The Business Year

Jorge Aguayo

Director General, Industrias Aguayo

The government is picking up the pace again in terms of public works. We have a positive outlook in terms of construction projects. However, I am not confident about the private construction sector as the monetary policy that is in place is too restrictive, causing interest rates to rise, limiting the growth of private construction. We see ourselves as a company that provides solutions for our customers. We are currently participating in highway construction, dam renovation, and channel construction projects, as well as new roadways. We have introduced innovative technologies, such as the Mesa and Ultraflex systems, but need to educate the sector. Usually our end-customer is not the Ministry, but the contractor. In our tiles segment, we add the finishing touches to buildings, and two major high-end hotel projects on the north coast have provided us with contracts. We are not just a structural solutions company, and have aesthetic solutions that are more design-focused, too. Today, we have over 180 distributors in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Angel Garcia Crespo

Executive President, Ferreteria Americana

We have just opened a new store in Santo Domingo, and our model today involves stores of around 1,000 to 1,500 sqm in size. We expect to open one or two stores per year for the next five years. Approximately 65% of our sales are retail, with 35% to the sales channels of contractors and wholesale. Hardware is our area of expertise, having been in the sector for over 60 years. This said, we also offer appliances, furniture, lights, and other household items. The recession greatly impacted sales, as a result of which we decided to devote more time to our core business, abandoning categories that contributed only 15% of our sales, while requiring 85% of our advertising budget. Our business is family-friendly, and being attached to a mall has allowed us to capitalize on this. In general, on the hardware side of the business, our customer profile is predominantly male.

Jorge L. Lopez

President, Jorge L. Lopez

I brought the construction management approach to the country about 15 years ago. The first project we developed under construction management was Megacentro, a commercial center in the east. The second project was Ágora Mall, which was built on J.F. Kennedy Avenue. Now, we are developing a new cardiovascular center, CEDIMAT, also under the construction management approach. The difference between construction management and integrated project delivery is that with the former, our company is an advisor to the owner. We prepare all the bidding documents, run the bidding processes, and evaluate the bids, and make a recommendation. And once the construction process begins we become the technical supervisor and contract manager. Spain used to be a big investor in the Dominican tourism sector, but it simply doesn’t have the liquidity anymore. We believe that from 2H2014, those investors will start looking at the tourism sector here again. This trend will also be reflected in the private real estate sector.

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