Although they come from two different Latin American countries, 62-year-old Carlos Enrique Berreondo Quezada from Guatemala and 36-year-old Néstor Quispez-Asin from Peru ended up in Shenzhen because they shared the same dream: establishing a company in China to develop their own brands.
And their dreams have come true. They established their company in Bao'an district under the auspices of the prestigious Peruvian company and leading computer equipment wholesaler Grupo Deltron Perú. Their company, Shenzhen MicroSource Electronics Co. Ltd., is dedicated to the production of tablet computers and other electronic products. In recent years, the company has exported many products from its own brands.
The two entrepreneurs have one thing in common: both came from families whose businesses were in distributing electronic products, one in Guatemala and the other in Peru.
"Our company was born from our experience as distributors. Mr. Carlos's family runs the same business in Guatemala. They distribute computer products, so it's very interesting because both Mr. Carlos's and my family have had similar experiences through the years, and we have had the same dream to have a company here in China and develop our own brands," said Néstor Quispez-Asin, the company's managing director, who came to Shenzhen in 2016 to work for his family's business.
A brief company history
Berreondo Quezada, the company's CFO, was previously a public accountant and auditor. He graduated from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala, where he also once worked as a professor. After that, he devoted himself to business.
"In 1986, my brothers and I founded our first business, a family business in computers. The company is still running and has a history of over 30 years in our country. It can be said we are pioneers in computers in Guatemala," said Berreondo Quezada. He and his brothers were nominated as "Manager of the Year 2011 for the Association of Managers of Guatemala" in 2011.
As electronic equipment importers in Guatemala, they used to import products from the US. "At that time, we decided to take a leap to come directly to the place of production. So, we started coming to China in 1996. Since then, we have attended the Canton Fair in Guangzhou every year. That was how I got to know more about Shenzhen," the Guatemalan entrepreneur recalled.
In 2013, Berreondo Quezada had some discussions with his friend Néstor Andrés Quispez-Asin Serna, father of the young Néstor Quispez-Asin and CEO of Grupo Deltron Perúand the Shenzhen company. And they decided to open a factory in Shenzhen.
"Micro-components such as chips, motherboards, LCD screens ... everything that makes up tablet computers, the core of our work, are easier to find here. In addition, it is close to ports, may it be the port in Hong Kong or Yantian, for convenient cargo transport. Banking is also convenient and efficient, which promotes trade development. It's easy to do business in the Greater Bay Area," Berreondo Quezada commented.
A dream come true
Grupo Deltron Perúis a distributor of third-party brands, such as Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba, but is simultaneously developing its own brands. "Since I started working, our dream has been to create our own brands with competitive costs and excellent quality. So, we always wanted to come to China to achieve this goal," Néstor Quispez-Asin said.
The company in Shenzhen develops its own brands and also makes products for other Latin American brands. The company is committed to the design and production of tablet computers. "We have produced many different products for various entities, including governments, retail products, educational products and branded OEM products for other countries," Néstor Quispez-Asin said.
The factory in Bao'an mainly produces tablet computers, but it also entrusts other factories in China to produce other products. "For example, we entrust other suppliers to produce all these laptops, monitors and phones - whether they are smartphones or feature phones. So, we have two business types: one is in trading, and quality control and quality assurance for products of our own brands not produced here, and the other is producing tablets in this factory," Néstor Quispez-Asin said.
As time passes, the company continues to grow and has become a leader in several products in Latin America, especially in Peru. They have three main brands, including the Advance brand for tablets manufactured in-house, the Landbyte brand for basic phones manufactured with other Chinese suppliers and sold to South America, and the Teros brand for gaming products, including monitors, keyboards, mice, speakers, headphones and other accessories.
"The realization of our dream is a continuous process, but the numbers speak for themselves. We have exported many products in recent years. In Peru, we are leaders in some products such as tablets, monitors, gaming devices and other electronic products that we weren’t involved in before. We have been able to occupy a larger market share and are highly recognized in different market segments," he said.
They are mostly selling their brands in Peru, but since last year, they have started selling in other Latin American countries such as Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Colombia. "We are gradually expanding our own brands to the rest of Latin America," Néstor Quispez-Asin added proudly.
How the pandemic affects business
Like other businesses, the company has also been affected by the pandemic, but in a more positive way. In 2020 and 2021, when the whole world was quarantined, more office workers and students had to stay at home to work or study online. As a result, more electronic products were needed. In fact, the company manufactured double or triple their normal production amount of previous years.
According to Berreondo Quezada, since the pandemic began, they had to readjust their strategies and make new agreements with their customers and suppliers. "There were delivery delays and sometimes even penalties, but our overall the situation has been relatively good over the last two years. It has been a two lucky years."
However, with the recent lifting of pandemic control and prevention measures in other parts of the world, the demand for tablets, laptops and other electronic devices has decreased. This has led to a slowdown in business in recent months.
"That's why Shenzhen's latest lockdown in February and March had little impact on us because we had already exported most of the products our clients had ordered," Néstor Quispez-Asin said.
For Berreondo Quezada, all this is normal in business. "I think this is temporary. There are always ups and downs in business, and we will rise again. These are common experiences in business development, but we will stick to it, regardless of wind and rain," he said very calmly.
The Greater Bay Area: optimal place to live and work
For both entrepreneurs, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has many advantages, such as excellent infrastructure, an unparalleled supply chain, close proximity to ports, high-tech industries and high production efficiency. It is also a convenient place to do business and live in, which generates a lot of confidence among investors.
"The products exported here account for nearly 20% of China's exports. Economically, this area gives investors confidence with its infrastructure at railroad and city levels. The airports are getting better and better, and the ports are expanding. These make it convenient doing business in the area," Berreondo Quezada commented.
According to Néstor Quispez-Asin, the biggest advantage is that it is very convenient to do business in the area. "It is very practical because it's very easy to find suppliers. There is a network of friends and acquaintances in the industry, so you can always find your way around easily. Before the pandemic, there were many technology fairs that provided networking with many different companies and factories. We are very close to most of our suppliers in Guangdong, and we only have a few suppliers outside of Guangdong."
Despite rising labor costs over the years, China remains an attractive place for them.
"Although times have changed and labor is getting a little more expensive, China is a highly productive country. People here like to work, and sometimes, they even think about work before personal matters. Compared to other countries, China’s production is very efficient, and that’s the great thing about China," Berreondo Quezada said.
Néstor Quispez-Asin added that Guangdong’s work culture, taking Shenzhen speed as an example, allows them to close deals easily and quickly. "One of the greatest blessings here is our Chinese employees, most of whom are extremely honest and hardworking team players focused on the company's goals. That's not easy to find in other countries and cultures."
In terms of living, Néstor Quispez-Asin said that Shenzhen is a very livable city. There are spacious sports venues, fun places for expats and a circle of international communities. "In addition, you always meet enterprising people who want to improve their skills in language, dancing and other hobbies."
Having lived in Shenzhen since 2013, Berreondo Quezada said he already feels like he's Chinese. He was deeply impressed by Shenzhen's changes over the years. "Today's Shenzhen is a completely different world. It has changed a lot. In the past, there were not so many buildings. It was more agricultural back then, with a lot of fields in this area. Now, you can see a lot of trains and a lot of infrastructure. The city has undergone earthshaking changes in a very short time," he exclaimed.
With his son and grandchildren living in Shenzhen, he feels good here. For him, life in Shenzhen is very comfortable. "Security is a key advantage of this area. China is a very safe country to live in. I feel very comfortable and happy living and working here. I am developing various projects at work," he said happily.
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