I was born in the south of Chile, in a small city next to the sea surrounded by lakes and mountains. Puerto Montt is a place of exuberant nature where “rain becomes song”. In a centralized country like Chile you have to work twice as hard to get into university and also move to the capital if you aim for the best schools, and I did so at the age of 17.

I started my career working in transportation planning in Canada designing road networks and mass transit systems. Then I moved to the construction industry as project planner and finally transitioned to the manufacturing industry with the lead supplier of road safety barriers and corrugated steel structures in Chile. There I led the engineering team and later the operations department.

A unique experience

The first time I travelled abroad was on a 9-day trekking trip through the Andes to the Argentinian Patagonia with a friend of mine. With no GPS we followed the footpath all the way to a border crossing that remains open only two months a year. We got lost a couple of times during the trip and due to bad weather had to ask for shelter by the locals, amazing people who live isolated most of the time enduring nature and lack of communication. I went back several times after that, increasingly growing my friendship with the inhabitants of that secret valley.

What does success look like to me?

Success to me is about spending your time and energies in something meaningful to others and having the clarity of choosing where and how. It is about deploying all your capabilities and making an impact. Success is about happiness, not only your own, but that of others as well. That is one of the reasons why I chose IMD, I’m confident it will help me to become a successful leader who can impact the life of many others.


Ramiro Villagra




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