October 2019 saw the 10th anniversary of our subsidiary, Danpal Mexico, led by their General Manager Mr. Hector Avila, who was also in attendance. This momentous occasion was held on the 51st floor of La Torre Mayor, one of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City, and was well-supported by all the top Mexican architectural firms. The firms represented, were in attendance by invitation only and included; Sordo Madaleno Architects, VFO Architects, GROW Architects, Arditti + RDT Architects, Moyao Architects, DIN Interior Design, Eclipse architects and Oxigeno architects, among others.
The evening rolled forward, as our team headed by Mr. Avila, highlighted their efforts and direction. A number of initiatives implemented by Mr. Avila and his team, have shown great success in both promoting the Danpal brand, and in developing their local market. In truth, they have been able to successfully create a much larger market for our Danpalon based systems, partly by focusing on specifications unique to Danpal.
The ability to create unique specification, is an immensely powerful tool that our competitors cannot equally match, and which directly speaks to the needs of today’s architects. Today we speak the language of Green Building, sustainability, carbon emissions, and energy efficiency, because this is the language that today’s construction professionals understand. To do this effectively, we must understand the market, understand the possibilities of our systems and direct our efforts towards creating these new specifications for the market.
Also making an appearance, all the way from Colombia was the General Manager of Danpal Andina, Luis Fernando Rodriguez and his special guest the very recognized Colombian Architect Mr. Juan Felipe Cadavid. In addition, we welcomed the special participation of architect Mr. Han Young Keun. President of the Korean Institute of Architects and director of our official subsidiary, Danpal Korea.
Those in attendance at our closed event, were treated to a special talk, put together and delivered by Mr. Han. The talk focused on our concept of Light Architecture, its benefits and how this integrates with modern-day thinking on daylight, as an element in architecture. The evening then became a great opportunity to introduce the local architects, to these principals of daylighting, and how to possibly introduce this into their projects.
In an era where energy efficiency, carbon footprints, and Green Building Concepts is leading the global building trends, Mr. Han’s talk was most welcomed. The effect on those in the audience was pronounced, as a renewed sense of purpose, filled the air. It is at events such as this, where cultures and perspectives combine, to bring about leaps in creative thinking by our global Danpal family.
The 10-year marker also was not only an opportunity for Mr. Avila and his team to reflect back on their achievements, but also, to set a renewed focus on delivering on our company’s core objectives. Our Latin American counterparts, recommitted their efforts, to bring the principles of ‘Light Architecture’ to influencers in their region. To provide both technical and marketing support, directly to the professionals who need it most for their projects. Lastly, to always seek out the most effective Danpal solution for their customers, delivered with a smile, the Danpal way.
DANPAL Interview with Héctor Avila – General Manager Danpal Mexico
- 10 years and Danpal Mexico, has grown into a major contributor, to our global sales effort. Please introduce yourself, and tell us a little more about both you and your team?
Hello, my name is Héctor Ávila Díaz, a Civil Engineer by trade, who after 9 years in the plastics and adhesives industry, took the initiative and started my own company – Tecnoimpacto. I ran Tecnoimpacto for 20 years, we specialized in dealing with various brands of polycarbonates, acrylics, sealants, and architectural panels – but always with a focus on quality over price.
In 2009 I chose to close Tecnoimpacto, and together in a joint venture with Danpal Israel, formed Danpal-TI. From then on, I have focused almost exclusively on Danpal Systems, and on instilling the values of responsibility, professionalism, and loyalty, within my team. I can also say with great satisfaction that during this time, most of my employees, have gone on to put down their very own roots in the company, often permanently. I mention this with pride, as I believe that this stability has allowed the company to move forward with both a sense of confidence and purpose.
- Looking back at the past 10 years, what can you tell us about your market in Mexico, and how has it changed/evolved?
The construction industry in Mexico is an important indicator of the ‘state of health’ of our economy, and as such, reflects any instability within the country. Our politics, a major influencer of our economy, has unfortunately not created the conditions conducive, to attract the amounts of investment needed. However, despite this, we have enjoyed an influx of private investment into maquiladoras, shopping centers, educational institutions, corporate transnationals, and other real estate developments. This has created a niche market, which demands higher quality construction materials that are positioned above the “price war”, and this is where DANPALON features.
