JAVIER SOSA

Mexico 2021 | INDUSTRY | VIP INTERVIEW

Focusing on the customer experience not only physically but also digitally, Comex seeks to remain close to its customers no matter the circumstances.

What is the difference between Comex and Comex Professional Division?

We serve many markets and customers. Through the 4,700 Comex stores, we serve mainly the DIY sector, individuals, carpenters, and locksmiths. In Comex, one can find an entire portfolio of coatings, including waterproofing, wood coating, and industrial products. In the Professional Division, we visit our customers with over 1,000 sales reps in the country who work with our concessioners. We work with sectors during the customers' entire journey, from specification and operation of the projects to after the application, and everything between these steps. We work with B2B commercial in five main sectors: new construction for housing and corporate, government, and the entire commercial and hospitality sectors. In B2B industrial, we have basic infrastructure in Mexico, which is oil and gas, energy, communications, and everything related to private and government companies generating all the resources within the country. Another one is the entire manufacturing sector for every category in the country as well as the steel manufacturing sector. We are one of the most recognized brands in the country since we are the third-largest retail chain. We remain committed to the community and have donated to the health sector more than 1.5 million masks and thousands of liters of sanitizing and antibacterial gel that we manufacture in our facilities produced in line with WHO recommendations. This is not a one-part job, as government, private companies, and individuals all need to play a part to recover quickly and get through this difficult situation.

What new opportunities have emerged in 2020?

We foresee heavy investment in automotive, aerospace, electronics, textiles, health, rail, appliances, marine, transportation, energy, oil and gas, steel manufacturing, and many other sectors due to COVID-19. This represents a significant opportunity for asset protection in both construction and maintenance for the investment already in place in the country. Application services are one of the main opportunities we can provide to the Mexican market. Another important opportunity in the market is working on different product attributes that help the construction industry and make their jobs easier. We are creating environmentally friendly solutions that are water based, have low VOC content, and are lead free, insulation systems to reduce energy consumption, and water and fireproof coatings that meet LEED certification to reduce one's carbon footprint. Another opportunity for us is the rapid and significant growth of e-commerce. An omnichannel experience will be necessary for many companies, including ourselves, and we need to adapt and create integral solutions based on customers' needs, with immediate and technical and commercial information in real time with payment methods and direct onsite delivery.

What is your strategy to ensure the professional division grows in the coming months

Most of the strategy is to remain close to our customers, not only physically but also in the digital aspect, as we need to accelerate our omnichannel experience. We are currently working on an app where our professional customers will be able to find out our portfolio of solutions and services from their phones. The second priority is to be with them in terms of technical advice. We need to provide fast, economic, and efficient solutions to make our customers' jobs and lives easier. In terms of credit, we help with commercial and pricing strategies, as the economy will be affected, and this will be a differentiator from the ones who do not work to assist their customers. We will have a clear promotion strategy for the rest of 4Q2020 and will launch innovations for specific products, such as fast-dry enamel. We launched an antibacterial paint in 2Q2020 that was initially due for 4Q2020 and was accelerated. The paint eliminates 99.9% of the four-most com-mon bacteria and viruses in the country. We also provide safety equipment to take these solutions to hotels, corporate buildings, and small businesses in order to create safe working environments.