. 

That was a key message from Alvaro Rodríguez Arregui, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of IGNIA venture capital; and María Ariza, General Director of the New Institutional Stock Exchange (BIVA). Both shared insights for Covid-19: A View from Mexico - a discussion chaired by Matthew Amengual, Associate Professor in International Business, as part of the Leadership in Extraordinary Times series.

Arregui said that the macro picture in Mexico is 'very, very concerning'. In the last four weeks, 50% of microentrepreneurs had closed their businesses, 37% of people have experienced salary reductions, and the average family is living on about one third of its pre-crisis income, he said. Ariza added that Government has offered only two million loans to five million SMEs - which make up 99.8% of the country's businesses. The venture capital market has 'stagnated,' after 10 years of growth at 22%, she added.

But both remain optimistic about areas for growth. Arregui said that Mexico is going through a digital revolution, and has the highest e-commerce growth rate of anywhere in the world. Ariza added that there are also opportunities in financial services – due in part to low penetration of the market.

The panel also discussed potential impacts on leadership. According to Arregui, a new focus on health, and not just profit, is a 'paradigm shift' which is likely to remain. Ariza added that the best leaders will be committed, prepared to take risks, flexible, resilient, and able to engage teams.