ANTONIO PERALTA CUENCA

Mexico 2021 | INDUSTRY & AGRICULTURE | INTERVIEW

Given that Mexico lacks general awareness of the importance of safe and certified products, A&E Intertrade is seeking to participate in the public debate to raise awareness of its work.

Antonio Peralta Cuenca
BIOGRAPHY

Antonio Peralta Cuenca has a degree in marketing from UNITEC, a master's in business development and microenterprise management from the Madrid Business School, and a master's in senior-level management from Universidad Iberoamericana. He has participated in franchise development projects in the hotel, restaurant, and pawn shop sectors. He is currently Partner & Managing Director of A&E Intertrade.

Can you elaborate on your strategies to adapt your business model to the new context of the Mexican economy?

In 2020, the law of infrastructure, which is the one that regulates us, was updated. The government has established new criteria in Mexico because we did not have strong enforcement of the regulation in the past. Previously, there was a great deal of corruption. For example, many things are imported from China, and sometimes these products do not meet a certification that we award. Right now, the law has changed, and there are more regulations. There are more limits, and that is both positive and negative. It is negative because we have more jobs as an organization and it also blocks the development of SMEs because it has become more expensive for them to introduce a product into the market. We have some large clients, including some of the largest malls in the country, and the strategy we are proposing is not to increase prices in an attempt to support their businesses. My strategy has always been to focus on volume, because that generates win-win relations. There are many monopolies in Mexico in different sectors. The verification units are those that authorize us to participate in the market.

How many verification units are there?

There are 90 units. There are many things yet to be regulated. Prices are not regulated, nor are the markets' strategies. We award a license that authorizes the introduction of different products into Mexico. When we started, we were the fourth organization to provide these services in Mexico. This has been a difficult period; many businesses closed down. Another significant challenge is finding the right employees; people want high salaries without making a huge effort. In addition, Mexico lacks general awareness that people must buy safe and certified products, which is extremely important. Sometimes people buy cheaper goods that are not certified, and that has challenges. We mainly work with the sectors of metal mechanics, electric, valves, gas tanks, and many others. We have more than 50% of the chocolate sector. Mexico is 10 years behind in terms of regulations in this sector when compared to Europe or the US. We have to continue working to ensure that products are safe; that is the end goal. That is the main objective of having an organization that ensures those products that come into the country are safe. We require the mentality of Mexicans to change in order to achieve success. We want to contribute to a better Mexico through our business.

What are your main goals for the rest of the year?

We currently have agreements with the government to see how we can work together. The first thing we are doing is looking into how the government can help us drive the country forward. Imports and exports have to be reactivated. Products manufactured in Mexico have to be exported. It will take time to identify a strategy to ensure the new FTA for North America positively affects the market. We have to reinvest in ourselves. We will maintain prices and seek alliances with new companies. We also have to reach agreements with businesses by giving them an opportunity to continue operating. We want to participate in the public debate to raise awareness of our work and the importance of regulation. We will participate in public events and conferences in an attempt to bring more attention into the business. The country requires a trade plan for all businesses. It should not be a plan per sector, but a comprehensive commercial plan for all companies. Also, the country needs to better regulate large businesses as these should be an example for smaller companies.