Looking good on paper: From first to second generation in Mexico

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Agustín Anaya, CEO - Founder, Papeles y Conversiones de México (PCM), Paper producer, Mexico

Agustín Anaya is one of Mexico’s most successful entrepreneurs. He’s set up over 15 ventures in his time across a variety of sectors including construction, but his first and greatest love has always been the paper industry. 

The business he founded in 1993, Papeles y Conversiones de México, or PCM, is now the third biggest producer of paper rolls in the world and the second on the American continent. It also has market-leading positions in other products such as labels. 

Agustín’s strategy has been to grow his business, and ensure its resilience, by vertically integrating his operations across the whole production chain – for example, within the corrugated materials area, from waste pickers and paper manufacturing to corrugated sheets and cardboard box manufacturing. PCM has eight plants in Mexico and one in the US, with plans for three more. And the strategy is working: PCM grew by around 33% in 2015, and they’re on track for a 40% growth in sales in the current year.

Agustín Anaya and his son Cesar

Agustín Anaya - Founder PCM, and his son Cesar.

The most important challenges Agustín sees are not outside the company, but inside. PCM will soon face the challenge of moving from the first to the second generation, which is always the most difficult for any family firm to negotiate. It’s the moment when a start-up becomes a family business, and when the original entrepreneur has to hand over control to children who may not have the skills, or indeed the interest, to carry on.

“I passionately want this business to stay in the family,” he says, “and I had hoped my three sons would all want to take it on, but at the moment only Cesar is interested in pursuing a career in the company. The other two want to pursue other interests, so I need to be very careful how we manage the transition, because if my other two sons decide to sell their shares, the company will be taken over by outsiders.” With this in mind, Agustín has instigated a formal succession process, which will define the roles of each of the three sons going forward – two as owners, and one as owner-manager. This is running in tandem with a number of initiatives designed to formalise the way the company operates. “We need to institute robust corporate governance, and establish clear processes and policies. This will ensure we operate in a proper professional way, with both efficiency and transparency. This will inspire confidence in our shareholders, and ensure good communications between the family members. As part of this we’re already holding monthly operational meetings with the heads of all the departments.” 

Contact us

Dr. Peter Bartels

Global Entrepreneurial & Private Business Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 40 6378-2170

Peter Englisch

Global Family Business and EMEA Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 201 438 1812

Siew Quan Ng

Asia Pacific Leader, Entrepreneurial and Private Clients, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 6236 3818

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Contact us

Peter Englisch

Peter Englisch

Global Family Business and EMEA Entrepreneurial and Private Business Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 201 438 1812

Dr. Peter Bartels

Dr. Peter Bartels

Global Entrepreneurial & Private Business Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 40 6378-2170

Francesca  Ambrosini

Francesca Ambrosini

Family Business Client Programs, PwC United Kingdom

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