What was it about Chihuahua that made a world-renowned company like Honeywell decide to set up operations there? Without a doubt, its hardworking people in management and on every level.
The people there recognized the opportunity presented with Honeywell and rose to the occasion by providing outstanding quality services. This quality is still highlighted today by companies from a variety of industries in the region, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics.
However, Mr. Lara Armendariz knew that this high-quality human talent wasn’t found only in Chihuahua, but all across Mexico. So, he began exploring other regions, like the State of Nuevo Leon, where he sparked a significant mindset shift in industry.
“It would be a good idea to bring maquila companies here because there are high levels of unemployment,” Mr. Lara Armendariz said one day to an industrial businessman in the region.
The businessman looked at him strangely and responded, “What do you mean unemployment? We are at almost 0% unemployment.”
To which Mr. Lara Armendariz answered, “I think that number doesn’t include women.”
And the businessman said, “You’re right. My statistics are incomplete.”
Shortly after this conversation, the maquila industry expanded to the State of Nuevo Leon.
This was how Mr. Lara Armendariz began expanding the Group’s services to other parts of Mexico, such as Tamaulipas, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Queretaro, and San Luis Potosi, regions that all offered many benefits to industry.
Currently, American Industries employees are 50% male and 50% female—achieving total equality.
Mr. Lara Armendariz has long been a strong advocate for industrial integration and cross- development in Mexico, working with the government to provide opportunities for employment, development, and growth across the country through investments in education and infrastructure. Mr. Lara believes that Mexico is a very rich country with a highly resilient population, and when things aren’t working, something’s got to change—it’s that simple.
But what is it that makes Mr. Lara Armendariz, American Industries’ Chairman, such an exceptional leader and businessman? Indeed there are many qualities, but one of the main ones is his business mind that never rests.
I remember a Christmas party where I sat with Mr. Lara Armendariz, and when the raffle started, and my name wasn’t coming up, I began to lose hope that I would win and stopped paying attention. Then suddenly, I heard my name over the music and commotion.
“Did they say my name?,” I asked the people at my table.
In the background, my coworker in charge of the raffle said, “Now we’re going to raffle off a wine refrigerator.”
To which I responded, “I won the wine refrigerator?”
Mr. Lara Armendariz, who hadn’t missed a thing, said to me, “Yes, you were one of the winners, but you won a pizza oven, not the wine refrigerator,” to which he immediately added, “If I were you, I’d go talk to the person who just won the wine refrigerator so you can partner up and start a trattoria.”
When it was just sinking in for me that I had won a prize at a raffle, Mr. Lara Armendariz was already seeing business opportunities!
The humility to ask when there’s a question, adopt best practices from other places, a willingness to learn, high expectations for himself and others, a love for his country, optimism, honesty, a love for work, equal opportunities for men and women, a team mindset, and more than anything, the constant belief that anything is possible. These are just some of the values of American Industries’ Chairman, Mr. Luis Lara Armendariz.
Without a doubt, he is the ideal partner for success not only for all Mexicans but Mexico as a country and foreign companies looking to start up operations in Mexico.