Volume 15 | Issue 2 | Year 2012

Any time, from any location within Mexico, clients can call on Grupo Marhnos for their building needs. “We don’t have a particular setting,” notes Jorge Cerrilla, business development director for the company, which specializes in the construction of industrial, infrastructure, real estate, and housing projects. “We can adapt ourselves perfectly to the needs of any client, and with our own resources we can offer built-to-suit projects in any particular place in the country.”
Closing in on 60 years of operations in the Mexican market has given Marhnos a competitive edge in the construction business. “Given the experience we have, we’re able to offer additional value to our clients,” explains Cerrilla. Employees at the company share ideas regarding projects with clients, offering efficient delivery plans and cost-saving solutions.

Throughout its years of existence, the company has constructed approximately 20 million square feet in industrial buildings. This ample coverage, coupled with its longtime standing in Mexican has enabled Marhnos to form a solid financial standing in the market. “This strong financial position reflects, in large part, the infrastructure projects that we have been involved in, where we have invested close to 5 billion pesos,” says Cerrilla. The company also has capital of more than $100 million (USD) invested in the real estate sector. It recently formed a joint venture with Prudential Real Estate Investors, with the goal of investing in light industrial projects during the next 10 years.

NEARLY SIX DECADES OF SUCCESS
Marhnos first began operations in 1954 as a general contractor. During its initial years, the company constructed buildings in Mexico City; over time, it branched into other areas of the country, including Acapulco and Hermosillo.

During the 1970s, Marhnos began expanding into the industrial construction sector in Mexico. “We started taking on more complicated and sophisticated projects, but always as a general contractor,” notes Cerrilla. During this timeframe, the company built a number of buildings along Paseo de la Reforma, the main boulevard in Mexico City. It also built the U.S. Embassy quarters in Mexico City.

Soon Marhnos was taking on projects to construct office buildings, hotels, industrial buildings, and housing complexes. It then branched into the area of infrastructure, building roads and carrying out drainage projects.

During the 1990s, Marhnos began taking on highway projects in Mexico, and also built a toll highway in Guatemala. Around the same time, the company was granted a project to build two water treatment plants in the city of San Luis Potosi. “By this point, we had a business that focused not only on construction, but also on design and operations,” explains Cerrilla. Soon the company branched into the area of built-to-suit projects, building distribution centers and other industrial centers for companies throughout Mexico. In the following years Marhnos expanded once again, this time into the realm of real estate and housing.

Today the company has four divisions: Construction of industrial and commercial buildings; Public Private Partnership projects (PPP’s); Real Estate and Housing. Main offices for the company are located in Mexico City. Approximately 500 employees carry out daily tasks for the group.

In the area of infrastructure, the company has completed more than 370 projects, including wastewater treatment plants, hospitals, universities, office buildings, convention centers, and parking garages, among others. It has constructed 3,500 kilometers of roads, highways, freeways, bridges, and urbanizations.

For its industrial division, Marhnos has completed more than 150 projects in a wide range of industries, including the automotive, casting, and food and beverage industries. It has built warehouses, silos, distribution depots and centers, and cold and dry storage rooms and warehouses, among others.

For its industrial projects, the company can undertake a project 100 percent, starting with the groundbreaking and seeing it through all the way to the installation of equipment. The company has carried out many design-build projects for companies in various industries.

In its real estate division, Marhnos has finished more than 140 hotels containing 20,000 rooms. It has also carried out more than 85 residential projects, representing 16,000-plus housing units.

In addition, the company has completed more than 65 office buildings, more than 20 hospitals, and 50-plus shopping malls.

In 2010, Marhnos partnered with Turner International, a global company that works on more than 1,200 projects each year and maintains $8 billion in annual construction volume. The association has benefited Marhnos in terms of expertise and experience. “This joint venture focuses on large and complex commercial, industrial and critical facilities projects,” explains Cerrilla.

In each of its divisions, Marhnos centers its operations around four guiding values: integrity, discipline, commitment, and leadership. Under these core values, the mission of the group is to develop integral products and services in the areas of construction, infrastructure, real estate and housing, offering solutions in terms of function, time, cost, and quality for both the government-
directed infrastructure projects and for companies in the industrial and commercial segments of the construction industry.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
The market in which Marhnos currently operates is valued at an estimated 120 billion pesos. To continually increase its market share, Marhnos maintains a strong internal focus on the training and retention of its workforce. “Human capital is really what makes our company run,” says Cerrilla. The company also has different procedures and processes it uses to monitor its current projects, including a Continuous Improvement program. “This program is based on lessons learned from previous projects that we’ve carried out – we take notes of the experiences we’ve had and capitalize on those, both the achievements we want to repeat and the mistakes we want to avoid in the future.”

The company’s commitment to society extends beyond mere economic matters; it also embraces the environment and community, notes Cerrilla. Marhnos is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, and currently has four projects underway that will receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. It has also received recognition for its efforts in the area of social responsibility for the fifth consecutive year from CEMEIF and AliaRSE, two Mexican organizations centered on philanthropy and raising awareness of socially responsible companies.

When it comes to safety, Marhnos implements standards that go above and beyond the basic requirements in Mexico. “In our safety process, we’ve incorporated OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards,” explains Cerrilla. The company has OSHA-certified engineers that offer on-the-job training for workers in specific projects. Marhnos has also received platinum certification from the Contractor Safety Assessment Program, a program designed at Harvard University and used to recognize companies that have demonstrated outstanding safety performance.

Marhnos has had recent projects with between 3.5 and 4 million accident-free man hours. “This data reflects our standards and real commitment regarding the safety of our workers,” notes Cerrilla.

In the coming years, the company has plans to continue growing and increasing its market share in sectors where Marhnos already has a presence. The company also foresees the development of other core business segments. “We want to grow – not just in terms of bigger sales, but also by increasing our efficiency rates, offering better safety programs, and ensuring strong deliveries to our clients,” concludes Cerrilla.