Global Power Partner Spotlight: Felipe Cuesta
The Latin American and Caribbean data center markets are quickly rising as global data center epicenters. Kohler has successfully been helping data center operators in the two regions with reliable backup power for the past several years and will continue to be a major player keeping data centers online under almost any circumstances. In this installment of our Global Power Partners Spotlight, let’s get to know Felipe Cuesta, one of the faces behind providing resilient and reliable solutions in LATAM and the Caribbean.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for Kohler as Director of Sales in Latin America and the Caribbean?
I’ve been in the power generation industry for 14 years, over seven of which have been here at Kohler where I focus on the growth of the data center business, specifically in Latin America. My duties include leading our sales team to generate revenue with our different product offerings. In addition, I help identify and target major data center players in the region and strategize the best approaches to demonstrate our superior value proposition and device strategies to position our brand in this market segment.
Beyond my professional endeavors, I am extremely proud of my Colombian heritage, which has very much shaped my identity and outlook. Equally important, I have found inspiration and purpose in my adopted homeland, the United States, where my passion for power generation flourished. I have lived in the U.S. for over 22 years and resided in five different states, all unique places that have made me a better person and appreciate this great nation.
What does it mean to you to be a data center Global Power Partner, and how do you support this commitment in your day-to-day operations?
Being a data center Global Power Partner holds great significance to me as it entails a deep commitment to supporting the critical infrastructure that drives the digital age. As a Global Power Partner, my role is to provide comprehensive solutions and support to data centers, ensuring their uninterrupted operation and optimal performance.
In my day-to-day operations, I uphold this commitment by focusing on several key aspects. I strive to understand the unique needs and challenges faced by data centers across different regions and industries and the critical aspect of having a reliable backup power system. I work closely with data center customers to develop tailored power generation solutions that meet their specific requirements.
I mentioned earlier that part of my job is to demonstrate our superior value proposition, and that strongly comes into play here. If, for example, a large online retail organization loses internet for even just a few minutes, the financial results can be dyer. The backup power services we provide are absolutely mission critical, and being part of that solution is satisfying. Generators have been around for decades. How we support our customers when there is a failure is the Kohler difference.
What do you see being the biggest trends, considerations or requirements at play in the data center sphere today?
In Latin America, several prominent trends, considerations, and requirements are shaping the data center sphere. Most are related to the region’s increasing demand for reliable and efficient data center infrastructure, which has led to an exponential demand for hyperscale data centers in the region.
These requirements are being met with an ongoing regional infrastructure modernization where data center integrators are investing in these upgrades, while major regional hubs are improving in-country connectivity. While the effort to meet the growing need for more data center infrastructure is being met, the challenge is accommodating the different regulations that exist within the region. This leaves data center operators having to navigate and comply with local laws and regulations that vary by country. Our Kohler team is well apprised of these differences and we help guide our customers. However, I believe a more unified set of regulations and guidelines for a more comprehensive and easier to adapt environment should be considered for the industry regionally.
Are there any customer success stories you’ve been a part of in your tenure that you’d like to highlight?
There are many, but one in particular comes to mind. We designed and installed a backup power system for a data center in one of the largest cities in the region. We faced challenges not only for the required power quality for sensitive equipment, but we also had a unique design situation in that the data center is in the middle of a mostly residential area and had strict limitations on noise levels.
With our superior factory, we provided sound attenuated generator housing equipment, an ultra-quiet cooling system, easy synchronization system, and a modern installation from our local partner. That was a couple of years ago, and we successfully provided reliable backup power without any noise complaints ever since. In this scenario, we may not have been the cheapest solution but we offered the best value proposition to this important customer. We exceeded the customer’s expectations while providing the best possible quality of power.
What do you find compelling about working in the data center sphere?
This industry involves being at the forefront of technological advancements and unique projects, which is very compelling. In our region, we have such diverse geographic conditions - we can find data centers in coastal areas or in cities at over 8,000 feet of elevation, or extreme cold or hot temperatures. No two projects are the same.
Outside of your Kohler work, what do you like to do?
My family is my greatest source of motivation. I have a loving wife and two beautiful children, aged 2 and 6. Spending quality time with them is a priority, whether it's through simple activities like cookouts at home or going on family trips. My wife is a strong pillar of support, especially during my current pursuit of an MBA.
Sports and staying active are also important aspects of my life. I enjoy maintaining an active lifestyle, so I try to work out regularly during the week. My favorite sports to watch are MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), football, and soccer. So whenever possible, I watch games or fights.
Continue our Global Power Partner Spotlight Series with Hamid Aribi here.