Theprofessional of the month of this edition is Colombian, his name is Álvaro Salazar, technical manager of research and development of Pintunal, and a human being with extensive experience in the business.
by Duván Chaverra Agudelo
An experience of 26 years in the chemical sector, of which he has dedicated 20 to the coatings industry give him the necessary endorsement to be recognized as an important player in our sector in Colombia and Latin America.
We are talking about Álvaro Salazar, who currently serves as technical manager of research and development of Pintunal in the city of Medellín, and who is also the current president of the Association of Andean Technicians in Coatings, STAR.
Alvaro is married and the father of two 19-year-old twins. His family has always been a support and a vital motivation to fulfill his goals and purposes. His passion for his work balances it with his hobbies such as cycling, swimming, listening to classical music and boleros and watching football from all the leagues of the world, especially watching Deportivo Independiente Medellín, the club of his loves. In addition, "in my free time I like to watch films of all genres and in terms of culture I love to attend the theater. What I remember most about my childhood was the love my parents gave me and the great ethical values they instilled in us. What I like most about myself is the discipline and perseverance with which I take on all the challenges of my life, what I like least is that I am very anxious and want to execute everything immediately and not wait to postpone things."
Our guest is a professional who has taken advantage of all the opportunities that life has given him to prepare professionally and stay updated in an industry that constantly demands innovation. This chemist graduated from the University of Antioquia had his first work experience in Interquim S.A. company dedicated to the manufacture of resins derived from formaldehyde, there he worked nine months in the position of laboratory manager.
In January 1991 he traveled to Australia, where he initially studied English and completed two diplomas: one in instrumentation in chemistry and another in quality control; worked six months in labor practice as an instrumental chemist in an Australian state company called EPA (Environment Protection Authority), then spent thirteen months in a food company called Frutex Australia as a chemist in quality control; in 1994 he obtained his Australian citizenship, which allowed him to link up with the state sector for three years in the company Telecom Australia as an instrumental chemist.
After that experience, Álvaro returned to Colombia in 1996 when he joined the company Invesa, where he spent fourteen and a half years holding positions as head of quality control paintings and technological leader of paints. "In May 2011 I traveled to Bogotá and there I linked with the company Pinturas Bler playing the position of technological leader of paints and coatings, then in October 2013 I returned to the city of Medellín and I am currently linked to the company Pinturas Nacionales, as technical manager of research and development."
The Professional of the Month has a clear goal and that is to continue encouraging the implementation of products that contribute to the care of the planet, in addition to continuing to prepare to design new technologies. "My professional goal is that the products I develop for the industrial sector are recognized in the market for being environmentally friendly; change the mindset of the end user that the best performance and application properties can also be obtained with water-based coatings. In five years I see myself doing a master's degree abroad on smart coatings."
In that same sense he added that "I have had the experience of researching the vast majority of components in the paints and coatings industry, both architectural and industrial, in recent years I have specialized in designing industrial coatings from anticorrosive to finishing systems to serve different sectors such as marine, structures and tanks, tools, bodies and auto parts, floors, demarcation, containers and cylinders, heavy and agricultural machinery, etc. The research that has marked me the most in my professional career and the one that has given me the greatest satisfaction is the development of water-based alchemics".
The Colombian market
With respect to the current state of the Colombian market, our guest has a vision focused on which he recommends the sector to open up with greater outside to other markets other than the architectural, which is very competitive and saturated, according to his experience:
A "product must be developed before it is necessary, since by the time it is necessary, it is very late, I begin with this reflection to explain that the Colombian market is still very architectural and every day there is greater competition among all the painters, breaking the sale prices, in such a way that they sacrifice their profitability, in the industrial sector there may be greater cost/benefit and solvent-based systems have to migrate to water-based systems, making applicators aware that they may have equal or superior performance properties. Companies have to be prepared with products of this technology since not having them may be too late to be competitive. The growth prospects of the industrial paints sector depend a lot on the reactivation of the oil sector and the stabilization of the dollar since the vast majority of raw materials are imported."
Similarly, Álvaro Salazar provides some recommendations on how to give greater added value to products, taking into account the current economic landscape: "Companies in the current situation have to be very flexible with their formulations and have raw materials contratypes and very functional substitutes. The key to giving greater added value to products in the current situation is to give the consumer integral solutions, both in product design and in the application, with excellent technical advice; you have to have a deep knowledge of the needs of customers, to give an effective response to their requirements, to the timely delivery of products and services of optimal quality and individualized attention".
Finally, our guest explained that to be competitive in an industry like this you must become very recursive, make the impossible possible and always be developing new and innovative things. "Innovation is something that every business values and wants to achieve; what one person considers innovation may be considered by another person as product or process development," he concluded.