- What would you say have been the major challenges, which you have had to overcome, in your market? If possible, can you also elaborate on the strategy that you employed, to overcome them?
We positioned our Danpal systems against the backdrop of, a range of traditional polycarbonate sheeting, available in the Mexican market. These sheets, have been traditionally known for their low prices, but inferior quality, and so we developed a strategy to combat this. We focused instead on our product’s superior quality, leading performance and recommitted ourselves to provide the best service possible to our customers.
As a result, we can say with great satisfaction that today, the Danpal brand is recognized as such within our industry and is in high demand. Each and every country has its own unique market conditions, but we recognized that we had to target the top architects in Mexico and introduce them to the superior advantages of Danpal.
- Many a time, we hear from distributors, that their market is not advanced enough for our more sophisticated panels or systems. Mexico, is also considered to be a developing country, how is it that you have found such success? For example – with selling our more advanced 3DLITE panels?
As mentioned already, we recognized that the traditional limitations in the Mexican market is the tendency for projects to prioritize price over quality. We realized, however, that our Danpal systems, are not direct competitors to these cheaper products. For this reason, our efforts have been to position our products above this segment, toward more profitable projects that demand higher performance. At this higher level, we do not see much competition and so we are able to obtain better results.
A good example is how we have focused on 3DLITE panels, as its unique design, visually sets itself apart from traditional polycarbonate panels. Of course, we find that the 3DLITE option, has excellent light transmission vs thermal efficiency properties, not to mention stand out aesthetics. Building on this, we have prioritized delivering complete solutions, which include all the engineering necessary for a successful end result. Lastly, on completion of the project, we guarantee all our work beyond that offered by other providers.
- Moving forward, what sort of changes do you expect in your local building industry, and how do you envision Danpal Mexico adapting to meet these new challenges?
We foresee, that the sector in which we are already positioned and recognized, will continue to demand solutions of higher quality. However, the market continuously seeks new and ever more efficient products, so the continuous development of new Danpal systems is very important. One area of opportunity we have is in facades, where we offer an economically viable alternative against traditional translucent solutions. Compared to traditional roofing solutions, we have a big advantage because of Danpalon’s balanced LT and thermal properties. So, we believe that this will continue to be a very attractive market for us.
- We understand that you have taken bold steps, to prioritize the use of specification, as a tool for securing projects. Can you tell us a little more about this, do you have specially trained employees who take responsibility for this?
We find that in Mexico, construction companies often tend to manipulate or change specifications, in favor of cheaper but inferior alternatives. This is another reason, why we choose to focus on top architectural firms, as they often have the power to better retain original specification. As a part of our sales cycle, we place a heavy emphasis on specification, which is reflected by our company’s structure. We have a separate department that deals exclusively with the specification, our specifiers also operate at a high-level, which is reflected in their appearance and ability to liaise with top architects.
- We have seen the rise of Green building, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, as global trends in the architectural field. In what way, has this affected both your marketing and your technical efforts? (how have you or are you adapting to the trend)
The new trend is not only reflected in our segment of the market, but we also find that prospects looking at cheaper solutions are now also seeking ‘Greener’ solutions. The way in which our Danpal systems contribute toward satisfying the need for both natural lighting and thermal control, in a single specification, is definitely in our favor. Other issues such as savings in energy consumption, and the reduction of artificial temperature control, make a Danpal system an attractive alternative.
- Lastly, drawing from your experience over the past 10 years, what words of advice can you offer our other global partners who are also in developing countries? Sometimes unstable markets require a more ‘dynamic’ or flexible approach.
My main advice is to never abandon the essence of our Danpal systems, which is that they efficiently INTEGRATE several solutions for a project, into a single product. This presents a Danpal system, in total differentiation against our competition in the market. Which is why I say, that it is not valid to put to Danpal in the same basket, as traditional polycarbonate offerings. This has allowed DANPAL MEXICO, to not only survive but to maintain a strong growth trend.
I firmly believe that each country must develop its own strategy according to its culture, traditions and unique market conditions. The best specification, are those that at the end of the day, are implemented. This is to say that whether it is minimal, or vast and fully-developed if it does not find its way to the right professional in the project… the specification risks being changed.