What is your relationship like with the Colombian market?
TILL BECKER Being the leader in the global segment of our industry, and especially with the acquisition of USG in 2019, we have a huge portfolio of products that goes far beyond the actual offer here in Colombia. We have a huge fund to grow from, but nevertheless we are continuously adapting the products once more to the market needs, while our global R&D functions and local R&D activities also increase innovation. Being the leader in the global segment of our industry, and especially with the acquisition of USG in 2019, we have a huge portfolio of products that goes far beyond the actual offer here in Colombia. We have a huge fund to grow from, but nevertheless we are continuously adapting the products once more to the market needs, while our global R&D functions and local R&D activities also increase innovation.
JUANITA BÁEZ ANZOLA In 2018, Metecno had its biggest increase in sales over recent years, so in 2019, our commitment will be to social causes. We plan to do housing and school projects because there is definitely a need here. We need to build classrooms where children receive the conditions they are supposed to. We need to collaborate with the country and the government because they are not able to do everything they need to. Metecno will always focus more on the commercial and industrial sectors, though it is also extremely important to contribute to social development in the country. We are currently developing a housing project to ensure rural houses have the right materials to create a comfortable living environment, such as thermal and acoustic insulation panels to protect against extreme weather and noise. We will also continue with our industrial and commercial projects, such as shopping centers. People truly appreciate our building materials because they can see the difference compared to the products they currently receive. However, it has been difficult to get the government's cooperation. When we get to the last stage of getting these projects approved, there are many restrictions, and it has been extremely difficult for us. However, we are working with the right people in the government who understand that the country needs this.
How do you raise awareness of your products?
TB We have established a partner program here as we have in many other markets. The goal of this is the improvement of quality; the quality of service and product, and the relationship not just between our clients and us, but between our clients and theirs. The companies can gain points for their presentation of our product to their customers. Therefore, the program aims for quality of relationship and less on quantity, price and commodities in our market. When companies team up with us, the added value they get is an increased level of service, especially in terms of logistics, which is important in this market, in addition to support on project specification. They also get access to our network of architects, construction companies, and installers.
JBA Metecno has been in Colombia since 1999, though we have mostly been working in larger cities. Over the years, people have gotten to know about our insulated building panels, which are new in Colombia. There are only two companies in the country that produce such panels. We have been educating the market so more people understand the real benefits of these products and how to use them correctly. Sometimes it is easier when dealing with multinationals from outside Colombia because they already know the technology. Today, many construction projects in Colombia's main cities use insulated panels, though we have to introduce them into projects in smaller cities where they may not have thought to use this product before. Because of our experience around the world, we know these products are for everyone, are flexible, and everyone can benefit from using them in big or small building projects, no matter where they are located.