The second generation of small ACERO INOX, also known as Acero Inoinless Agroindustria, is represented by Diana Pons Salamanca, a young psychologist who has taken the reins of a purely family business. This company specializes in the manufacture of kitchen equipment and industrial machinery, as well as furniture made of stainless steel.
“We are five siblings, and since we were young, we got involved in my parents’ business, which had its beginnings in the late ’80s renovating kitchens,” Ponce said.
Since he was studying in high school, he devoted a lot of time to the company and more when it became the source of income to pay for his college studies. “My job was from polishing and cleaning, making quotes, and visiting customers to learning how to draw and design products, and taking measurements,” he says. When he decided to dedicate all his effort to the company, he obtained a master’s degree in business specializing in e-commerce in order to increase sales.
He explains that the growth of the company went through formalization in order to be able to provide services to large companies because, in principle, their customers were micro or informal companies, because their main products were kitchens, plates and ovens.
“In order to participate in the tenders, I was fully involved in the formalization, and to do that we got a lot of support from the foundations and NGOs that support mype, in principle with Vital Voices. They gave great support to create an export business plan, we participated in tours business, and they connect us with customers, restaurants, and businesses that need specific products,” Pons said.
Later, they were introduced to CONAMYPE and in the Women and Business program in 2015, they received training in developing prototypes and products, how to promote them, and how to formalize the company.
Also in 2018, we were selected to participate in a business accelerator called We America with USAID and the University of Arizona Thunderbird, which ran for two years, an aid that helped us improve in all areas such as production, finance and marketing,” he added.
Since 2010 they have made a change when they saw new business opportunities: “We also started manufacturing stainless steel furniture for kitchens and hospitals, we created the ACERO INOX brand and it made us grow even more.” In addition to the product, the choice to design everything was a value proposition that was not well covered.
Diana Ponce has a clear mission: to grow the company and make itself known, and she will do so by implementing online sales and export. “I am self-made, but at the same time I asked for the support of experts. With a good team and full support from my husband and family, I can do this. I have received such support and this is important.”
He is currently working on an export plan with COEXPORT and CENPROMYPE has supported him to set up the platform and conduct online sales. “Also as part of the accelerator program, We America has been very supportive of us to make investments so that we can have a digital catalog. We received money from CONAMYPE so that we can do this and from Impact Hub, which provides us with the platform and we have to ramp up products, prices and payment methods. It’s something We’re working on it.”
This note was originally published in Issue 165/Sep-October 2021
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