Eugenio Floresgómez
Chemicals Division Director
View from the Top

Sustainable Solutions Key Solvent Recovery Success

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 15:16

Q: With investment in the domestic automotive industry increasing, how is Pochteca positioned to take advantage and grow?

A: The automotive industry is the main catalyst for Mexico’s economy and it has become a crucial partner for Pochteca’s development. Enormous investments are being poured into the country with more OEMs arriving each year. We estimate that for each new automaker in Mexico, 300-400 suppliers set up shop. All these companies are potential clients for Pochteca and we are developing new solutions to address their needs. We started with only one solvent recovery machine and later added three more. We plan to install another machine in Monterrey by the end of 2016. Forecasts show growth rates of 9-12 percent in the sector, so our goal is to reach 13-16 percent. Our penetration is far greater than any single supplier could achieve as we are present in the entire manufacturing chain. We work closely with paint suppliers, which are perfect candidates for our solvent recovery solutions.

Q: What is Pochteca’s strategy for competing with other leaders in the Mexican chemicals sector?

A: Sustainability is a crucial element in our strategy and it has become one of our main advantages over competitors. Our technology allows companies to recover and reuse solvents from manufacturing processes and it improves the performance of paint and other materials. In the automotive sector, Pochteca can offer solutions to support almost any transformation process from metal treatment or coating to water treatment processes. Many solvents are dangerous chemicals for the environment and companies normally have to pay to dispose of this type of waste. But if treated properly these materials are reusable. We have signed agreements with several companies to recover 100 percent of these chemicals, treat them and reintegrate them into our production. We have four recovery units in Leon, Guanajuato that handle the process. Certain automotive industry products can be reused in the oil and gas industry.

Q: How has Pochteca implemented strategies to attract new clients while ensuring quality service for its existing client base?

A: We have a similar strategy for both established and new enterprises in Mexico since our solvent recovery solutions are still in their incorporation phase. Most companies already in the country do not have a proper collection system for these materials so we are working with them to improve their organization. Newcomers have a different mindset more open toward sustainability but we still need to present the benefits of our system to them. The advantage is that they arrive in Mexico set on finding a local supplier to support their sustainable practices. We work with the top 10 chemical companies in the international market, including BASF and the Dow Chemical Company. These close relationships help us introduce our new products across our international branches.

Q: How will Pochteca’s investment in human capital help the company achieve its goals in Mexico?

A: Human capital development is no longer optional. Between 2014 and 2015, Pochteca invested US$1.6 million in training programs focused on commercial strategies and management solutions through a strategic alliance with ITESM. This has allowed us to create more structured plans alongside our clients and suppliers. On top of training commercial staff in sales, we provide the same representatives with all the necessary technical training to understand our clients’ operations and provide the best solution for them. Pochteca’s Virtual University has been an invaluable platform in this process, providing information about our products across all different industries and supported by our four application laboratories focused on finding competitive advantages for our solutions. The company has enjoyed steady growth over the past four years so there has been no need for external capital injections to fund our operations. Our focus has been on developing our human capital to better identify what our clients require from Pochteca.