By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Raúl Beyruti Sánchez is Mexico’s quintessential self-made man.
His first job was that of a janitor in a printing factory in the coastal state of Veracruz, where, at the tender age of 15, he worked to pay for his high school studies and to help out with expenses at home.
Three years later, he made the monumental decision to move to Mexico City, where, once again, he took on a job as a factory worker so he could study at nights at a modest university for a degree in public accounting.
Next came a Master’s Degree in fiscal law and administration at Mexico’s National Bar Association.
And, finally, in 1981, at age 23, Beyruti Sánchez opened his own company, GINgroup, a multi-faceted, integral accounting and personnel administration service that would eventually grow into Mexico’s largest and most comprehensive human resource and outsourcing firm.
Today, the 62-year-old native of Atlixco, Puebla, is the president and CEO of the group, which has expanded to include a vast portfolio of financial and insurance services, medical facilities, sports clubs, restaurants, vacation options and even funeral homes.
And with a 25 percent growth in earnings in 2017 and a projected 25 percent growth for 2018, Beyruti Sánchez and his GINgroup show no indication of slowing down any time soon.
Last year, the conglomerate logged 25.5 billion pesos in revenues, compared to 20.2 billion pesos in 2016, and GINgroup’s target for this year is 30.5 billion pesos.
“What we do is offer a fully integrated human resource service for corporations, from scouting to payroll, which allows them to reduce the vicious cycle of revolving-door employees, which in turn cuts costs and ensures production continuity and quality,” Beyruti Sánchez told Pulse News Mexico.
“Because we provide better benefits and protections for employees, they are less likely to want to leave their jobs and look for positions where the grass is greener.”
How much less likely?
Beyruti Sánchez said that it depends, of course, on the particular sector, but he did offer two examples:
In the case of the security services sector in Mexico, he said that the usual turnaround for employees over the course of a year is nearly 100 percent.
Security firms that have contracted GINgroup’s turnkey services, on the other hand, have an annual employee turnover of about 25 percent.
And in the IT sector – where keeping employees faithful is crucial to protecting trade secrets – Beyruti Sánchez said that the usual annual turnover is about 20 percent, compared to around 4 to 6 percent for companies enrolled in the GINgroup program.
The secret to GINgroup’s success is simple: Keep employees happy and they will not stray.
Having experienced the lot of an average Mexican worker firsthand, Beyruti Sánchez knows what matters to workers.
“The most important issues for an employee, in addition to his or her salary, are health services, education opportunities, physical fitness and building a patrimony that will ensure them a comfortable retirement and something they can pass down to their families,” he said.
“We offer all four of these to our workers through our medical facilities, scholarship programs (GINgroup even has its own online university that is due to become a brick-and-mortar school later this year), sports centers and savings and retirement plans.”
And that is where GINgroup’s ever-broadening range of products and services comes into play.
“I see my companies as cyclically integrated,” he explained.
“They are all interrelated and feed back into our main service, human resource management, which accounts for about 95 percent of GINgroup’s annual revenues.”
Beyruti Sánchez said that no company can function at its full capacity without a qualified and dependable workforce.
“Mexico has an abundance of available workers, but when you start needing qualified, trained workers, you can run into problems because the supply begins to dwindle rapidly,” he said.
“GINgroup helps in analyzing and selecting qualified personnel so that corporations can focus on quality and production and not be worrying about finding the right people to fill their positions.”
But not every company in Mexico sees things as clearly as Beyruti Sánchez.
“Unfortunately, there are still a lot of companies that don’t appreciate how important it is to have good workers and to have happy workers,” he said.
Beyruti Sánchez said that regardless of what services or products a company may offer, at least 51 percent of their success depends on their employees.
“Employees are, quite literally, the backbone of any industry,” he said plainly.
Beyruti Sánchez’ employee-focused philosophy has paid off so well that GINgroup now dominates about 40 percent of Mexico’s human resource outsourcing market, more than any other firm, including international entities.
GINgroup has also begun to expand beyond Mexico’s borders, with branches in Bogota, Columbia, and Houston, Texas, and projected offices in Peru, Chile, Panama and Canada later this year.
“We have to tweak our model in each case to adapt to local fiscal regulations and policies,” Beyruti Sánchez said.
“But, in each case, we have done our homework and can adapt to whatever needs to be adjusted to provide companies with our unique integrated human resource services.”
Still, despite GINgroup’s global expansion, Beyruti Sánchez is primarily focused on Mexico.
“Mexico has a lot going for it, but there are still a lot of obstacles to overcome,” he said.
In addition to the seemingly endless labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape and corruption, Beyruti Sánchez said that there is a desperate need to create new and better job opportunities.
“Each year, there are an additional 1.2 million Mexicans who join the country’s workforce, and only about a million new jobs added,” he said.
“We have to fix this.”
For his part, Beyruti Sánchez has set up a program within GINgroup offering all of its 8,000 employees free schooling to complete their primary, secondary and high school educations, plus scholarships for university and postgraduate studies.
“Education is the key to success, both for the individual and the country,” he said.
After all, it was education, hard work and perseverance that helped Beyruti Sánchez become a major mover and shaker on the Mexican business scene and GINgroup to be listed among the 100 most important companies in Mexico by Expansión magazine and the 20 most important companies in Latin America by Forbes Centroamérica.
Helping workers to have a better future and helping companies to improve their bottom line through a more qualified, dependable workforce is, as Sánchez Beyruti sees it, a win-win for everyone.
And Beyruti Sánchez certainly knows all about winning.