Successful Launch in Mexico – Mutual Benefit
Christoph Ravenstein, Director of the RavenGroup, about the concept of the RavenCluster, which makes the infrastructure of its in Mexico-based company available to newcomers.
How did you come up with the idea of helping foreign companies to establish themselves in Mexico?
The idea came up by chance. After building up our elastomer production in Monterrey, I asked a fellow mid-size entrepreneur, whether he wouldn’t want to come to Mexico in order to serve his customers here in North America and to win new ones. I offered that his company could leverage our existing organization and production facility proportionately. Despite the initially low turnover, the new Mexican company was already profitable within its first year. In turn we could also optimize our costs. Shortly by word-of-mouth publicity other mid-size companies joined this concept, and the idea of the cluster was born.
What are the arguments for investing in Mexico? Which benefits does Mexico offer?
In many ways Mexico is a young country. Democracy is not old, the beginning of industrialization and privatization happened not long back and the population is on average only 26 years old. This gives the country something like a sense of excitement with many economic opportunities. Mexico is rich in resources and is one of the industrially most advanced countries of Latin America. The North American Free Trade Agreement is certainly acting as the biggest engine. More and more large companies move their production facilities from the U.S., Europe and Asia to Mexico. Suitably qualified suppliers are required who do not only produce, but also provide long-term service in development and process technology locally. Mexico provides a good platform to link the growing markets of the U.S., Central and South America. European technology is especially required in the fields of automotive and household appliances industries and in particular in the field of renewable energies.
Which companies do you address with your offer?
Any company that is interested in moving to Mexico is more than welcome to get in contact with us. Sooner or later all parties involved benefit from an experience exchange with entrepreneurs. We work with a certain idealism to facilitate the entry into the Mexican market for interested companies. Our cluster concept is particularly interesting for small and medium sized companies.
What does a company have to know when investing in Mexico? How can you help interested companies?
To be successful in Mexico, one has to know the history and influence of different cultures, otherwise you will never fully understand the country and its people and not be able to successfully do business there. Certainly, this applies not only to Mexico. Nevertheless, up to today I am still occasionally surprised about the impact "small" differences in mentality can have on the working routine. Communication is important, however, one must know that the way of communicating differs in nuances and thus the understanding of the transmitted message is not always the same. Only if one takes this into account, one can find access to the Mexican business and private life and overcome the conditions, which to us might seem complicated. The cluster is not a consulting firm. Rather, we offer interested companies to accompany a possible start-up in Mexico with our experience. The cluster is not a company that earns money, it's a concept that saves costs for all its members.