Christoph Schiess
Chile
Christoph Schiess
  • President, Endeavor Chile and President, TANICA (Real Estate, Hotels, Diversified)
Born Santiago, Chile 1963. BCom., University of Cape Town (1985); MBA Universidad Católica (1990)
“It is very important that you see not only the economical return on investment and all the financials, but you always have to look at the human part of this development. You have to work with the people within your company, you have to work with the community outside, and especially now that all around the world the business models are changing a lot, you have to be very innovative and creative.”

Summary

Christoph Schiess is Chairman of TANICA, a Chilean business group with diversified activities in real estate, tourism and hotels, mineral water, and other activities. In this interview, Schiess discusses the origins of the family business with the activities of his father, who emigrated from Germany to Chile in 1948. He launched Empresas Transoceánica (renamed TANICA in 2019) in 1954, and it evolved from trading to holding a diversified investment portfolio. Schiess took leadership of the group in 1998 following the death of his father, and it developed a strong property development focus. In the interview, Schiess talks at length on the decision to build an innovative corporate head office in Lo Recabarren, a plot of land his father had acquired decades previously. The building was noteworthy for its energy efficient air conditioning system and its striking curved shape, receiving the LEED Gold New Construction certificate, being the first to get this high certification in Chile. Schiess discusses the role of different members of his family in the business, and the family’s extensive investment in cultural and artisitic development, including the iconic Teatro del Lago, a wooden theater built over the waters of Llanquihue Lake. Schiess stresses the role of the arts and culture in fostering innovative and creative businesses. He explains his own commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in Chile, through his family office Igneous which undertakes angel investing, and through his role as Chairman of Endeavor Chile.

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Christoph Schiess is Chairman of TANICA, a Chilean business group with diversified activities in real estate, tourism and hotels, mineral water, and other activities. In this interview, Schiess discusses the origins of the family business with the activities of his father, who emigrated from Germany to Chile in 1948. He launched Empresas Transoceánica (renamed TANICA in 2019) in 1954, and it evolved from trading to holding a diversified investment portfolio. Schiess took leadership of the group in 1998 following the death of his father, and it developed a strong property development focus. In the interview, Schiess talks at length on the decision to build an innovative corporate head office in Lo Recabarren, a plot of land his father had acquired decades previously. The building was noteworthy for its energy efficient air conditioning system and its striking curved shape, receiving the LEED Gold New Construction certificate, being the first to get this high certification in Chile. Schiess discusses the role of different members of his family in the business, and the family’s extensive investment in cultural and artisitic development, including the iconic Teatro del Lago, a wooden theater built over the waters of Llanquihue Lake. Schiess stresses the role of the arts and culture in fostering innovative and creative businesses. He explains his own commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in Chile, through his family office Igneous which undertakes angel investing, and through his role as Chairman of Endeavor Chile.
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Video Clips by Topic

Diversification

Christoph Schiess, President of TANICA, a Chilean business group with diversified activities in real estate, tourism and hotels, mineral water, and other activities, explains that diversification is his specialization and discusses how he decides to move into new businesses. 


Sustainability

Christoph Schiess, President of TANICA, a Chilean business group with diversified activities in real estate, tourism and hotels, mineral water, and other activities, discusses his strong commitment to sustainability and his decision to act as a role model in Chile for sustainability, exampled by building an innovative and ecological corporate head office.


Gender

Christoph Schiess, President of TANICA, a Chilean business group with diversified activities in real estate, tourism and hotels, mineral water, and other activities, discusses the low participation of women in entrepreneurship in Chile, the importance of including women, and how to increase this ratio. 

Keywords: Chile, Gender


Startups

Christoph Schiess, President of TANICA, a Chilean business group with diversified activities in real estate, tourism and hotels, mineral water, and other activities, discusses the importance of promoting entrepreneurship and startups in Chile.

Keywords: Chile, Start-up


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Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Interview Citation Format

Interview with Christoph Schiess, interviewed by Geoffrey Jones, Santiago, Chile, May 27, 2019, Creating Emerging Markets Oral History Collection, Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School.