TWO PLANTS IN MEXICO

Mexico 2020 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Ricardo Lecompte, General Director of PASA, on the state of the construction industry, exports, and increasing coverage across the country and region.

What is your current perception of the construction industry in Mexico and how does this impact your business at the moment?

The construction and infrastructure industry are going through an abnormal phase. In PASA, we have great business with the government through our contractors. We specialize in waterproofing and construction chemicals, to any type of building. The issue is that the government policies, about construction, have not been clear, until now. In Mexico City, our main market, doesn`t exist new licenses to build, on the other hand, in Monterrey, it is completely different. They made (government of Monterrey) great policies to stimulate construction. We need more infrastructure for piers, airports, roads, highways, aqueducts, energy, etc. Because we`re a country with122 million people and every day, every year, we grow in different businesses. It is also necessary to establish better infrastructure to promote education, health and food, for us. We are waiting for new policies to develop and stimulate our business. At the moment, it is not clear what the next steps will be in our country. With regard to international investment, we have our most important partner in the US, especially given our great industrial parks in all the country.

What kind of products do you manufacture?

We have two facilities. This one is called Cuautitlan, and another located about 30km from here in Tepeji del Rio, Hidalgo. We are producing waterproofing products, admixtures for concrete, caulks, sealants, concrete mortars, paints. We also make solutions for architectural finishing in any building. We are interested in expanding our participation in other countries. Currently, we export to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama, and are working with people interested in Colombia and Peru. We are thinking of expanding into the Caribbean, but it is not easy to do so because they greatly protect their local industry.

What is the main objective behind the release of your new product, PURIFI-K?

We are launching a new products line in 2019, PURIFI-K, a brand for new products from PASA with a technology called 'photocatalysis,' a more sustainable product. When PURIFI-K gets in contact with UV rays and the air, especially pollution (COx, NOx and SOx), they catalyze the polluted air, separate these compounds, and free oxygen, carbon and other elements, in inert form. The solution can be mixed with anything, including paint, waterproofers, or any of the products that benefit from this technology. It cleans the air. In other words, it will do similar as photosynthesis. We have presented a patent request since this is the only product in the market that can do this. This was a product developed in Mexico with the support of the most important universities here, especially from the Instituto Politecnico Nacional and their Laboratory for Innovation, 'CIITEC.' So we are rightfully excited. We invested in machines, marketing, sales, strategies, and packaging to make a different product from our competitors.

What needs of the market drove Pasa to develop this?

Generally, much more is needed to maintain or fix the environment. Everybody attacks the plastic industry, but this is completely wrong. Thanks to plastic, life is not how it used to be a hundred years ago. Pipelines are made of plastic, water bottles, artificial hearts, cell phones, computers, cars, etc. The plastic industry is very important for life in every country. Waterproofing is plastic. Thanks to this industry, life is much cheaper today. Perhaps in some countries, sustainability educational programs will be run. In PASA, we identified a major problem with the air. Mexico is on the top 10 countries with the most polluted air in the world. Monterrey, Guadalajara, Toluca, Silao, Leon, Salamanca, Mexico City, and Puebla are our most polluted cities. In my office, we breathe pollution. Outside is even more dangerous. Approximately 21,000 people die in Mexico per year due to pollution. This is data from the UN. Our focus is to think differently as we have done during our 34 years. It is rebranding.

What strategies are you using to increase your coverage in the country?

In waterproofing, we are among the leaders of this industry. When you need waterproofing in Mexico, you think about PASA. With paint, however, we have far less market share, but we have a great product. Our slogan is "waterproof technology." We are a construction chemical company, and our portfolio includes products for concrete, concrete repair, and producing concrete, like admixtures and mortars. We also have covering products like epoxy floors and paint for highways.