Rubén Castillo Silva
CCO
MEJORA Desarrollo Laboral
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Professional Managing Saving Accounts for Automotive Workers

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 15:34

Q: What are MEJORA’s strategies to create a stronger financial culture among Mexican blue-collar workers?

A: Mexico’s history of constant financial crises and the slow increase in wages makes it extremely difficult for the population to amass savings, especially for blue-collar workers. Saving services have not yet been developed to their full potential, and most companies do not completely understand the benefits of them. Therefore, we saw an opportunity to create a proper financial culture by professionalizing the management of savings accounts. By providing a unique, friendly, safe, and profitable environment, MEJORA promotes financing services with the help of unions and employers through a simple payroll-discount system. Our goal is to provide an internal alternative to employees, with a well-managed savings and loans association (S&L). This way, workers can avoid using micro financing services, or at least obtain full knowledge of the product they are acquiring before doing so. MEJORA’s primary focus was union workers, but the results obtained from this group have allowed the company to expand its reach and assist senior managers with their savings accounts, as well as to collaborate with several companies in the management of their savings and loans.

Q: What motivates companies to use MEJORA’s services, and how can they get involved with their workers’ financial education?

A: Traditionally, savings accounts are managed by unions or the companies’ human resources departments. However, nobody in these categories dedicates enough time to finding the best ways to generate revenue for the account holders. Most of them have neither the necessary experience, nor the strong financial background or time to set their primary job responsibilities aside and focus on these accounts. Furthermore, they lack the infrastructure or the professional team to manage these products. MEJORA’s strategy is to communicate simple financial messages through its sales force and advertising campaigns, educating clients about the benefits of investing in their company’s S&L, as well as explaining the reasons for borrowing from this association, and the importance of making timely repayments.

As a proper S&L with more than ten years of experience, MEJORA can reduce workload for human resources and finance departments, positively impacting the employee without any tax burden for the employer. Our board of directors has a strong educational and professional background, and has broad experience in microcredits, finance, corporate finance, labor law, and unions, while our specialized team dedicates the entirety of its time to continuously improving our model.

Q: What advantages does MEJORA offer compared to banks or other financial institutions?

A: Our main advantage is that we manage workers’ savings and loans accounts with the sole purpose of creating a social benefit, encouraging our affiliates to save even more. S&L is not part of any financial institutions’ core business and our operating costs are relatively low compared to these players, which means that the benefits our clients receive are much more substantial. Furthermore, our affiliates are eligible for tax benefits by having their accounts managed ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ by a non-profit organization, which would not be possible in case of a bank or a different institution.

Q: What impact has MEJORA had on San Luis Potosi’s automotive and manufacturing sector, and which companies are your main partners?

A: At the moment, we are working with over 50 companies in the automotive industry such as GM, Dräxlmaier, Faurecia, Eaton, and Valeo. These companies represent approximately 20% of the state’s union workers, who now have their savings accounts managed by MEJORA. Moreover, our exceptional results have encouraged more companies to request our services, resulting in a growing presence for MEJORA outside of San Luis Potosi. Nowadays, the company manages accounts in Guanajuato, Campeche, Aguascalientes, and Jalisco, and we are working on an expansion strategy based on four points. Firstly, we want to focus on the accounts we are already managing, with an emphasis on listening to our clients, understanding them, and offering them the best solution. Secondly, we are placing huge importance on human capital, since it is the basis for our growth. Thirdly, we always strive for innovation and are constantly in search of new creative ideas, implementing new technology and functional processes, and offering unique alternatives in our services. Finally, we try to promote sustainable development, improving the lives of the people around us and contributing to the overall development of our society