- Founder and CEO, SANLUIS Corporación S.A. de C.V (Automotive Parts)
Born Mexico City, Mexico, 1937. BSc. Engineering, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1958); MBA, Harvard Business School (1961).
“A company is not made solely by one man. He alone cannot be the leader, the visionary, the one making contacts, the one who opens the doors and establishes the course of the company.”
Antonio Madero, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Sanluis Corporación S.A. de C.V. (now Rassini, S.A.B. de C.V.), frames his interview in terms of the broad political, financial, and economic context in Mexico during the 1980s and 1990s. After graduating in 1958 from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México with a BSc in Engineering, he was admitted to the Harvard Business School and graduated with an MBA in 1961. Seven years later, after several promotions at the US-based chemical company DuPont, he was offered the position of Director General at a small Mexican mining company called Peñoles. He retained that position until 1978, when he left to invest in other sectors, but eventually turned to automobile parts—a sector in which Mexico aspired to compete on an international scale—in 1985 when Mexico joined the World Trade Organization. With the clear goal of establishing an auto parts business built on superior technology, innovation, high quality, and superior service to customers, he established a Research and Development Center in Plymouth, Michigan, and shortly thereafter began to export to Jeep, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. Madero describes in the interview how he successfully navigated the global financial crisis in 2009, which left two of his major purchasers, GM and Chrysler, bankrupt. In 2013 the Sanluis Corporación S.A. de C.V. received the Supplier of the Year award by GM, the only Mexican company to ever to do so. Madero attributes much of his success to his education, which inspired him to create the Fundación México en Harvard in 1989, which has allowed more than 800 students to attend Harvard from Mexico. He also discusses how he played a role in the creation of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard in 1994.