In an excerpt from his exclusive interview with Mexico Mining Review 2016, Eduardo Bennett, Mexico President of Komatsu explains Mexico’s positioning in the company’s global portfolio and its main growth strategies.
Q: Given that Komatsu is a global corporation, where does Mexico fit into the overall business strategy for the group?
A: Since its formation in 1921, Komatsu has always had a global market vision, and toward the end of the 1990s, the group began operating directly for the first time in Latin America when it set up offices in Peru and Chile. Since then, the company’s regional presence has grown considerably, with offices in Colombia, Panama, and since 2016, Mexico.
Mexico is unique in the region due to its diverse economy, which is one of the factors that made it attractive to Komatsu. On top of its well-known strengths in the oil and gas and mining sectors, the country has great industrial potential with its booming automotive and infrastructure sectors, so its economy is not as heavily influenced by the state of the commodity markets as Chile or Peru, for example. Komatsu products can be used in many sectors, but the company sees significant potential for the mining industry in this country, especially in terms of exploration, mineral resources, and prospection. With the large swathes of new projects expected to be launched in the coming years, we expect to see the sector grow further, so expanding the company presence in Mexico was a simple decision.
Q: Given that Komatsu only began working directly in Mexico in 2016, what are the company’s main goals in trying to establish itself in the Mexican market, and which industries is it looking at in particular?
A: Of course, mining is one of our core markets globally, and there is a strong potential for the mining industry in Mexico, especially given the prices increases which we have seen in 2016 for gold, silver, and copper. However, as a group we see a lot of potential in other sectors in the country, especially on the infrastructure side. The economy is growing at an average rate of 2.5-3% per year, and we are seeing a lot of new sizeable projects, such as the new airport to be built in Mexico City and the expansion works at the ports of Veracruz and Lazaro Cardenas, and we believe that we can contribute to this exciting growth. Elsewhere, the oil and gas sector is going through an interesting time with the bidding process for products, while the automotive and manufacturing industries continue to expand, so we are optimistic for the industrial growth of Mexico in the short-to medium term.
Q: What strategies does the company have in place to take advantage of these opportunities?
A: First and foremost, we need to establish a strong, efficient aftermarket and customer support scheme for our clients in Mexico, which is one of our strengths in the other countries in which we work. The sale of equipment is the most basic and simple part of the business, and we believe that where Komatsu stands out is in the quality of the client service it offers. Given the level of competition we have, our clients want to know that they will be supported in the case of breakdowns, payment plans, and other issues, so for the next year we will be focusing on strengthening our aftermarket services here in Mexico.
Exclusive interview with Eduardo Bennett, Mexico President of Komatsu.
This is an exclusive preview of the 2016 edition of Mexico Mining Review. If you want to get all the information, plus other relevant insights regarding this industry, get your copy here.