Cementos Progreso is a Guatemalan company with more than 100 years of history
Leadership and discipline, essential for success
Jose Raúl González, CEO of Progreso for 12 years, is a faithful believer that leadership and discipline are essential for a company such as the one he leads.
This has allowed them to stay in the market for more than a century, being one of the main cement exporters in our region. In addition, they are leaders in the export of hydrated lime, a high-quality product that adapts to the different conditions and needs of the industry.
Its export history began in 1899
In 1899, Carlos F. Novella founded this company. An engineer recently graduated from a university in Belgium, he arrived in Guatemala with a great vision and, with a lot of effort and motivation, he took on the task of introducing a product like cement, which was previously unknown and which before then, nobody wanted.
For more than 123 years, this great company has survived more than one pandemic and two world wars.
“You must build your competitiveness on your strengths and advantages. We have defined what we call differentiating capabilities, which are our source of competitive advantage”, said Jose Raúl González, CEO of Progreso, with great pride.
Guatemalan products worldwide
Thanks to exports, Guatemalan companies such as Progreso are breaking paradigms and for Jose Raúl González it is a complex task, but with which they have achieved the purpose outlined in two ways:
They have positioned Guatemalan products in the international arena for their quality, but they have also managed to transform the image of their country and its people, so that the world can see the true nature of Guatemalans.
Progreso has several lines of business and products aimed mainly at the construction industry. Their main product is cement, but they also produce ready-mix concrete, lime, and paper bags for packaging their own products.
They are exporters of lime to Central America, the Caribbean and the north of South America. In addition, they have ventured into the energy industry with which they have become pioneers in the export of electrical energy to Mexico.
“The volatility of the industry has allowed us, at times when there is excess production capacity, to be able to place both the cement and its raw material, which is Clinker, in other markets such as Belize, Honduras, southern Mexico and now Colombia. So, the company has had a, let’s say, tradition of being an exporter” affirms Jose Raúl.
Adapting to circumstances, the secret of Progress
For a company like Progreso, with so many years of history, it can be difficult to sustain itself in the market. However, they have had to face many paradigms and obstacles, for example introducing cement, which was a new product and that nobody knew about. They have also had to navigate the opinions of those who see them as an old company.
“A company that is 123 years old, generally some people mistakenly see it as old, they see it as walking with a cane, like a dinosaur. But the disappearance of the dinosaurs occurred because they could not adapt to the circumstances. As Darwin says, the species that last the longest are not the strongest, they are not the ones that are best adapted”, asserted Jose Raúl.
This ability to adapt is what has led Progreso to be one of the pioneering companies in the export of cement in the region. It is a company that is the result of the vision of a great businessman like Carlos F. Novella. For this reason, they created a business unit called Progreso X, with which they promote innovation, both internally and externally.
“Industries in Guatemala have a lot to be proud of, because it is perhaps the best kept secret that many of them operate under world-class standards. We have proposed to place the products that Guatemala produces, both nationally and internationally according to quality, to the service that each of our consumers demand and deserve.”
Ambassadors of the Export Movement
The Export Movement Guatemala Beyond Expectations, aims to position the advantages that our country has to be a business, tourism and investment destination that manages to exceed consumer expectations. Progreso has become one of the Movement’s most important ambassadors.
The CEO of Progreso, with pride and impetus, reveals his enthusiasm for this company to be the founder of the “Guatemala Beyond Expectations” Export Movement.
In this regard, Jose Raúl González affirms “For me it represents an enormous honor and responsibility because we want to change our country for the better and we want to show it with actions and not just with words.”
“At Progreso we have a transcendent purpose, which is to build the country we all want to live in together, and it is precisely this purpose that motivated us to participate in this Movement, since from there we can promote and position Guatemalan industries and products throughout the world, and ensure that they are recognized for their quality and business technique”, indicated González.