Alejandro Rosas
Managing Director Latam
Haskell
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View from the Top

Food and Beverages Experience Opens Door to Other Sectors

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 11:25

Q: What is Haskell's strategy to promote its architecture, engineering and construction services in the Mexican market?
A: Founded in 1968, Haskell is a US company that specialized at first in food and beverages and then expanded its capabilities to other sectors. Now, the company is recognized as the most important general contractor in the US and one of the largest firms for industrial construction in the world. Haskell grew its business through acquisitions and now has divisions specializing in hospitals, oil and gas and infrastructure, among others. We can participate in the entire product cycle, from predesign and design to program and construction management. We are also studying the development of a port in the Dominican Republic, an industrial park in Colombia and many plant expansions in Mexico. This last includes breweries and automotive companies. We are also in talks to build two Mormon temples in Mexico.
Haskell has been in Mexico for 20 years. The food and beverages sector has remained stable over these years and continues to grow steadily, unlike sectors more prone to ups and downs, such as aerospace or automotive. Eighty percent of the company’s revenue originates in this sector and the remaining 20 comes from aerospace, automotive, metals and pharmaceuticals. While food and beverages will continue to be our core, we are looking to balance our portfolio by entering other areas. In Mexico, we believe that the food and beverages sector will continue growing for the next three years thanks to a solid pipeline. We do not believe that the issues impacting the Mexican economy will have a negative effect on Haskell’s operations.
Q: What sets Haskell apart from other constructors operating in Mexico?
A: Haskell is the No. 1 firm in food and beverages and is in the Top 5 of green manufacturing companies. It is among the Top 30 designers in the world and in the Top 7 for sea construction. Haskell’s main strength is its employees and we ensure they have the best available working conditions. Haskell has not had a fatal accident in 10 years due to our strong safety protocols. Our consumer products area has worked with international brands, including Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Bimbo and Mars.
Q: What are the regulatory and logistics challenges that companies face in this sector in Mexico?
A: Besides adhering to COFEPRIS regulations, our largest clients must also follow FDA guidelines to be able to export their products to the US. COFEPRIS is more advanced than other regulators in Latin America but the council could be stricter with some regulations to ensure manufacturing facilities are designed to even higher sanitary requirements. Haskell has over 1,300 engineers and 150 are based in Mexico. They have worked for the company for at least 10 years and fully understand the regulatory environment and all changes that might ensue. This allows us to make sure clients comply with all related sanitary regulations so they can focus on manufacturing and exporting their products.
The infrastructure sector is highly sensitive to any governmental change but we are focused exclusively on the private market; we do not participate in public construction. As a result, we are shielded against changes in the sector. Moreover, about 90 percent of investment in food and beverages comes from the private sector.
Q: Considering Haskell’s strengths in the food and beverages sector, what potential does the company see in alcoholic drinks?
A: Mexico is enjoying a beer boom, which we expect to continue, mainly in the artisanal beer niche. Haskell has several divisions but food and beverages is the strongest, with over 580 clients. Within this division the beer, wine and spirits segment manages beer and spirits, an area we expect to continue growing. This division works with Bacardi, José Cuervo and Diageo, among many others. In Mexico, we have participated in tenders to build manufacturing plants for tequila, brandy and cognac companies.

 

Haskell, a US company founded in 1968, specialized in food and beverages but later expanded to other sectors. Today, the company is recognized as the leading general contractor in the US and one of the largest industrial construction businesses