Carlos Abad
Head of Latin American Markets
Chint Power Systems America

Setting High Standards for the Benefit of the Market

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 17:32

Even with big names already present and doing business in the emerging Mexican solar market, there is still an opportunity to raise the bar regarding quality and safety standards, says Carlos Abad, Head of Latin American Markets at Chint Power Systems (CPS) America. “Our goal is to raise the quality and safety standards of the installations being built in the American market,” he says. “It is all about helping project developers be more successful because then we will be successful too.”
To that end, CPS America is introducing a proven concept commonly used in the US: podcasts. “We offer podcasts and webinars that help the industry understand the features and advantages of our products. These instruments also provide employees with an open channel to ask questions about the equipment and for us to provide direct feedback as well as to offer best-practices in a more direct way,” says Abad. The company’s 12-year presence in the solar industry and its certifications for building solar installations are proof of the quality CPS America will bring to Mexico, Abad says. “We only work with certified providers, push them to meet highest standards and provide them with the required training.”
CPS America is a business division of Chint Group, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and with highly profitable businesses around the world in almost every industry related to technology. CPS America successfully entered the US market in 2009. “This company is one of the main shareholders of the commercial DG solar market in the US. Our US team is composed of local engineers, salesmen and administration personnel,” he says. He believes one of the keys to the company’s success was learning to adapt its processes to the local culture, rather than expecting others to adapt to it. “We do business the US way, which is much easier than dealing with cultural differences and logistics problems that may arise from being in contact with local personnel in China,” he says. “We speak the same language as our clients in the US, which has made our business successful since our entrance in 2009. In Mexico, we are not entering as Chint Group coming from Shanghai or as CPS America coming from the US, but as CPS Latin America, an extension of CPS America.”
Close relationships with clients and the ability to serve them quickly and with high-quality products and services is something that CPS America has already done in the US, and a strategy that Abad wants to apply to Mexico. “We have broad expertise and connections in the US, including almost every company in the DG area to almost every warehouse, so now we want to get to know the Mexican market as well as we know the US and build similarly strong business relationships here.”
Abad sees every market like a chess board, where every move must be considered carefully. “The projects selected by a company pave the way to the business model it wants to deploy,” he says. “In the US, our business model is more focused on DG, while in Mexico and the rest of Latin America we are targeting DG first so we can then use those projects and communication channels as a springboard for bigger things.” As a first step, Abad is looking for projects with existing clients in the US market that also have commercial DG activities in Mexico. The ultimate goal, he says, is to enter industrial and utility-scale projects.
All these segments have well-considered frameworks that should make doing business relatively simple, Abad adds. “The country now has robust residential, commercial, industrial and utility markets, which is incredible considering the state of the industry five years ago,” he says. “Of course, there are things that can and should be changed and improved but considering the novelty of the market, what has been achieved is impressive.”
Although the presence of international companies in Mexico is extremely beneficial for the local economy, it is important that the jobs and economic benefits already created stay in the country for the long term. “There are many companies entering the Mexican market, which is good in terms of growing investment, but we should never forget the importance of creating a strong local supply chain that creates jobs in the country and does not simply bring workers from abroad;” he points out. “It is important that the people who live and work in Mexico see the benefits of foreign investment coming into the country."