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To improve a company is to improve a country

altconcerned about study and research but much more about teaching his knowledge and contributing to the growth of his country, the Guatemalan Javier Castillo has forged his academic and work career based on talent, rigor and trust in the people he surrounds.

by: María Cecilia Hernández

In this edition Inpra Latina had the pleasure of interviewing Javier Castillo, general manager of the Celco Group in Guatemala, one of the most important companies in that country in the paints sector, who will accompany us in our Professional of the Month section.

Castillo confesses himself faithful to God, respectful of his neighbor and professes an enormous love for Guatemala, the Central American country in which he was born on June 20, 1976. He proudly speaks of his four children: "They are my greatest achievement, they have been and will be my most valuable life engine and for them every day I strive to be a good example of life."

Today, Javier Castillo can narrate with satisfaction how he has traveled his way to get to where he is, a path with more achievements than stumbles and full of satisfactions accumulated by a job well done. But there is a before and after in the life of this almost surgeon and qualified industrial engineer.

A change of goal
Each new stage that our Professional of the Month lives means for him an experience full of learning and opportunities.

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"I studied high school in a militarized school. I received a bachelor's degree in science and letters and the Office of Second Lieutenant of Reserves, this stage of my life helped me to value how important discipline and teamwork are to meet objectives, "says Castillo.

In 1994 the aspirations of our engineer flew through other airs, he entered the University of San Carlos de Guatemala and began a career as a doctor and surgeon, but this study meant a very high economic and time investment for him, because at that time he needed to start earning money to pay for his expenses and those of his family.

"Because of the need to dedicate myself to a lucrative activity, I had to retire from medical school three years later. But the knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry learned there contributed me to the life activity in which I now work and which ultimately constituted the basis of my present and my future. In 1997 I started in the same study center the career of Industrial Engineering, becoming a professional six years later, "recalls Javier Castillo.

While pursuing his studies as an engineer, Javier dedicated himself to working at Celco de Guatemala S.A. He joined the company as a Quality Control Supervisor, a position for which he was trained and trained in the area of formulation and product design.

There he had the good fortune to find people committed to the training of their employees and aware of the importance for the company of the professional preparation of human resources, and for that reason Javier was able to continue studying.

"Parallel to my studies as an industrial engineer and my work at Celco, I entered the Galileo University to study as a Bachelor of Business in weekend plan, a career from which I obtained my professional degree in 2004 in a satisfactory way," says Javier.

Without waiting for time, in 2005 this hyperactive young man decided to do the Master's Degree in Operations Research at Galileo University. I completed this postgraduate course with academic honors Magna lauden in November 2006, he says.

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altRising career
Javier Castillo has shaped his professional and working life into a single company that he considers home. "Since I joined Celco I obtained important training for the development of my vocation, in principle I held the position of Quality Control Supervisor, in which I achieved contact, support and training in the development of new products with paint manufacturers and resin suppliers from various countries: Spain, France, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica", says our Professional of the Month.

More important than all the knowledge that Castillo acquired over time in his company, was the application and the utility he gave to each new learning. "I never kept that knowledge just for myself, because with each new learning new products emerged, with this we were increasing the range of the Celco offer and we managed to cover the demand for products designed to suit the requirement of the users. This type of research-based processes led us to consolidate the Celco Group as one of the most important companies in paintings in the Central American region," explains Javier.

The great talent and dedication of this professional did not take long to highlight and attract the attention of the company's directors who did not hesitate for a second to promote him as Head of Paint Production, a position in which he managed to considerably increase the demand for products, "I owe it to the great care we put into the quality of production", Says.

Thanks to his success in that role, at the age of 26 he was appointed as Operations and Plant Manager, there he had about 60 people in his charge and the responsibility of managing all the operational activity of the company.

This is how the engineer recalls: "In that position I had the satisfaction of having designed and participated in the commercialization of new formulations of paints aimed mainly at the industrial and architectural sector; I could notice that each development became a new product of great demand in the Guatemalan market and we developed products of great acceptance in other markets such as El Salvador, Cuba and Mexico".

At the head of the company
In 2008 the company achieved a growth in production of 300%, and that was the reason that the directors of the Celco Group had to fully trust that Javier Castillo was the right person to occupy the position of General Manager of Celco Guatemala S.A.

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"I accepted the position as a challenge to contribute to the growth of the company in which I have trained all my life. I assumed it with great expectations. From there, and together with an excellent team, we have been able to develop the strategic plan for the incorporation and acceptance of our brands in Guatemala; we participated in the iso 9001:2008 certification process and were certified in October 2009. Likewise, we have worked on the design of growth and consolidation strategies in the foreign market, "says Castillo some of his achievements as general manager.

One more achievement for his rising career has to do with the appointment he obtained last year as President of the Guild of Manufacturers of Paints and Coatings of Guatemala (Grefap), formed in February 2009 by the ten most important companies in the manufacture of paints and coatings in Guatemala, with the aim of discussing important issues for the market and the factors of high impact for the sector and society in general.

The vertiginous rise that Javier Castillo has had and the successes that are observed in Celco have not only been his work, he himself tells us like this: "The keys with which we have grown are based on having a solid team, putting special care in the financial order to honor debts and liquidity management and we have implemented quality as a way of life and work, quality is a way of doing things for us."

Our Professional of the Month does not stop updating himself for the benefit of his company and his personal growth, he is currently studying a Master's Degree in Political Science at the Rural University of Guatemala, and all this has a clear objective: "My vision of life is to contribute to the improvement of my beautiful country, as long as life and time allow me".

Author: Vanesa Restrepo

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