Aug. 27, 2018


Gabriel Zamorano

Mexico

Gabriel Zamorano

CEO, Grupo Iredu

“Nowadays, objectives and projects are assigned to teams, not to individuals. Having an adequate space for teams develops and boosts collaboration and creativity.”

BIO

Gabriel Zamorano founded Grupo Iredu when he was 24 years old and has directed the company ever since. He has a degree in Architecture from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara.

What type of companies do you target?

We have two main lines of business: offices and retail spaces. Our clients are specifically large multinational companies. As for national companies, we only have large clients, such as Alsea, Grupo Nacional Provincial (GNP), as well as several banks. We do not have medium or small clients because we offer integral services, and multinationals usually arrive in Mexico and are not sure how to organize their facilities to launch operations; hence, we support them throughout the process. Mexico is a great country to do business and generate large revenues. However, companies that come here must surround themselves with the right people to achieve this.

How popular is the 360-degrees model in Mexico, and why do you prefer the design-build model?

There are several differences between the design-build and 360 degree model. While the former includes design and construction, the latter has many additional elements such as real estate, which means finding the most appropriate location for the business, and a customized business model, such as including the office furniture, which sometimes causes budgets to exceed. In addition, we also determine how the operation is going to be carried out, for example, whether companies will operate through a third party or whether they have all the equipment to carry it out themselves. We want the client to have a general view of the problem, because the easiest part of the project is to build. Doing a comprehensive analysis and offering a 360 degree project is our differentiating factor. There may be companies who offer these services to the industrial and tourism sectors, but Iredu is the only company that provides this model for offices and retail businesses.

How are new trends in management such as teleworking, co-working, or horizontal management changing your client's needs and preferences?

Overall, we try to be cutting edge and push the clients to new schemes. An important aspect of working in different modalities is that we must have a space designed for all the different forms. We design spaces that foster collaboration and effective work, therefore, we prioritize open spaces with few closed offices.

How do your designs contribute to staff satisfaction, productivity, and talent retention?

We must have open spaces, and different spaces for collaboration. Nowadays, objectives and projects are assigned to teams, not to individuals. Having an adequate space for teams develops and boosts collaboration and creativity. We can build several different sizes of meetings rooms with varied furniture, screens, and boards. Moreover, we can build meeting rooms outside, inside, or as mixed spaces, which is an amazing addition for companies.

What do consumers expect from retail spaces nowadays?

For retail, we receive designs from other firms. Customers nowadays are not buying in malls that have transformed into leisure spaces. Looking closely, the best locations in a mall are occupied by restaurants. Consumers do not want to buy, they want to have an experience. Hence, it is necessary to have restaurants and a movie theater and other leisure spots, such as amusement parks.

If you received a new client today, what would be your recommendation as a location in Mexico City, or any other city in Mexico?

Basically, any city in Mexico is optimal for business. Mexico is a gold mine for anybody who wants to invest here. Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara are obvious choices, but Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, and León are also great options. We work in every city in the main business districts and for retail spaces, we have projects all across Mexico.

How has the earthquake affected real estate demand in Mexico City?

For large multinational and national companies, there have been no changes or movement. I believe those companies are here for the long term and that earthquake damage are short term. The SMEs, especially those located in the earthquake damage zones such as Condesa, Roma, and Colonia del Valle, have felt the effects on their short-term cash flow. However, I still believe these are short-term issues as the market will self-regulate.

What are your goals for 2018 and the strategies to achieve them?

We have been working for many years to transform Iredu from a family company to an institutional company. To that end, we have been adding experienced staff, including those who have shifted from larger companies in the sector. We are enhancing our expertise in different areas with this knowledgeable staff in order to grow exponentially, a feat we have achieved and sustained over the years. We want to double our growth this year and for the next three to four years, we will focus on becoming one of the most important companies in Mexico's real estate sector.

Are you looking for alternate sources of financing from investors or the stock exchange market?

Yes, we are using both sources to finance the company. We mostly acquire financing through the banks, which view us favorably; banks are more concerned with housing companies and in comparison, our clients are large and robust companies. In terms of the stock exchange, we are working on a project to list the company on the stock exchange market. We already have a program of corporate governance, and we have reached the revenue to go public. We will enter the third-party audit program soon and are planning to achieve our goal in the next few years.

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