Marcelo was born in Monterrey and spent part of his childhood in Puebla before coming back to Monterrey to complete his education. He studied for three semesters at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL). However, after his third semester he made a trip to Europe and upon his return he decided to find a degree program that focused on Foreign Trade. The only such program that existed at the time was “International Studies” at UDEM.
He told us about the main challenges that he has faced: “I think the main challenge is finding your path and a balance between what you want and the opportunities that present themselves to you. It was very clear to me that I wanted to do a master’s in international business in Europe and then go back to Mexico to provide consultancy in International Trade, but the opportunities that arose led me to make other decisions and take another path. I can’t say whether this was better or worse, it’s just that the opportunities took me along a different path than I wanted. The curious thing is that they took me to a very similar destination.”
He has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. In August 1999, he started a Logistics business which would, initially, provide storage, inventory control, and local transport services to Mexican companies selling products in California.
The name of his company is Source Logistics and it offers the infrastructure platform of distribution centers (technology and transport) so that any company can set up distribution in the United States. “Some of the services that we offer are storage, inventory control, labeling, order preparation, fulfillment, e-commerce, and digital printing as support to the marketing and transport supply chains. This is done through distribution centers in en Brea, Chicago, Hawaii, Houston, Laredo, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Portland”, Marcelo told us.
The project arose from various motivations and decisions he made throughout his life: “It is a long story, but to sum up, the education that I received at UDEM, my job at Bancomext and then in Exports at Topo Chico and Lucas, when these companies had just started to break into the US market, led me to provide export consultancy services together with another ExaUDEM, Wendy Escobedo. There, when he were giving consultancy to one of the clients, they asked us to import the product ourselves, so that we opened a trading company in Laredo, Texas, which was operated from Monterrey.”
Some time later, he went to Los Angeles, with an idea to start operations and grow their sales in that market. There, they discovered that the logistics companies they were using did not understand the way Mexicans do business and they did not understand the Hispanic market either. So, together with a cousin and a friend from Guadalajara, they decided to open a 2-thousand square meter (21527.82 square ft.) warehouse to start operations with Palmex Alimentos and Alimentos Matre (Dulces Lucas).
He also shared with us the key to reaching success: “Detect a need in the market, focus on a niche and be the best in it, build from there (the niche) outward to grow in other markets, ally yourself with reliable, capable people.
His company has received recognition from various organizations: “We have been awarded prizes as a fastest-growing company in the United States. We were also named in the book “Smile Southern California, You are the Center of the Universe” which mentions companies created by foreigners and which have had an impact on the growth and economy of California. For three years, we have been acknowledged by the “LA Business Journal” as one of the 100 fastest growing companies in the LA county. We have also been given recognition as the “Fastest Growing Company” of the Latin community by the “Latino Business Chamber of Commerce”.
“My main achievements have been creating a company, which resulted from an idea scribbled in a napkin, in a foreign country with a different culture, and employing 200 people directly and more than 300 temporarily or indirectly; seeing that someone applies for a job at our company, be it a forklift operator, or a high executive with many years of experience; having formed a renowned, stable company that people want to join and which provides the livelihood and jobs of many people; helping the community and leaving a legacy. In other words, the fact of improving the present for many families, who in turn will provide a better future for many others,” Marcelo said with pride.
“A few years ago I had the opportunity of visiting UDEM’s facilities and just seeing what it has become, the number of students it has, the new programs it offers, the international programs it runs, its links with the world, makes me very proud of being a part of it. I think it is the same principle I was talking about, the fact that UDEM arose from an idea or initiative that a group of people had and that it grew into an institution that has touched the present lives of many people, thus improving the future. I am proud to be an ExaUDEM”, Marcelo stated.