“I saw an opportunity to make better, safer drivers.”
- Prof. Services
- Year selected
Fernando Cammarota knows a lot about driving. In fact, with 20 years experience as a professional race-car driver and the status of formula racing champion, Fernando knows more about driving than almost anyone. So it should come as no surprise that his company, CEPA (Center for Accident Prevention in Spanish), has been extremely successful in teaching others about driving safely. Launched in 1987, but largely reinvented in 2000, CEPA is currently a regional leader in driver training and accident prevention consulting in Latin America. A global company with a presence in over 75 countries on 6 continents, CEPA is already successful and profitable. But for Fernando, the race is far from over. With aspirations to become a worldwide market leader, he aims to leverage CEPA’s success-to-date in Latin America to become a global leader in road safety.
Fernando’s first career as a race-car driver was very successful and gained him considerable fame and recognition in his hometown of Uruguay. He competed all over the world in formula racing (F4, F3, F2, and Rally cars) and won several Uruguayan Rally Championships as well as the overall championship in South America. During the later stages of his career, Fernando began to realize that the skills he had cultivated in racing – namely the ability to drive safely at high speeds – were applicable to other types of driving. Following this intuition, Fernando began exploring different ways of helping qualify and train drivers in order to prevent accidents. After his racing career, Fernando decided to develop the commercial potential of his idea and left a post in his family’s spirits import/export business to start his own venture. He left Uruguay for London where he trained rally drivers before spotting an opportunity to develop a defensive driving course for the Uruguayan operations of the global oil and gas company, Shell. The course he developed for Shell was the first project of the company he would eventually create into CEPA. Founded in 1987, CEPA initially consisted of Fernando and a handful of employees who gave one-on-one consultancy and driving courses. It wasn’t until 2000 that Fernando decided to expand and re-invent the company as one that offered integrated services on a global level.
Today CEPA specializes in accident control and risk management programs for domestic and multinational companies with small, medium, and large automotive fleets. In contrast to his competitors, who provide a small selection of services to a small demographic, CEPA offers a diversity of services that satisfy all its clients needs. Currently, CEPA provides the most comprehensive solutions of any player in Latin America. While a significant share of the company’s revenues come from driver training – both in the classroom and behind the wheel – CEPA has worked diligently to develop a separate range of programs centered around accident prevention and risk management. Of these, the company’s individually tailored consulting projects and its proprietary software program – CEPA Data Center – are two of the most important. Clients can track all components of their fleet safety program, including fleet-wide safety indicators created by CEPA such as “accidents per million miles driven” or “percentage of vehicles involved in accidents” by using CEPA Data Center, a fully customizable online data management platform. The company has launched a new and innovative service this year and now offers clients a full Road Review and Route Analysis, which provide an in-depth analysis of the roads typically traveled by a given fleet in order to advise clients on the safest possible routes of travel.
Having successfully made the transition from competitive race-car driver to leader of a multi-million dollar business, Fernando provides a compelling and non-traditional entrepreneurial role model. He also provides an extremely important example of strong regional and global leadership for his fellow Uruguayans. Being genuinely committed to the safety industry and to community service, he founded Fundación Unitran in 2004, a community foundation focusing on road safety that has reached over 10,000 children in Uruguayan schools.
Endeavor and CEPA
Fernando has benefited from communications mentorship and CSR work with an outside consultant. Global services have included an Ernst & Young fellow and Entrepreneur Summit.
Fernando has demonstrated commitment by mentoring other Endeavor Entrepreneurs and hosting Endeavor events.