Sergio Beristain
Director General
Chase Solar

Reviving the Legendary Spirit of the Silk Road

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 13:27

Globalization is sometimes considered a contemporary premise that has been created by today’s society, yet there are ancient footpaths over 5,000 years old that first ushered in this concept, one of which is the Silk Road. The Silk Road was a magnificent path linking China to a  range of countries, from Kazakhstan and Turkey, to India and Italy. Camels would stomp along the dusty roads of China’s Xian, offloading goods like sandalwood and precious stones to be traded across the far reaches of Asia and beyond. Adventurous travelers heralding from Europe would bring offerings of wool and perfume in exchange for gunpowder, porcelain, and above all, silk. The thread binding these countries went beyond commerce; it linked them to an exchange of scientific and technological innovations. The spirit of this legendary trade route has been revived with Mexico and China, and Sergio Beristain, Director General of Chase Solar, has made it his mission to foster the exchange of solar knowledge between these two countries.

“Chase Solar traces its roots to a law firm that has provided legal services to the energy sector for a long time,” Beristain explains. The company views Mexico as one of the best alternatives for producing solar power, and as a result, it decided to import solar panels to Mexico. “The sector has been catatonic for some time, so we wanted to jumpstart this burgeoning industry by bringing high-quality solar panels into the market.” As it began this venture, the company quickly confronted the unique combination of challenges and opportunities attached to the sector. According to Beristain, in Mexico you need engineering knowledge and an understanding of the Mexican way of doing business, which entails permitting and licensing. Chase Solar has over 35 years of experience navigating Mexico’s legal waters, and now it is perfecting the technical and engineering factors related to the operation and maintenance of a project. “In our pursuit to thrive in this market, we look for partners that have similar ambitions,” states Beristain. “If you wish to survive the complex nature of the Mexican market, you need a local partner as a guide, and Chase Solar fits this role to perfection.” In the pursuit of the perfect partnership, Chase Solar looked to Asia for an answer.

Chase Solar is based in Mexico, China, and Hong Kong, stressing the importance of a continuous and daily exchange of information and ideas when maintaining the delivery of high-quality services. “Chase Solar stands as a bridge that enables companies established in Asia to capture opportunities in the Mexican market,” he describes. The company has invested in Asia, which enables it to acquire the best products at the best price. In this process, one of the key words Beristain highlights when having partnerships in Asia is trustworthiness. “Our business associates are related to the German solar power industry, giving us extra support and a reputable image,” he expands.

In Beristain’s eyes, some foreign investors are hesitant to dip into Mexican waters, as they have been scarred with disastrous experiences in other regions. “These investors must realize that Mexico is unique and that there is no need for this suffering,” he advises. “In a way, the market resembles an oasis where consumers are plentiful and there is a desperate need for energy. In the past few years, the company has seen many solar projects on paper, yet few have been developed. As a result, we look for potential partners that have a track record and a strong project pipeline. In Beristain’s perspective, the solar power industry has been under attack due to bad practices that some unprofessional companies have carried out, mainly by offering low-quality solar panels. Chase Solar aims to showcase the best products and services the solar market has to offer in order to dispel these misunderstandings. When choosing partners, the company implements rigorous criteria, as Beristain explains. “We check the complete background of the company to see if it is sound and has an R&D department.”

Chase Solar has discovered many potential customers have been disillusioned by poor quality solar products, which is why the company highlights the stringent international standards and certifications its products possess. “Chase Solar is going a step beyond importing solar panels and is seeking to provide comprehensive solar solutions,” asserts Beristain. “To make the jump from product supplier to integrated solutions provider, we will import solar power water heating systems and efficient air conditioning systems. One of the strongest weapons in our armory is local insight, which will be invaluable for international companies vying to enter the Mexican market. This has given Chase Solar an advantage in creating profitable ventures with serious Chinese companies.” The new Silk Road between Mexico and China has been paved, with serious solar companies like Chase Solar lighting the way as they single out the best business opportunities in this developing environment.