PANAMA - Industry
General Manager South Caribbean, Sika
Carlos Trueba is a civil engineer from the “Universidad Iberoamericana” with an MBA from ITAM “Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México”. He joined Sika 10 years ago as Senior Coordinator of Sales, in 2018 he was transferred to Sika Peru, in where he worked as Sales Manager and in 2019, he was transferred to Sika Panamá as General Manager of the South Caribbean leading 4 countries as Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Panamá.
Carlos Trueba: I see Panama as a hub, and it plays a key role in its area. Panama supports other countries—Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and others—and it has been easy to import our products from other Sika operations around the world. For example, we import from Europe, Colombia, and Mexico, and from Panama we can move these products to the surrounding area. That is the main advantage of being in Panama. Today, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic report to Panama.
Carlos Trueba: Now, our target is to improve our presence in the distribution channel. Our products and solutions can be found in home centers and hardware stores. Our main target in 2022 is to increase our market share in those areas and with our target customers. We are encouraging DIY products, so any customer can use them. Because Panama is a diversified economy, it also makes sense that our services are diversified too. In the construction sector, we have two approaches: distribution to customers, and directly to big projects. We work with big projects directly; for example, for a subway expansion or children’s hospital construction project, we work directly with them and are the distributors. We are looking for the best and most cost-effective solution for the sector in Panama. Such projects will be important to Panama in the long term, which is why we always use the best and longest-lasting solution for some issues. For example, we will supply waterproofing solutions to Hospital del Niño, which is close to the coast. For the subway system, we are working with mortar that is being used in some parts of the subway such as the columns or slats. Our competitive advantage is that we have been working in Panama for 20 years and around the world for more than 100 years. As a local player, customers trust in our products and their quality. That is the main differentiator between us and the competition. Customers trust in our products, and we provide the best-quality solutions. We are a customer-oriented company, and it is definitely important to build up trust.
Carlos Trueba: I predict many opportunities related to durability and sharing best practices. The economy is not the best at the moment, but there are interesting projects—for example, Hospital del Niño, the subway, and others that the government is doing or thinking of doing in the near future. There are opportunities to integrate best practices between countries in the region. Sika is extremely human-oriented, and it always seeks to add more value with less impact. We are applying that principle in Panama in many ways. One of them is to be sustainable and work on sustainable solutions, for example with green roofs or admixtures to reduce the CO2 impact in concrete and cement. In addition, we also work on long-term solutions with 10 to 15-year warrantees.
Carlos Trueba: Our main focus for the rest of the year is to achieve the targets set by our headquarters in Switzerland at the beginning of the year. In addition, part of the key to our success is remaining customer oriented. We listen to the needs of our customers and bring the right solutions and products. Sika is dedicated to providing and maintaining the highest quality standards with its products and services. The commitment to innovation enables us to not only satisfy current demands, but also anticipate future expectations. All our solutions are designed with our customers’ success in mind and to build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships rather than focusing on short-term business. This attitude is emphasized by the corporate claim: Building Trust. Sika is proud of its commitment to fulfilling this promise. Sika is doing its best in Panama, working with local people and bringing the best solutions and the best-quality products to Panama and the Caribbean South.
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