Building trust

Washing up brushes from Mexico gaining ground in Germany

Carcal is a Mexican family-run business with an over sixty-year history that specialises in the production of cleaning brushes. The colourful washing up brushes, scrubbers, nail and toilet brushes have ensured cleanliness from Mexico to Australia for many years now. Since recently, they can also be found in Germany.

This is the work of Laura Elena Ruiz Lopez. At the end of 2013, the 28-year-old export manager and granddaughter of the company founder participated in the Manager Training Programme for Mexican managers in Germany. “I find it a shame that we didn’t come to Germany any sooner,” says Lopez. “Somehow, our products are German, as all our production and packaging systems now come from Germany.” Indeed, Carcal has invested ten million euros in modernisation of its systems alone in the past six years.

Despite this, it was not easy to get a foot in the door in Germany, Lopez continues. They above all had to battle prejudices towards Mexican quality. During business meetings, she had to work hard to persuade potential clients and build trust in her company and products. “The fact that the economics ministries in our countries support the programme and the participants are selected with care was like a quality seal for our products.”

Following successful negotiations with wholesale company TEDi GmbH, she was able to secure a contract for the supply of washing up brushes. The qualified economist estimates the supply volume at low six figures by the end of 2014. They are also in talks with other buyers, such as the wholesalers, HAST group International GmbH and Edeka. Without the negotiation and presentation training she received in Germany, the talks would not be such a success, Lopez believes. And with her new knowledge of the quality and certification requirements, she is able to secure deliveries to Germany in the long term. This is not only in her own interest though.

“The programme allowed me to build trust in our products. And I help enhance Mexico’s image as a reliable business partner in the process,” says the 28-year-old export manager.