MENDING WAYS

Mexico 2014 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | B2B

TBY talks to two key players in the care segment on their strategies for success and plans for the development of the market.

Elia González
ELIA GONZÁLEZ
CEO
ISE
Francisco Jaramillo Bañales
FRANCISCO JARAMILLO BAÑALES
Managing Director
FJ BIOMÉDICA

What is the background to your company?

ELIA GONZÁLEZ My husband José Antonio Cervantes founded the company over 25 years ago under the name of IPESA. Within a short period of time we became a highly popular enterprise in Monterrey, and that success pushed us to open operations first in Guadalajara and then in Mexico City. It also drove up interest from distributors and we started to sign strategic partnerships to sell our products: high technology and electro-medical equipment. A key moment for the company came in May 2004 when we won a concession, after which many contracts followed. We have suffered some setbacks in the past four years in terms of our distributors, but that prompted us to rethink our business strategy signing alliances and implementing more efficient and professional processes. Clients and distributors saw that we had decided to modernize the company and welcomed the strategic changes and transformation of the company. They saw this transition as the definitive step toward the full professionalization of the business.

FRANCISCO JARAMILLO We are a Mexican distributor of remanufactured equipment, and are the exclusive distributor of ANDA Medical equipment in Mexico. In fact, ANDA Medical is the basis of our operation in this market, which is a difficult one to penetrate. At the outset the business relationship started small with just $50,000 worth of equipment, but since then has developed into a decade of collaboration. And today we are one of its very few distributors worldwide. I initially intended to service contracts at state hospitals, but realizing the inherent difficulty of this, I focused my attention on the private sector. Today I work with small- and medium-sized clinics nationwide from Tijuana to Cancún.

What are your plans for the future?

EG We aim to further specialize ourselves in certain areas and certain products that address the demand from hospitals and health authorities in Mexico for superlative quality products and services. Also, I think the health culture in Mexico is increasing, with many people becoming more aware of the need for good quality health services. The country boasts highly skillful and talented health professionals. One of the main successes of the Mexican health system over the past few years has been its universalization, as well as the increasing awareness of including full coverage of diagnosis and treatments of diseases such as obesity, and an increasing awareness of senior citizens' needs. Our main strength is that our distribution lines and products are of the best quality and are highly recognized everywhere. We take very seriously the products we distribute, as beyond our corporate image they are, in many cases, life-saving equipment.

FJ It is not easy to do business in Mexico and I am not in agreement with all of the economic reforms being implemented, as certain tax system amendments are detrimental to medium-size companies. The dilemma is that today I need larger production volumes, which incurs greater investment cost, this in addition to my prices being higher than those offered by the unregistered economy. Previously, the market had been used to delays in the fulfillment of orders, yet today as the market has matured the solution is to hold stock, which is what we are investing in. Our ultimate objective is to become the largest second-hand reseller in Mexico. Other plans include the opening of an imaging center offering MRIs, CT scans, and the like, in partnership with specialist doctors from the field. Nephrology and hemodialysis are also areas of considerable potential that could ultimately appeal to our expansion drive.