José Graña Miró Quesada
- Chair, Graña y Montero (Construction, Real Estate)
Born Lima, Peru, 1945. Bachelors in Architecture, Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (1967); Executive Management Program, University of Piura (PAD) (1979) School of Graduate Business Administration (ESAN - Peru) (1969).
“We were more prepared than other domestic companies. …we were the first Peruvian company to comply with hazard prevention standards.”
José Graña Miró Quesada is Chairman of Graña y Montero, the Peru-based group of 26 engineering and infrastructure service companies founded by three young engineers in 1933. It is now operating in seven countries in Latin America, and has been responsible for some of the largest projects in the region, including the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City, the Interoceanic Highway linking Peru and Brazil, and the Westin Hotel in Lima, the tallest building in the country. Graña, the son of one of the founders, was trained as an architect, and joined the company in 1968, becoming the Chairman and de factor chief executive in 1986. The business had begun with real estate construction, before expanding into road construction. Graña reveals why, during the 1980s, he and the other second generation family members began diversifying into engineering design, IT services, and oil industry services. The interview describes the periodic crises which hit the firm because of the turbulent Peruvian economic and political situation, including years when inflation rose to 7,000 per cent. In 2003 a collapse in the real estate market also caused a major crisis for the firm, which had gone public six years previously. The interview discusses at length how Graña sought to build strategic alliances with multinational companies, how these alliances assisted the firm when it began to expand to other regional economies, beginning with Chile in 1985, and how the firm became the Peruvian partner of Telefónica and Repsol in the privatization process of the 1990s.