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Fernando Grisales and his 30 years of entrepreneurial tenacity in Grivan Ingeniería

Fernando Grisales y sus 30 años de tenacidad empresarial frente a Grivan Ingeniería

Colombia. A Mechanical Engineer by profession and a native of Cali, Colombia, Fernando Grisales shares his impressions of the first three decades of his company, Grivan Ingeniería.

"The anniversary celebration was held at the beginning of March to take place in the new warehouse, recently built to be our headquarters. I wanted to talk and I froze, I was overwhelmed by emotion and I started to cry. It was a deep feeling for the twenty years we were in the old headquarters and for the attachments that appear when one lets go of certain things to take an important step towards others," says Fernando, smiling.

He then reflectively states that during these years, his company has always managed to grow, even in the most critical times. He also recalls that he founded it in the garage of his father's house, paying rent for that space to his mother.

"I started in 1994 and the first global crisis came in 1998. Times of crisis are often challenging and occur every four, eight or 12 years, in my experience. I don't know if there's any rule that determines it that way. I remember that hard crisis in '98 and it went well for me. In the 2012 crisis as well. During the pandemic we made little profit but we did not have losses in sales, while other companies lost, were left in a stalemate or closed," he says.

- Publicidad -

Grivan, today
As commercial manager of Grivan Ingeniería, Fernando values the strength of the HVAC industry, despite the constant ups and downs of the market. It is currently working in the field of food and pharmaceutical logistics, with excellent results.

"People are surprised because my first business project arrived at the age of 30, without having gone bankrupt. During my toughest year I earned COP $200 million (about US $51,500) and last year about COP $28,000 million (more than US $7 million), reaching 80% of the commercial goal," he says.

Grivan Ingeniería has a portfolio of more than 500 clients in Colombia and has a presence in the country through four offices. Fernando directs the company's destiny together with his wife Luz Marina, whose support is considered by him a valuable and fundamental resource.

Asked about the main milestones of the organization during these years, he first mentions the situation that meant the departure of his brother from the company.

"The most shocking event was the separation from my brother. I felt an impressive fear and there were days of sitting and thinking a lot on the edge of my bed. At that time I was very surrounded by my wife and brother who encouraged me and convinced me to continue. That's when my wife started working with me," he says.

Later on, more pleasant milestones would come. Among them, winning the tender for Bogota's El Dorado International Airport, as well as several important logistics centers. Also, of course, Grivan's participation in the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) project.

"When I do El Dorado, LAN Chile puts the cargo terminal out to tender. At that time we had opened the commercial operation in Bogotá and it was run by Ximena Gómez, who currently works at Daikin. It's great to be able to say thank you to people like Ximena, to Mauricio Baena, who is currently at Advansor, because I have an impressive affection for them. However, the jewel in the crown, because of the significance of the project for humanity, was made at CIAT, where we took care of absolutely everything related to refrigeration and air conditioning. I even had to study what cold beams were," he recalls.

- Publicidad -

What's next
Fernando and his team are working on several projects, one of which seeks to strengthen the CO2 line within Grivan Ingeniería.

"We want to work on CO2 for the retail sector with Epta, while in the industrial sector we are going to work with Advansor. We are looking to catch up with the developments of large companies such as Daikin and we also want to venture into natural refrigerants. We are doing this with our supplier Frigus Bohn, from Mexico," concludes Grisales.

Álvaro León Pérez Sepúlveda
Author: Álvaro León Pérez Sepúlveda
Editor - Latin Press, Inc.
Comunicador Social Periodista egresado de la Universidad de Antioquia, con más de 14 años de experiencia en medios periodísticos y proyectos de comunicación digital. [email protected]

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