An interview with Gonzalo Restini, Executive Director and Board Member of FMA Industrial.
In this conversation, we explore the importance of internationalization in the mining industry and how FMA has excelled in doing so. We will discover how the company has ventured into key markets, such as Australia, and how its partnership with AndesMets has contributed to its success. Gonzalo shares valuable insights on the challenges, opportunities, and role of collaboration when pursuing international expansion.
AndesMets: Gonzalo thank you for taking the time to share your valuable experience regarding FMA Industrial´s internationalization process with our readers.
Why was internationalization so important for FMA and how do you evaluate the experience so far?
Gonzalo: Internationalization was crucial for FMA; today global markets represent half of our business. Being able to expand our operations to 30 countries and establish solid relationships with key clients, like VALE in Brazil, show our commitment to being a globally recognized company in the industry.
AndesMets: Undoubtedly, internationalization has unique challenges. Could you tell us more about FMA’s experience expanding into a market such as Australia, which is considered key in the mining industry?
Gonzalo: Our process to start operations in Australia began in 2017 when we took part in a commercial visit organized by Endeavor. After that, we participated in the Queensland Mining and Engineering Expo in Mackay, where the opportunity to develop prototypes in collaboration with BHP presented itself. Most recently, we received an order from FMG, one of Australia’s leading mining companies, for our Electric Cable Handling line. This market offers excellent opportunities, especially in regard to electromobility and the need for reduction of environmental impact.
AndesMets: It’s impressive to see how FMA has managed to enter such demanding markets. What role has AndesMets played in this internationalization process?
Gonzalo: AndesMets has been a key player in our internationalization journey. We joined as founders because we found it extremely interesting to be part of a group aiming at finding synergies and mutual support to tackle the most demanding challenge for Chilean mining suppliers: entering the Australian market. AndesMets, along with Endeavor and other institutions, have been instrumental in facilitating meetings and providing us with data as well as the necessary resources to make this adventure a successful one.
AndesMets: We understand that internationalization presents unique challenges for mining, technology, and services companies. Which ones do you consider to be the main ones today?
Gonzalo: First and foremost, it is crucial to offer a differentiated and competitive product that truly makes a difference. Once you´ve achieved this, the biggest challenge becomes building an effective distribution chain that allows you to reach target markets, as well as providing an excellent post-sales service. The whole process requires dedication, effort, and having a team that is proficient in English. It is a process that demands substantial investment, requires a lot of patience, and where success is usually achieved as a mid and long-term goal.
AndesMets: Undoubtedly, collaboration and having support are vital in overcoming those obstacles. How has AndesMets contributed to the development of new international business opportunities for FMA?
Gonzalo: AndesMets has supported our company by providing us with tangible resources, organizing meetings, and networking. Their collaboration has allowed us to have access to new business opportunities internationally, opening doors and providing us with a platform for growth and expansion.
AndesMets: FMA has a specific focus on certain international markets. Could you share with us which markets those are and what is FMA´s strategy to approach them?
Gonzalo: Our primary focus is the Australian market. We recently appointed Equipment Placement as our distributor in Australia, and our Manager of International Expansion will be relocating to Perth from June until the end of the year to support this process. Our strategy revolves around our traditional products, with a special emphasis on electromobility, where we foresee significant growth potential.
AndesMets: Looking ahead, how do you envision the mining industry in terms of internationalization, and what role does FMA play in this context?
Gonzalo: We strongly believe that in terms of internationalization, a bright future lies ahead for the mining industry. There are great opportunities for Chilean suppliers to bring our technology and solutions into new markets. In the case of FMA, our future lies outside of Chile, actively seeking expansion and capitalizing on global-scale opportunities.
AndesMets: Undoubtedly, FMA is an inspiring example of internationalization success. How do you think AndesMets can assist other companies in this process?
Gonzalo: Without a doubt, the internationalization process learning curve is difficult and costly to navigate. The possibility of learning from the experiences of those who have already gone through it and having the support and backing from players like AndesMets, certainly accelerate the process, making it more cost-effective, and increasing the chances of success. In that sense, AndesMets plays a crucial role in providing guidance, sharing knowledge, and fostering collaboration among companies in this industry.
AndesMets: Finally, could you share what is FMA´s value-added offering for its international clients and how it differentiates itself from the competition?
Gonzalo: FMA is a specialized niche company in the mining sector. We have few competitors and we know them very well. Our strength lies in our ability to offer differentiated equipment that incorporates technology and innovation. Being 100% focused on the mining industry, we have a deep understanding of this business and can develop long-term projects alongside our clients. We firmly believe that this differentiation makes a significant impact and helps position us as a strategic partner for our international customers.
AndesMets: Thank you very much, Gonzalo, for sharing with us the valuable experience of FMA Industrial in the field of internationalization. Undoubtedly, your achievements and vision are inspiring other companies in the mining sector to seek opportunities in global markets. We wish you much success in your future projects, and we´ll continue to follow your journey closely.
Gonzalo: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. We are committed to continuing to drive growth and innovation in the mining sector internationally.