Famous Businesspeople of Bolivia

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The following are some famous businesspeople in Bolivia. You can read about more famous Bolivians by visiting our Famous People from Bolivia home page where you'll find many other categories. You can also ask questions about any famous Bolivian person or add another famous person from Bolivia to our list.

Simón and Antenor Patiño
Father and son, and owners of tin mines, they were both born in Oruro in 1862 and 1894, respectively. They were the top mine owners in the 19th and 20th centuries. Their immense fortune earned them each the title of “Tin Baron”. Antenor diversified his father’s investments when he inherited them, purchasing shares in international companies and was also a diplomat. They died in 1947 and 1982, respectively.

Max Fernández
Originally from Cochabamba, he was a beer factory owner. He was born into a poor family and began selling beer wholesale, growing his small venture until he was able to purchase the Cervecería Boliviana Nacional, the largest beer producer in the country. He also became a politician, founded his own political party called Unidad Cívica Solidaridad, which still exists. He died in an aircraft accident in 1995.

The Kuljis Brothers
Both businessmen were born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Using an inheritance from their father, Mateo, the brothers (Ivo and Tomislav Kuljis) have gradually acquired shares in numerous companies and banks, such as the Banco Económico, one of the largest in the country. Tomislav expanded the Hipermaxi chain of supermarkets which now has stores throughout the country and Ivo built a university.

Rafael Mendoza
A businessman from Cochabamba, he began nearly sixty years ago with a soda pop bottling factory and has diversified to include several packaging and paper companies, among others, all under the control of the Grupo Mendoza de Inversiones. He is also a dedicated philanthropist, having created, and presiding over, the Rafael y Antonieta Mendoza Foundation along with his wife.

Mauricio Hochschild
Of Jewish-German origins, this mining industrialist emigrated first to Chile and then Bolivia in the early 1920s, and in both countries he established his company Mauricio Hoschschild & Cia., dedicated to metal rescue. In Bolivia, he would create a new company bearing his name to exploit and manage mines and industrial compounds, which was to create a big factory in 1927 for the treatment of low-grade ores accumulated as refuse from the high-grade ores, and would be the first factory of this type in the country. Then he founded the corporation South American Mining Co. in Argentina for the commercialization of all metals in Bolivia and sulphur and saltpeter in the Chilean desert. That company would end up exploiting several rich mines in the country, including the Cerro Rico, and would also administer railroads and hydroelectric power plants, one of which was near the Titicaca Lake. His companies would run successfully until they were expropriated by the state during the 1952 Revolution.

Carlos Víctor Aramayo
He was born in Paris, France, in 1889 to Bolivian parents residing there, and as heir to a wealthy silver mining dynasty, he was educated in Europe in exclusive schools and the University of Oxford. Back in Bolivia, he took charge of the family mining company, but in tin exploitation, built a luxurious mansion that’s now a foreign embassy residence and a National Heritage building, and acquired shares in important newspaper La Razón. He also got involved in politics as Finance Minister and Ambassador of Bolivia in Britain, but had to go into exile when the 1952 Revolution started, as he was one of the three world-famous Tin Barons together with Patiño and Hoschschild, so his mines and mining factories were confiscated by the state. He never returned, and died in Paris in 1981.

Aniceto Arce
He is more known in Bolivia as one of its presidents, but this native of Tarija, born in 1824, was a millionaire mining industrialist before he debuted in politics. He lived most of his life and was educated in the capital city of Sucre, from where he had to flee to Chile due to political persecution, and it was in that country that he studied the mining industry, knowledge he’d apply on his return. He made a considerable fortune in silver mining thanks to ownership of the great silver mine Huanchaca, and after a stint as vice-president of Bolivia and in several diplomatic missions in South America and Europe, he finally decided to run for the Presidency. In that office, he persisted stubbornly in finishing the Chile-Oruro railroad opposed vehemently by his rivals, and that on completion contributed to the Bolivian mining boom as it made easier to transport produce from the mines to the Pacific Coast, and remains his biggest contribution to the country’s industries.

Marcelo Claure
A La Paz native born in 1970 and currently residing in the United States, he is a finance and economics graduate. At a relatively young age, he founded a small cellphone distribution enterprise that he later sold, and after working again for another telecommunications company, he founded Brightstar Corporation in 1997, a company dedicated to wireless services and equipment that has now presence in fifty countries all over the world. Besides communications, he also owns the Bolivar Football Club from La Paz, and for that and other inversions he’s considered one of the richest Bolivians.

Miguel Krigsner
He was born in La Paz, and moved to Brazil more than forty decades ago to study Biochemistry and Pharmacy at the Paraná Federal University. He stayed in that country, opening with a small inversion a shop to sell his skincare products in the city of Curitiba, and in time the company expanded. Currently, the cosmetics firm O Boticário is the second biggest in Latin America, and has made Krigsner the only Bolivian to be included in the ranking of billionaires around the world that magazine Forbes publishes each year. Aside his corporation, he is also a philanthropist and founder of the Fundação de Proteção à Natureza institution that has an ecologist purpose.

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