LUIS FERNANDO RÍOS

Ecuador 2020 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

By continually researching new opportunities, investing in new technology, and implementing innovations, Delltex is able to remain competitive at both home and abroad.

Luis Fernando Ríos
BIOGRAPHY

Luis Fernando Ríos joined Delltex Industrial in 2003, after having worked for eight years in Indulana, Medellín. He assumed the role of general manager after being head of the spinning plant for 12 years. He took the reins of one of the largest textile companies in the country. He studied textile technology in Sena, Colombia.

The textile industry represents about 6% of Ecuador's industrial GDP. How did Delltex become one of the most competitive companies in this field?

Delltex started officially in 1962; however, the founders had been working in the acrylic industry since 1959. The factory expanded at a fast pace in the 1960s and 1970s and started manufacturing plain cloth. The plain cloth is used to tailor uniforms and is a business that we maintain to date. In the 1980s and 1990s, the company decided to continue with its expansion plans and acquired a factory to produce a fabric for blankets. In 2000, the company was the largest blanket producer in Ecuador and Latin America. Currently, our plant serves the domestic market, and we also export to other regional markets. Innovation has always been important for us, and we have an updated technology that allows us to be competitive in both the local market and abroad. The textile market in Latin America was severely affected by Chinese products, so we have taken several steps to remain competitive and reinvent our factory. We have a well-trained staff and state-of-the-art technology. In 2017, we decided to move into the development of specialized products. One example of a new specialized product is a cloth for uniforms that is fire retardant. This innovation opens new markets for us and also gives us the opportunity to export to new textile markets in Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, and the US. Besides, the ongoing trade war between China and the US has opened a window for us to sell our products in the US. We have a positive outlook for the future of our company and are exploring opportunities in areas like the automobile and military industries, even providing the curtain material for cinemas and theaters.

How do your different investments target the production of more innovative products that are attractive in your main export destinations?

Delltex has always had a policy of continued investment in the company. We are constantly researching new market opportunities, investing in new technology and implementing innovations in dyeing and printing. We have even started with digital printing. The same personnel that manage the manufacturing divisions are also involved in the process of creativity and innovation within the company. That is why we are developing high-quality fabrics, especially soft ones, to tailor suits. In addition, Delltex has conceived a way of working on sustainable innovation. At present, our manufacturing processes not only meet the local regulations in Ecuador, but go beyond, and this has been recognized by the local Ministry of Environment. Regarding export markets, we are exporting substantially to Colombia. Even though the dollar is a strong currency in the world economy, we have found a way to continue exporting to Colombia in a profitable way. We are also exporting plain cloth to Peru for the military and the police. We are exploring new opportunities in the US for our Ecuador-produced blankets. The domestic market has become narrower, so we have to find opportunities in other markets.

What are your expectations for the year ahead?

We expect to have 10% growth in sales in 2020 compared to 2019. We will achieve those expected results through the markets we are focusing on and by participating in more trade fairs in the textile sector to introduce Delltex in other markets. Ecuadorian people have a rich ethnic background, and textiles have always been important in the Andean countries. The local conditions have supported us for so many years, and we expect to continue growing in the short and long term.