Chairman, EcoEnergias del Peru SAC
Alfredo was raised and educated in Sullana, one thousand kilometres north of Lima in Peru. He studied mechanical and electrical engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería. He graduated from there after six years of studies and practical work during summers in a sugar plantation, iron ore mine, steel plant and a hydroelectric power plant. After graduation Alfredo went to work for the largest engineering and construction company in Peru, Martinez & Linares Ingenieros. He then decided to travel to Europe and joined a German engineering company where he worked on projects on automation and plant control in Romania and Egypt. Meanwhile he obtained a scholarship from the DAAD, Bad Godesberg, to study Cybernetics at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt (THD).
“While at the THD, I learnt about INSEAD and faced the dilemma to either go for a Doctorate in Cybernetics or an MBA at INSEAD. I chose Fontainebleau because of the new and exciting fields of knowledge and internationality that INSEAD offered me after a very technical and scientifically oriented career. I was interviewed in Hamburg, London and Paris and was admitted. I was the first Peruvian ever to be admitted to INSEAD.”
“Being the first Peruvian at INSEAD, I felt I had a big responsibility. When I was elected as the first vice-president of the ‘Bureau d´Etudiants pour les Affaires Interieurs’ (Student Life office), it was quite an experience to represent my fellow students with the school management.”
“At INSEAD I realised that all human beings are fundamentally the same, regardless of their religion, nationality and background. We all have our own problems, aspirations and anguishes. I learnt to listen carefully, be tolerant and compassionate.”
Alfredo’s fondest memories of INSEAD are the ‘unforgettable moments’ in the classrooms, group discussions, spending time with quality professors on inspiring subjects, the long hours of reading and thinking, dinners, weekends, playing football for the INSEAD team and simply talking to friends about life and the world whilst walking in the Château gardens or the forest. Alfredo remembers it as an ‘extremely enriching and awakening time.’
“I made many friendships during my time at INSEAD and enormously appreciate my classmates’ enduring friendship which has withstood the test of time, circumstance and distance and given me a sense of belonging to an international community with strong, invisible bonds of friendship and shared values.”
In 1968, INSEAD was little known in South America and Alfredo’s role as member of the International Council gave him the leverage to speak with leading businessmen in many countries. Now, the Latin American presence of INSEAD is very well established.
Alfredo is very proud of having participated personally in more than 300 engineering and construction projects spanning 47 years, benefiting millions of people and entire regions either by providing them for the first time with electricity, roads, bridges, industrial plants, water and sewage systems, oil pipelines, offshore pipelines, trans-Andean tunnels, hydroelectric power plants, transmission lines.
Alfredo also became the first Peruvian Dean of the oldest Spanish-speaking graduate school of business in Peru, ESAN, founded by Stanford University. He is also proud of his 25 year involvement in bio diversity protection with Pro Naturaleza. When he started, Peru had only 3% of its territory under protection and now it has 16%, an area equivalent to half of the size of Germany.
Other proud moments include his appointment as Peruvian Ambassador to Germany in Berlin and his recent selection by the Commander-in-Chief of the Peruvian Army, to participate in the first Advanced Course for Etat Majeur Reserve Officers. “This was not only a privilege but an extraordinary opportunity to become a member of the 180 years-old Peruvian Army”, where his father served and died in the war against Ecuador in 1941. Alfredo is now Major of the Armoured Cavalry of the Peruvian Army and has the responsibility to organise a selected Task Force of 250,000 strong Corps of Reserve in the next four years.
Alfredo is also working hard to try to change the business and value creation models of Peru for the future. “I want to help Peru to become a more developed country based on science, engineering and technology, rather than exploiting natural resources. People should be aware that they live in a privileged environment with large rainforests, national resources and they must keep the balance between technology and nature.”
In the next five years Alfredo has the goal of helping Peruvians become 100% literate. He would also like to be able to provide access to electricity and clean running water to the five million people in Peru who still lack these modern conveniences.
Finally, as Chairman of the Peruvian Association of Renewable Energies, in 10 years time, Alfredo would like to generate 100% of Peru’s electricity from renewable energy sources.
“I would like to be remembered as a pioneer in engineering and construction in Latin America; as a visionary, by imagining and building scenarios for Peru that few have ever dreamt of; as a fighter for the protection of nature when only 25 years ago few saw the importance of it; and also as a man of courage, for having confronted dictatorships, fought against corruption, never surrendered to terrorism and oblivion of marginal men and women who deserved a better future. And finally as a man who always tried to be a person of balance and compassion towards the less privileged who never had access to good education, better job opportunities and broader options for personal development.”
This year, the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria granted Alfredo with the academic degree of Doctor Honoris Causa. He continues to be very active in the Engineering and Construction fields, working on large projects such as hydroelectric power plants, roads across the Andes, wind farms and biodiesel production.