Eugenio Manzano, Executive Director, POCHTECA
"We are focusing our efforts on replicating successful segments from one country to another and growing our supplier and customer base."
How significant is Pochteca’s footprint across Latin America?
The Ixom Latam acquisition in 2020 added Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina to our regional footprint, which already included Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Brazil. Pochteca is now present in 10 countries in Latin America, including the most recent operation in Ecuador, with 52 distribution facilities serving more than 26,000 customers with a portfolio of more than 11,700 products from more than 200 world class suppliers. This regional expansion allows us to better serve customers and suppliers that require regional solutions and are looking to consolidate the number of channel partners that they deal with.
During first half of 2022, 49% of Pochteca´s sales were in Mexico and 51% in the rest of the countries.
Which countries and business lines have shown strong demand in 2022?
We have had healthy growth in all the countries where we operate and are proud of the way our team has incorporated the new operations. The synergies that we had identified in supply chain, economies of scale in IT resources, as well as a more robust value proposition to employees, customers and suppliers are materializing as expected. New customers, products, suppliers and comprehensive value propositions that leverage our capabilities and footprint have been key to growth in sectors such as mining, construction, water treatment, food, personal and home care.
To what extent does the trend of nearshoring and onshoring offer opportunities for Mexico’s chemical industry, and what must be done to capitalize on these opportunities?
Mexico´s geographic location, abundance of natural resources, productive and young workforce, as well as it´s free trade agreements with dozens of countries, make it an ideal place for the nearshoring initiative being followed by North American companies. The chemical industry and the more than 40 downstream segments that it serves can certainly benefit from this opportunity if raw materials and energy are available and competitive. Such competitiveness and availability can occur with cooperation between the public and private sectors in key areas such as oil and gas and electricity generation. Promoting private investment is key for achieving this goal.
How could consolidation in the Latin American chemical distribution segment help the sector?
Consolidation in the chemical distribution industry in Latin America will most likely continue as it is still very fragmented. Low trade barriers, increased regulation and customers and suppliers seeking to reduce the number of channel partners present an ever-greater challenge to smaller and medium size firms that are not highly specialized. Economies of scale in supply chain, logistics, information technology, technical capabilities, training and purchasing power are necessary to add value and lower total cost in a competitive and sustainable fashion. Pochteca is currently enjoying organic and profitable growth integrating the recently acquired or created business units, like environmental and third-party logistics. We are focusing our efforts on replicating successful segments from one country to another and growing our supplier and customer base. However, we are always interested in looking at opportunities that would bring synergies or complementary regions or segments to our already diverse portfolio.
Can you speak to the importance of sustainability?
Our sustainability strategy is based on three pillars: commitment to our people and communities, commitment to our customers and suppliers, and commitment to the environment.
We have ratified our certification of ANIQ´S “Comprehensive Responsibility Management System” with a 94.47% rating and were the recipients of this year´s recognition for best practices in the category of Comprehensive Waste Management.
Our Sustainable Solvent Recovery (SSR) program reduces costs and environmental impact for customers by returning materials to their supply chain so that they can be re-used without compromising their quality.
Moreover, we continue to grow our environmental solutions business unit offering various services including downstream coprocessing, remanufacturing of waste or by-products and responsible disposal of dangerous products. Finally, in recent months we have installed 2,170 solar panels in our facilities’ rooftops capable of generating 1,394.66 MWh annually.