‘The Culture of Effort’: How Grupo Covix Endures and Thrives

Published: 2023-07-28

When a company remains in business for four decades, it must be resilient in the face of change. After all, over 40 years, technologies evolve, vertical markets rise and fall, and economic conditions fluctuate between expansion and recession. Thankfully for Grupo Covix, a technology integrator specializing in turnkey solutions, its founder, Carlos Alcázar Barragán, built the company to endure. Founded in 1983, Grupo Covix, which is headquartered in México City, México, has risen to be recognized as the country’s premier technology integrator, delivering outstanding outcomes for prestigious global clients. 

Here, Commercial Integrator explores Grupo Covix’s founding and development, as well as how it has reached new heights under the leadership of second-generation CEO Juan Carlos Alcázar. First, however, we offer this overview of the company: Grupo Covix, which has about 50 employees, specializes in professional audio and video integration, outfitting boardrooms, control rooms, auditoriums and digital-signage deployments. It also boasts strong competency in security solutions, particularly CCTV and access control. Although Grupo Covix divides its attention between the public and private sectors, it maintains a strict focus only on commercial applications. In addition to its headquarters, the company maintains a logistics center in Miami; a service office in Guadalajara, México; and a new office in Panamá City, Panamá, which serves as a hub for Central America. “We have interesting projects there, and we have very good plans for that office,” Juan Carlos says. “We expect this year for it to boom.” 

Grupo Covix is Born 

Alcázar Barragán, who now holds the permanent title of president emeritus, started his business in the ’80s as a computing engineer, selling mainframes to the financial sector. Later that decade, while traveling at a convention, he saw Electrohome products and immediately grasped the business applications of projection. “He was impacted by the fact that projection could not only be for cinema,” Juan Carlos states. In particular, he saw value for his existing banking clients, to which he was already selling mainframes. “He got engaged with the manufacturer, and he began representing Electrohome in México exclusively,” Juan Carlos recounts. That representation deal helped Grupo Covix establish itself in the AV industry. 

Initially, Grupo Covix worked to develop its expertise as a projection specialist. Alex Mendoza, director of strategic partnerships, reflects that, back then, integrating projectors was quite complex. To illustrate the point, he cites an important early customer: Telmex, the largest landline phone company in México. Working with American Video Communications, Grupo Covix undertook the rear-screen projection system that lay at the heart of Telmex’s control center for operations monitoring. “Back then, it was like a handcrafted job,” Mendoza reflects. “Every screen was made of a projector, which was sitting in a cradle.” Doing work like this burnished Grupo Covix’s reputation among potential clients. “[This work] was totally different,” he adds. “It was difficult. And, at that time, we were the only ones to do it in México.” 

FEATURED REPORT

This kicked off a renaissance for Grupo Covix, with the company attracting both public-sector and private-sector control-room projects. Juan Carlos refers to this work as “C4,” which stands for command, control, computing and communication centers. “We became the best-known control-room dealer in México,” he says with pride. In fact, if you Google “centro de monitoreo,” Grupo Covix is actually the number-one non-sponsored search result! 

Grupo Covix’s breadth of expertise is equally impressive. Recognizing that virtually every control room has a boardroom or meeting room behind it, the company established strength in those spaces, as well. Furthering that goal, Grupo Covix became an AMX and Crestron dealer. “We were the first AMX representatives in México,” Juan Carlos relates. “We brought the brand to México.” Upon achieving expertise in control systems, automation and other key elements of boardroom integration, Grupo Covix leveraged that strength to serve lucrative private-sector markets like financial services and telecom. And then, about 15 years ago, the integrator rounded out its skill set by leveling up on digital signage. It’s no wonder that Grupo Covix had the opportunity to join the exclusive PSNI Global Alliance back in 2018. 

Grupo Covix attracts many public-sector and private-sector control-room projects. In fact, if you Google “centro de monitoreo,” Grupo Covix is the number-one non-sponsored search result.

Second-Generation Leadership 

Juan Carlos, who took the reins of Grupo Covix as CEO that same year, earned the trust of his team by rising steadily through the ranks. He came aboard back in 2004, working in a sales-support role. When he became an account manager a couple of years later, Juan Carlos came to realize that he genuinely loved sales. He fully grew into the role, embarking on the difficult task of selling to government clients. And Juan Carlos found great success in doing so. Indeed, by the time he was promoted to sales director in 2009, public-sector work had grown to 70% of Grupo Covix’s sales — a number that has fluctuated considerably in the succeeding years as administrations and government decision-makers have changed. Juan Carlos’s ascent to a sales-leadership role, which presented countless opportunities to learn and grow, prepared him to one day lead the company. Upon earning the CEO title five years ago, he was ready to steer Grupo Covix to even greater success. 

One thing Juan Carlos will never modify, however, is Grupo Covix’s company culture, which he describes as cultura del esfuerzo, loosely translated as “the culture of effort.” He declares, “We really like to go the extra mile,” adding that this proud ethos comes directly from his father. When a client signs with Grupo Covix, they can be confident that an associate will answer the phone, even if it’s after hours; respond to a text, even if it’s the weekend; and be available for a conversation, even while on vacation. 

Juan Carlos describes some members of the 20-something labor pool as being from “The Crystal Generation” — that is to say, easy to break. He makes clear that, when Grupo Covix is hiring talent, leadership is upfront that team members will be expected to be selfless in pursuing excellent client outcomes. And cultura del esfuerzo clearly bears fruit. According to Juan Carlos, “There are end users who push for us. Why is that? Because they know we go the extra mile when it comes to service.” Telmex is a perfect example, having worked with Grupo Covix for about 30 years. And Juan Carlos shares an anecdote about AT&T’s first offices in México. When the pressure was on and AT&T’s CEO was coming the next day, Grupo Covix refused to point fingers when a problem arose; instead, the integrator invested its own capital to ensure the right result. 

The True Measure of an Integrator 

Although Grupo Covix’s revenue last year almost tripled the previous year, the company believes that the true measure of an integrator isn’t annual revenue or office square footage. Instead, the true measure is how a company responds when an unexpected event happens. Is the integrator there for you, in the trenches, standing shoulder to shoulder? For Grupo Covix, this is a way of life, and an ethos for doing business. This enduring approach crosses all markets, thus allowing the integrator to be elastic as conditions change. With government work on a downswing, Grupo Covix has become dominant in boardrooms and meeting rooms, thus capitalizing on huge demand for soft-codec conferencing solutions. It seems that every market challenge presents a fresh opportunity for the company to renew its commitment to unchanging core principles: effort, commitment and partnership. 

Reflecting on 40 years, Juan Carlos concludes, “We have grown as a company. We have been able to go down and get back up.” And, with his steady hand steering the ship, Juan Carlos is positioning Grupo Covix to continue enduring for many decades to come. 

To reach out to Grupo Covix, send an email to [email protected] or visit the company’s website: GrupoCovix.com. 

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East