SMES GENERATE 40% OF GDP

Mexico 2019 | FINANCE | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Harry Sacal, President & CEO of PlusCorp, on the new government, SME development, and launching an IPO.

How will the new administration impact the Mexican economy and your business?

Mexico is facing a new type of leadership and a new mode of doing business, and we remain optimistic about it. The new administration is fulfilling some campaign promises, and the market has reacted negatively, but we still believe that the country has strong economic fundamentals. We will continue to invest in Mexico and be on the lookout for opportunities to grow.

What are the main areas of opportunity you have identified in Mexico's financial market?

The main areas of opportunity in the Mexican financial market remain in the underserved SMEs. SMEs in Mexico represent 99.8% of the economic units in the country, generating over 40% of the GDP and employing over 78% of the country. However, there is a lack of institutional sources of capital for them. PlusCorp, through its subsidiaries Sofoplus and Plus Leasing, offers innovative banking solutions to SMEs, ranging from simple and revolving lines of credit to leasing solutions.

What differentiates you from other SOFOMES in the market that focuses on mid-sized companies?

Most SOFOMES in Mexico are focused in micro-credit and financing payrolls. However, we look to target high growth SMEs who need capital to scale and grow. We can build long term relationships with cash flow generating SMEs who need access to capital to finance growth. We are nimble and have enough experience to understand our clients' financing need so that we can provide tailor-made solutions for our clients. Also, being a regulated entity has given us access to competitive sources of funding from public markets, including BMV and BIVA, and development and commercial banks, enabling us to have competitive prices.

What sectors are you focusing on?

We always look to maintain a diversified portfolio. The main sectors we focus on include, construction, services, tourism, and manufacturing. We expect a lot of growth in the tourism and services sectors in the Mexican market in 2019. As noted, we are sector agnostic and have enough experience and expertise to give the best solutions for our clients.

What kind of steps do you need to take to launch the IPO in the future?

We have been thinking of an IPO since the creation of the Company. Firstly, in 2015 we became a regulated entity in 2015 and began CEBURE program in the BMV and BIVA. We also operate with aan high degree of corporate governance, having independent committees and Board of Directors. We have always complied with all the National Banking Commission audits. In 2018 we partnered with Creation Investments and are currently working in a business plan that includes aggressive growth in portfolio and improvement in our best practices. In the next few years, we will reach the scale to have a liquidity event through an IPO.

How was PlusCorp developed?

The founding team of PlusCorp has been heavily involved in the financial sector in Mexico for the last 30 years. Prior to PlusCorp, they developed one of the largest currency exchange companies in the country. While operating the currency exchange, the founding team realized that many of the institutional customers where SMEs who needed net working capital financing. In 2006, Sofoplus was created with the premise to give tailor-made lending solutions to Mexican SMEs. In 2014, we founded Plus Leasing, focused on leasing solutions for SMEs, and PlusCorp as the Holding Company.