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"I am passionate about this industry"

Being constant, reliable and with continuous creation of solutions, are some of the reasons why Demetrio Viejo, director Avilaire Air Conditioning and Professional of the month Andean region.

by Duván Chaverra Agudelo

Demetrio Viejo is a renowned businessman from Venezuela who throughout his life has fought to get ahead, to make his company one of the most recognized and for the HVAC / R business to continue growing in his country and throughout the region.

His experience and leadership has earned him recognition as the Professional of the Month of our second edition of 2015, so it is worth getting to know the professional man, leader and family man more thoroughly.

- Publicidad -

Demetrio was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1960, arriving in Venezuela at six months of birth. He is a graduate as a University Technician in Civil Construction and as he says "I acquire and continue to acquire my knowledge in air conditioning and refrigeration through the continuous study, research and experience of the field that I am passionate about, nothing like focusing on the study of something you like and love". 

In 1985, at the age of 24, he began activities in the industry. The company with which he started was Tecfrica Refrigeración C.A., which he joined within three months of being founded. At that time the activities carried out are typical of a company that starts, in a branch unknown or little explored at that time in the industry that was the repowering of semi-hermetic and open compressors of refrigeration and air conditioning, "becoming one of the pioneers of that activity in Venezuela, the activities carried out for that moment are typical of a company that starts and that also explores in an unknown market, where only the 'feeling', the confidence in oneself and the desire to undertake can guide you on the horizon, "said the professional. 

Within months he became a shareholder and director of the company together with Víctor García, later, due to the import needs of parts for the activity carried out, they entered the world of compressor spare parts with the subsequent expansion of spare parts for the entire sector, getting involved in its marketing, import and distribution. In 1991 they ventured into the world of air conditioning systems, becoming one of the most important distributors of the Carrier brand in Venezuela, and in 1993 they saw the need to expand their radius of action; it was at that time that he was presented with the opportunity to buy Industrias Vemar, a contractor company with a trajectory for that time of 25 years in the air conditioning and ventilation sector, a company that Demetrio took over as president until 1999.

"This company that becomes my real school, with a wonderful staff with years of experience with whom I discover in detail the world of large-scale installations, with this company we execute countless ice water systems, from its project, programming,  installation and after-sales service", explained the executive. 

After all this experience, in 1999 comes the foundation of his own company. "I leave the Tecfrica group and found together with my partner Arturo Crespo, the company Avilaire Aire Acondicionado, which I currently direct, a company that with its continuous search for customer solutions, dedication, innovation, quality of work, a great human material (care but the best in the sector), its ability to adapt quickly to changes in the sector, it has become an industry reference."

Our guest knows that constant learning is key in an industry like this to always be attentive to the continuous technological changes proposed by the dynamics of the sector. "I am passionate about this industry, I can not stop studying it and expand my knowledge in engineering, market, automation, trends, marketing, its impact on the environment ... in short, an interesting amount of different topics and continuous renewal that makes one stay focused on the sector, that is small with respect to others, but its continuous information through professionals, fairs, bibliographies, engineering data, information from the different manufacturers, the continuous search for solutions to customers, that you get a new world in each work, that's like being in the big leagues without being," Demetrio explained.

- Publicidad -

Like any professional, he is clear that this sector is full of challenges, fears and expectations, which he describes below: "Challenges: to be better every day, I am my main critic. Fears: that those who trust me will stop doing so. Goals: professionally, to promote the company to its internationalization and achieve the best levels of quality and demand that make it a benchmark in Latin America".

Your employment relationship

As a leader, the Professional of the Month is clear that accompaniment and teamwork are key to the success of any company, so he recognizes with appreciation the performance of his work group. 

"I have always been proud of our staff, I look for commitment, discipline, good chemistry in interpersonal relationships, honesty, respect. I recognize the work in the company of each of the employees and workers, for me it is important to respect everyone from the drivers, cleaning staff, mechanics, engineers, etc. The law of screaming is forbidden, that is out of time. There is a reason why our staff is very low turnover. Human material is the most important thing in a company."

He also added that "our collaborators and subcontractors, we see them as allies, most of them have maintained relations with me for 10 and up to 20 years; we always reach an agreement on the works to be carried out and we seek that they are committed and that they have an excellent technical knowledge".

The Venezuelan market

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Taking into account the political and economic present of Venezuela, what better opinion than that of Demetrio to know how the HVAC / R market is behaving in that country, both technically and economically.

"The market in Venezuela is of continuous changes, every four months the rules of the game change, with it the market vision; that is why one has to adapt as quickly as possible and see it with a good attitude, take it as part of your work and always be aware of the next change to happen, the issue of the political and economic environment must be a source of daily information and with it read the difficulties of each company in the sector, know what impact it will have on us and what opportunities it will create for us. Being creative, knowledgeable  and open to change is fundamental to working in crisis," said Demetrio.

In the technological aspect, the changes are not alien to the Venezuelan industry. "Climate change, new refrigerant gases, automation and control, have given the industry a 180-degree turn in both technology and ways to provide solutions to different projects. Venezuela has not escaped from this and important changes are observed in terms of customer needs for existing buildings that we must update as the new ones. For example, 90% of new projects seek automation in their processes, which was not the case years ago."

As for the future, Demetrio's vision is based on the constant renewal of the industry. "This contemplates substitutions to the existing and additionally Latin America is to be built, so there may be difficulties in the economies of different countries, but there will always be opportunities in the sector, in fact I believe that in our sector once the company passes the three years of incorporation remain in time; I have no statistics of it, but I have perceived it,  we are few with much to do. What you do have to prepare for is to provide solutions and thus have opportunities."

Family and sport

Finally and returning to the daily life of Demetrio Viejo, we must emphasize that he is a man married 27 years ago with Sandra and has two children: Ileana and Luis, students of systems engineering and production, respectively. He has several hobbies and, obviously, is a follower of the sport, a fan of Real Madrid in football and Magallanes in Venezuelan baseball.

"I like to travel and I do it frequently. As A Hobby I like cooking, I have become famous with paellas and rissotos cooked in charcoal outdoors lol. I haven't stopped playing soccer, softball and baseball since I was a kid. With my son I play soccer and softball, I also manage an AA baseball team and I remain as a director of the Criollitos de Venezuela Corporation in Miranda state, dedicating myself to facilitating the activity of minor baseball in children between 4 and 17 years old. "

Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Author: Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Jefe Editorial en Latin Press, Inc,.
Comunicador Social y Periodista con experiencia de más de 16 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por la tecnología y por esta industria. [email protected]

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