Holcim MAQER drives open innovation in emerging markets

18 June 2021

Building a house for your family in your home country while working abroad fulfils the dreams of migrants and their families across the world. Fintech that enables workers from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa to use their remittances to purchase cement vouchers that can be used to build decent homes is exactly the kind of innovation that Holcim seeks to encourage.

 

Our GroundMAQER Summit, held in June, is one of many ways we bring entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and industry leaders together to collaborate and find solutions from the ground in emerging markets to tackle the challenges real people face when it comes to financing their buildings and obtaining the materials they need.

“There is a need for safe, affordable housing and infrastructure. Digital solutions, such as fintech and last-mile deliveries, are key to boosting this development. Emerging markets have shown they are capable of leap-frogging the adoption and development of new technologies and business models,” says Miljan Gutovic, Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa at Holcim.

Nearly 1,000 thought leaders from more than 70 countries met virtually with senior Holcim management, from Mexico to Nigeria, to explore how to build a more inclusive world that is both smarter and greener.

 

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“The industry must work together to address major global challenges. We have set up a truly open community that encourages everyone - from small startups and entrepreneurs to leading corporations - to join forces,” says Philipp Leutiger, Chief Digital Officer, Holcim.

Emerging markets, where formal banking and established supply chains may not be accessible to all, are now showing they can move faster with the development and implementation of new technologies and business models. People living in the global south of Latin America, Africa and Asia have become more financially included thanks to microfinance and mobile money payments, which have moved millions more into being banked and having access to loans. Now this fintech is developing even more rapidly when it comes to the building industry.

In Mexico, we offer an affordable credit solution called Credisensa to both businesses and individuals. Credisensa is fully digitized through artificial intelligence (AI) and can enable approved customers to get a credit line within 48 hours and at lower interest rates.

Through our GroundMAQER Summit we hope to continue driving an open innovation community that will disrupt the building material industry and enable us to champion solutions that help the world to build better, for people and the planet.