SEAL OF APPROVAL

Mexico 2013 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Alfonso Guarneros, Managing Director of Roxtec de México, on key sectors, the prospect of energy reform, and challenges in the industry.

Alfonso Guarneros
BIOGRAPHY
Alfonso Guarneros has a degree in Biochemical Engineering and 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors. He has been with Roxtec since 2009 and today he is the Managing Director of Roxtec de México, with responsibilities in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

How does Roxtec de México fit into the global strategy?

We started in Mexico as a subsidiary about two years ago—Roxtec has been around for over 20 years. We have had a presence in Mexico for more than nine years with our agents, but four years ago we decided to have our own people in Mexico, and that was when we started in the oil, gas, and telecoms sectors. This led to us opening the subsidiary two years later. Taking into account that Mexico is the 12th largest economy in the world, it was just right to have Roxtec here, and it is important to make people feel that we are here for the long run. In addition, we have become a technology hub for Latin America. For us, it is a natural market; we supply cable and pipe sealing knowledge, supporting Latin America and the Caribbean as well.

Who are your key customers in the country or the region?

Our key customers are the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies in energy, oil and gas, water treatment, and construction. Even though we sell through the EPC companies, we always deal with the owners, because they are the ones that suffer the pain of not having their cables protected. It is important because cables could experience fire, water, humidity, rodents, or dust, and I have no idea what amount of machinery that would impact upon. Basically, we go with the model of being close to our customers to create environments of operational reliability from a cable and pipes standpoint. This means that you do not need to be worried about your cables; we can do it all.

Which sectors will see the most growth for you in the coming years, and does that depend on whether or not the reforms go through?

I believe the energy sector will definitely be a good sector for us if the energy reforms go on. The reforms will be a booster for us; however, without the reforms we will still be in good shape. But with them, we will do well and I think the reforms will go ahead. Also, trains and track-side equipment could be an interesting segment for us since the government has announced two or three different electric trains in Mexico. It could be a huge market for us. Our sealing is on many trains in Europe, so that is another market that is just emerging for us. All the major automobile manufacturing plants use robots or automation equipment that requires proper cable sealing. Looking at the big picture, I think that Mexico is on the right path. The macroeconomics are okay and I believe that the government is getting the reforms passed. The major reforms will be the fiscal reform and the energy reform, and I think that should definitely happen.

What are the main challenges in this market?

The main challenges are new markets. We are trying to move into mining, water treatment, and trains. For example, to get into mining you need to get to the mines. This means travelling to a remote location. Security plays an important role here and it is key thing for us, because in order to sell to the mining industry, you need to be there, and the mines are pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

What are the biggest growth sectors for you?

Processing industries such as mining, cement plants, sugar mills, gas plants, petrochemical plants, and onshore oil and gas are big growth sectors. Whenever people think about oil and gas they think offshore, but there is huge, huge potential onshore. We specify new products to greenfield operations, but brownfield operations are where everything needs to be upgraded, so this is a huge area of potential for us.