How would you assess Pinturas Condor's journey in Ecuador until becoming market leader?
Condor Industria Química Borja & Leib was founded in the city of Quito in 1939. In 1972, it took on the name of Pinturas Condor, and in 2010 it was acquired by multinational The Sherwin-Williams Company, a global leader in paints and coatings. This was an important development in terms of opening the possibilities of developing new high-tech products to better serve Ecuadorian customers in terms of local culture and traditions. Sherwin-Williams has operations in more than 147 countries. In Ecuador, the company has over 500 employees, with operations all over the country and is a market leader, as it is in the US. The Ecuador headquarters and manufacturing plant are in Quito. Around 95% of the company products are sold locally, with exports to Colombia and Peru.
How does having the support of a global company influence your operations in Ecuador?
The great advantage is having technology transferred into the country. The products we develop uphold international standards of the company, and new technology developed in the US is produced here as well. For example, our flame-retardant paint is used to paint metal structures of buildings. After the attack in New York on 9/11, this paint was developed to delay fires in structures. It slows the spread of fire and allows people more time to evacuate. We now manufacture this type of paint in Ecuador.
How are your in-country research facilities covering more country-specific needs?
Pinturas Condor has greatly benefited from the existing partnership with Sherwin-Williams. We have continued to be an Ecuadorian company. We have been operating in this country for 80 years. We maintain cutting-edge technology upholding the best international standards with an integrated system of quality control and management. We have steadily led technological evolution and regulation, using the most environmentally friendly products and those best suited for the consumer. Market opportunities and consumer needs drive new product development and improvements to our current portfolio. We use our Quito technical lab to develop new products locally. If there is a specific need in the market, or there is a product in other markets that we can replicate here to local specifications, then we can develop it here.
How can environmental practices be further advanced by companies in the paints industry such as Sherwin-Williams?
Sustainability is an important pillar for the company. Our industrial plant, located in Quito, has won the global corporate award from Sherwin-Williams for the continued improvements we have implemented over the last two years—competing against 147 Sherwin-Williams plants across the globe. We also won the sustainability award in 2016. Our biggest achievement was to significantly reduce the waste emissions during our manufacturing processes. The site implemented a waste management program and they have reduced waste substantially in the las few years. Moreover, we won other awards in 2017 and 2018 related to areas such as quality, teamwork, and environment among other factors. Social responsibility is another important activity for the organization. We have internship programs through an agreement with the nuclear sciences department at the National Polytechnic School. Also, we develop internal programs in areas like security, health, the environment, and quality, as well as a project for the reduction of risks related to moving heavy cargo. We play an important role in the local community. We have a training center for painters, which has trained more than 4,500 people for the last 4 years. We have collaborated with different non-profits in the assessment of their maintenance and building projects. We have provided support to certain NGOs like TECHO and other entities with social goals, providing them with products, money, and support to build and paint.