The Professional of the month this time is Mario Zito, director of MED Termomecánica S.A. in Uruguay, who represents the Merco Sur region.
by Duván Chaverra Agudelo*
Mario Zito is a man who has dedicated his entire life to the air conditioning business in Uruguay. Today, at 46 years of age, he has managed to position his company as one of the most important distributors of equipment in his country and with new goals for the coming years.
For his leadership and dedication, the Montevideo native has earned an important place within the HVAC industry more than enough reasons to be recognized as the Professional of the Month of the 5th edition representing the Southern Cone region.
Mario is a Mechanical Industrial Engineer at UDELAR (the State University), he is the founder of the company MED Termomecánica S.A. for more than 22 years, dedicating his whole life to this company of which he is currently its director, and which has its headquarters in Montevideo and a branch in Punta del Este. The group also has a subsidiary in Asunción, Paraguay.
His first work was related to industrial thermal conditioning and from there he has always been linked to HVAC. "The field is something very special and I am sure that I will be linked to it all my life, I do not see myself working on anything else," said our guest.
His persevering and optimistic mentality has allowed him to earn a name as a professional running his company. Mario delves into the reasons for his recognition. "I think that in Uruguay our company changed the traditional concept of HVAC company. In the past, companies imported, represented, maintained and installed. If you wanted to install a certain brand you could only turn to your importer. Our company was born and grew with that same line of work, but several years ago we opened a new business area that is responsible for the distribution of equipment with a very complete 'line up'. That changed the traditional rules of the market and allowed us to grow. We also believe that in a very competitive market, sometimes I would even say wild, we manage to maintain an ethical code of business conduct with which we feel calm and satisfied."
Family has been the most important factor in his life and the engine that helps him move forward. Mario is married and the father of three children. He considers himself a great follower of football sport that follows with his team the Peñarol. He practices football and in recent years he has been playing tennis at the same time, another of the disciplines that he enjoys practicing in his spare time.
After achieving a good position in Uruguay, Mario Zito's goal now is to expand his market, work he is already doing in Paraguay and which he intends to consolidate. "The company is consolidated in Uruguay, it is one of the leading companies in the market, however, you have to have new projects to avoid entering into static processes. We are also very focused on growing the Paraguay project, which finally after the first difficult years is going very well."
Another challenge as a leader that this entrepreneur always has in mind is to maintain teamwork, since he considers it a fundamental pillar in the process of strengthening a company. "Our company is the people who compose it, when we forget that we are a team the problems begin. We must always try to get out of the day to day and project ourselves in the own expectations of the people who work with us, the opportunities for personal growth and training of them are the key to our development. That's what we're working on and it's our biggest challenge."
The market in Uruguay
Mario recognizes the evolution that Uruguay is experiencing with the arrival of new technologies in air conditioning much more efficient and that make their contribution to the care of the environment without neglecting the optimal performance.
"Historically Uruguay was a market for cold water and rooftops. In the last ten years inverter technology began to be used, first it was japanese VRFs, today, from a minisplit to a magnetic levitation centrifuge, the customer always analyzes the inverter option. Energy saving and sustainability have also led to the implementation of energy recovery alternatives; multipurpose, VRF heat recovery, rooftops with economizer, chillers with partial or total recovery, systems with free cooling, etc, "said the Professional of the month.
However, it is necessary, as in the rest of the countries of the region, that governments regulate the activity much more strongly. "Everything has happened from the private initiative and it is essential that the Government is involved in generating clear rules that lead the market towards energy efficiency in the HVAC. So far public initiatives have been very timid," he added.
Regarding the future of the business in his country, Mario mentions again the inverter technology as an option that is here to stay for a few good years in the market. "Inverter technology is something that is here to stay, and a couple of years from now I imagine that everything will be inverter in an air conditioning unit, from the fan motor, to the compressor, as it already happens in some equipment. But I think companies will need to be more robust in the electronic part. Latin America will be able to move forward as an open market and will have to remove obstacles to keep up with technological changes and advances."
Finally, Mario Zito, shares an anecdote that left him many lessons: "When the VRF arrived in Uruguay, we were very critical and analyzed all its defects, we fought against that technology. But the market led us to adopt it, and to value it, today our company is always open to new developments and we have been the gateway to Uruguay of several technological advances. That experience with VRF taught us a lesson in changing our business strategy for new products and technologies."