CHEMISTRY SET

Mexico 2019 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

Although DuPont is associated with big, impersonal chemical plants, it always remembers to put the customer first.

Claudia Jañez
BIOGRAPHY
Claudia Jañez is President of DuPont Latin America. She has a bachelor of laws degree from La Salle University and a speciality in commercial and financial law from the Universidad Panamericana. She also holds a diploma in negotiation from the Harvard Law School and a master's degree in business administration from the Pan American Institute of Senior Business Management (IPADE).

What are the main advantages that Mexico offers DuPont as its international business strategy?

DuPont's first subsidiary outside of the US was in Mexico. We have been here continuously for 94 years. We know how to do business in Mexico and around the world. We see two advantages in Mexico. One is logistics; we not only have access to North America, but we have two oceans. The treaty we have with the US and Canada, combined with those we have in Asia and Europe, helps us in a way that makes our costs competitive. We are bringing raw materials into the country. Kevlar has been on the market for 40 years, and now we are producing new types in terms of colors, and we are bringing all of this into Mexico. All our customers will have the same services, the same product and innovation that you can find in Asia or in Europe. This is really helping us. We are transforming our culture to focus more on the customer.

What are your production goals in Mexico?

DuPont is truly globalized. The beauty of this means we can now bring into Mexico any technology being used around the world. Our business today is not in volume, but more in margin and innovation. The investment in plants is completely different, as is financial formula. We have a big plant in Mexico where we export more than 80% of the pectin that is produced. The product we make is used as an emulsifier for dairy products. We are exporting not only to North America and Europe, but to Asia as well, where consumption of dairy products is growing.

What are your strategies for consolidating your presence in Mexico and the region?

We are planning to continue to have a significant presence in the region. Our largest company in the region right now is Mexico. It is around 37% of the new DuPont. Brazil represents around 33%. We have presences in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico, as well as a small operation in Peru. We cover all of Latin America from these countries. We are planning for USD22 billion in revenue globally, of which Latin America will be 7%. This is an odd year because of the merger, so we have had to be careful with our expectations. What we are doing as the new DuPont is developing local customers and new markets. We are not just looking at global companies but local companies in Latin America. In Argentina, we have a huge local company that produces food. We have laboratories in Brazil and Mexico for nutrition and biosciences. When you are a specialty company, every dollar counts. It is not about volume, but what value you can bring to customers on a tailor-made basis. This one-on-one approach locally has been very successful. We are also changing our image, which is why we have new offices. We invested almost USD9 million in our office in Mexico City in 2019.