The Business Year

Ben Glazer

MEXICO - Industry

Making An Impact

President, Praxair Mexico & Central America

Bio

Ben Glazer joined Praxair in 2002 and has occupied a series of senior positions, including his current position as President of Praxair Mexico & Central America. Prior to joining Praxair he was a captain in the US Air Force. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master’s in the same area from Northeastern University. He also has a Master’s in Business Administration from Cornell University.

"Mexico has been an excellent source of talent."

Praxair has been listed as one of the best companies to work for in Mexico. What is the company doing in that regard?

There are three pillars on which the foundation of our business rests. First is our people. We are committed to finding and developing talented people from diverse backgrounds who use their abilities to make an impact and help our company be more successful. We are very proud to have been ranked by Expansion Magazine as #7 on its Top Companies in Mexico list. This ranking is primarily based on employee feedback, which makes it incredibly valuable. It is a testament to the strong sense of unity, pride, and community that runs throughout our organization. The second pillar concerns innovation, productivity, and sustainability. At its core, these principles represent a relentless focus on improvement at all levels. The third and final pillar is safety, integrity, and compliance. At Praxair this simply means doing the right thing, all the time, with no exceptions.

To what degree do you agree that Mexico is a source of talented employees?

Mexico has been an excellent source of talent as evidenced by the amount of key leaders we have “exported” to other parts of the world be it Asia, Europe, the US, or other parts of Latin America. Three of Praxair’s top executives are from Mexico, including our general counsel, vice president of global procurement, and the vice president of global operations excellence. There is an excellent talent pool here and it is our responsibility to attract and retain the most talented. We partner with local universities to secure the best talent and engage our employees continuously with training, community outreach programs, and talent development to help them grow and enable them to make a real impact on our business.

Last year the total sales of the group reached $12 billion. How did Mexico contribute to that?

Praxair operates in more than 50 countries and Mexico is one of the most attractive countries in our global portfolio. Mexico accounts for approximately 6% of total company revenues. Praxair is the only fully integrated industrial gas business in North America, and we work closely with our North American affiliates. We have over 300 production, distribution, and sales sites. For over 40 years, we have invested in Mexico by delivering products, applications technology, productivity, and reliability to over 35,000 customers. And within each industry we serve, we pride ourselves on having experts and unique applications to help our customers become more efficient. Some of those include oxy-combustion technology in steel and glass that lowers energy consumption, improving production throughput, and a range of welding applications and automation solutions we offer the metal fabrication market, which can help reduce labor-intensive operations and consumable waste. We combine this solution-based approach with world-class safety and reliability of service along with partnerships in sustainability and community engagement that create lasting and long-term relationships with our customers, employees, and the communities that we serve.

What percentage of your production is currently exported?

We export some specialty products to the US, South America, and the Caribbean, as we have one of the most sophisticated specialty gas plants in the region, but our exports overall are a relatively small portion as we mainly serve customers in Mexico.

How has the year 2015 started for Praxair Mexico and what are your expectations for the rest of the year?

We have performed well thus far and are seeing growth in many of our principal market segments. And in my opinion, Mexico has simply some of the best long-term fundamentals for sustained economic growth. For Praxair specifically, this will mean continued robust activity in the manufacturing sector at all levels. Additionally, we expect there to be a resurgence of investment in the energy sector by PEMEX as well as the private participants. We are also leveraging our relationships from other Praxair regions around the world to proactively reach the many new customers entering in this economy as a result of the most recent energy reforms. We expect to see a strong demand in the upstream sector as our nitrogen and carbon dioxide applications play a crucial role in maximizing production in oil and gas fields. We foresee new demand for hydrogen supply as the refineries in Mexico undergo much needed transformation to increase utilization and meet new clean fuel standards. Overall, I remain quite bullish on our growth outlook.

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