Promising Future for Financial Product in MexicoTue, 09/01/2015 - 10:17
Q: How does UNIFIN manage its operations throughout the country?
GTR: UNIFIN has 22 years of history in Mexico and until May 2015 we were a 100% Mexican company. After our initial public offering on the Mexican stock exchange, we received an enormous injection of capital, allowing us to acquire the proper tools to continue growing. UNIFIN is divided into regional branches, but we have operations across the country. In terms of our services, leasing represents 78% of our current business, factoring has a 10% share, while the remainder is dedicated to automotive loans. According to Alta Group, we are the largest independent leasing company in Latin America, and we have served the automotive and transportation industries for many years. Our main advantage is our multi-product and multi-client approach. We do not only focus on vehicles, but also on machinery and equipment, which altogether comprise close to 50% of our client portfolio.
EAC: UNIFIN is a completely client-oriented company, with no standardized products. Instead we analyze our clients and construct our products based on their financial needs. We see UNIFIN as a consultant for our clients, helping them throughout every collection process, while prioritizing their needs. We adapt our process to their projection strategies and help them construct the best product according to their capacities.
Q: Given that leasing still lacks popularity in Mexico, how has UNIFIN promoted the advantages of this service?
GTR: We focus on SMEs, which is a relatively uncharted sector. According to data from the World Bank, operative leasing contracts represent close to 8% of the national GDP. If we compare this to other counties such as Colombia and Chile, this percentage is five or six times lower. Therefore, there is an enormous opportunity for new business in the local market. We have detected several openings, and one of our current priorities is to close the gap for the leasing services. The most important factor is that we are a Mexican company, focused on the Mexican market. We have a commitment to the Mexican economy, and we build our strategy according to the needs of our local clients.
EAC: Leasing is a financing alternative that offers many advantages, especially to legal entities. Apart from its many other benefits, this program generates fiscal perks that make it an interesting option for companies. However, it has largely failed to develop among private users, unless they work for a corporation that uses this service. That is why we prefer to focus on automotive loans with private clients. Mexico is a truly underbanked country, which means that any financial product has a promising future. There are many opportunities, and we hope to be able to obtain a share of this market.
Q: Given that Mexico still does not have a mandatory insurance regulation, how large is the market for UNIFIN?
EAC: The government has already made some changes in this area with the implementation of mandatory insurance for vehicles that use federal highways. As equipment owners, we have to make sure that vehicles remain functional after any accident, which makes insurance a vital part of our operations. We do not have exclusivity with any company, so we can adapt to client requirements. Being associated with an insurance broker allows us to offer attractive conditions to our customers, meaning we can insure our units and our clients with comfortable fees. On top of that, UNIFIN can insure the equipment and assets of any given company. Our association with this broker generates extremely competitive prices, and our wide portfolio allows us to provide the best advice to our clients.
Q: Now that KIA will establish a plant in Nuevo Leon and several other companies will set up operations in the Bajio region, what are your strategies to attract potential suppliers to these regions?
GTR: One of UNIFIN’s strongest regional sales offices is in Monterrey, and our most important strategy is to build close relationships with our clients, especially with the people that know the business and how it is going to develop. We want to target these companies with people that know the industry. Once these players become proper suppliers of these new investments, we will offer them our factoring solutions, and subsequently we will propose our leasing products as an option to help them develop the proper assets for their operations.