Year-End Greetings to My Colleagues at Grupo Salinas
At year-end, it’s always a good idea to take a moment away from our day-to-day activities and reflect on what we have achieved together, to prepare ourselves for an uncertain future, and to visualize our new challenges and opportunities for improvement. Although the winds have changed, we’ll adjust our sails as always, and nothing will stop us.
Nothing Will Stop Us
The coming year will undoubtedly be complicated. First of all, we have to take into consideration the “Trump Factor,” which doesn’t exactly favor global stability. The White House will probably decide to end NAFTA, which could create enormous uncertainty and seriously affect all three member countries, especially Mexico. Despite the opinion of the populists, both to the left and the right of the political spectrum, free trade has been good for industry and consumers throughout the region, increasing their competitiveness on the world market.
Secondly, if the United States approves its fiscal reform, Mexico will be much less attractive for investors, at least relatively speaking. If that happens, federal, state, and local governments will have to make an important effort to cut public spending. Unfortunately, as I have said before, the government spends a great deal and spends it badly.
Let’s just look at the federal budget for 2018, which totals Mex$5.3 trillion, the equivalent of Mex$10 million per minute. Faced with colossal sums like this, citizens ask themselves what they get in return for their taxes. Unfortunately, not much. We’re missing the most important thing: security and justice.
The third risk factor for 2018 will be the political skirmishes typical of an electoral year. This always creates uncertainty and volatility, particularly when the campaigns go “dirty,” not focusing on viable public policy proposals to improve families’ lives.
Despite all this, at Grupo Salinas, nothing is going to stop us. We are hard workers and we’ve forged a history of continual improvement, and as always, we’ll be prepared to meet any challenge. Ours is a course that challenges adversity. Here, we always see challenges as opportunities for improvement and growth.
At Grupo Salinas, nothing is going to stop us. We’re hard workers and we’ve forged a history of constant improvement.
Today we have an outstanding leadership team: agile, robust, and made up of committed, motivated people, willing to write new chapters in an extraordinary history. I’m aware of the challenges, and I don’t underestimate them, but the road already traveled and the obstacles overcome allow me to be a rational optimist.
We are seeing more and more business opportunities, and what I see as our most important limitation is not financial capital, or difficulties in our surroundings, but rather human capital. That’s why, for me, the task of enriching this strategic asset has become just that: strategic.
Inclusive Prosperity for a Better Society
Having said that, with an eye to the future, we must create Inclusive Prosperity, so “everyone can do well”: our associates, customers, suppliers, investors, and the different communities where we operate. This Inclusive Prosperity includes the following components:
- Economic Value: Offering our customers the best quality products and services in the most competitive conditions. This lets us create new businesses and jobs in the seven countries where we operate.
- Social Value: This means creating and strengthening the capacities in society needed for improving it, plus creating the conditions needed to generate prosperity and wealth in the communities where we work.
- Environmental Value: Every economic activity intends to create greater welfare for society, but, by definition, transformation has an impact on the environment. We are obligated to mitigate any negative effects it may have.
We want to create a better society for all. In the end, you can’t take it with you; that’s why we must leave our children a better country and future generations, a better planet. Working for the well-being of thousands of communities in an enthusiastic atmosphere is an enormous privilege that fills us with pride.
Speaking of challenges, I find that we need to strengthen our culture for collaboration and of action-based values. They guide our activities; they’re like a lighthouse, without which our ship will flounder on the rocks. Among these values are:
- Honesty. Making sure that what you think, what you say, and what you do are consistent. This integrity turns you into a person who can be trusted. It’s impossible to work with dishonest people.
- Execution. This is a form of honesty because it simply means “I do what I said I’d do.”
- Trust and Mutual Respect. We need to project trust and generate respect. This is also fundamental for having productive teams in which people contribute their ideas.
No human enterprise can prosper without a basic set of values. This is applicable for public life also; we can’t demand honest public officials if we don’t practice this value ourselves.
Profit Chain, Work Environment, and Teamwork
To consolidate this “island of prosperity” that is Grupo Salinas, we need to maintain a harmonious workplace. We must begin by having a good working environment and strengthen our interpersonal relations, because that’s what has made everything we have achieved possible. We want to make our companies a place where everyone wants to work.
We need to preserve a harmonious workplace and strengthen our relationships.
Teamwork is fundamental for reaching our goals because we need everyone focused on our main objective, which is serving our customers well. We have to remember our Profit Chain, where a happy associate, focused on serving the customer well, results in a successful business with satisfied shareholders and satisfied suppliers. Reinforcing this Profit Chain will let us consolidate all our businesses’ success.
The future belongs to those who don’t settle…and act.
At Grupo Salinas, we can and must feel proud of what we have achieved together. Nevertheless, we can never settle: the future belongs to those who don’t settle, and who are willing to work constantly to improve their surroundings.
The future belongs to those who don’t settle and are willing to improve their surroundings.
We still have a lot to do. And it’s a good thing, too, because living intensely requires always having new challenges, goals, and horizons. In this group, we create more and more businesses, more companies, more products and services, more jobs, and more opportunities for every one of our associates.
I want to personally thank you for all your efforts, talent, professionalism, and dedication in 2017. I wish you, your families, and everyone who participates in this space, reflection and peace during the holidays, prosperity in 2018, and personal growth in the years to come. The challenges we Mexicans face today are big, but the strength of our spirit is much greater.