Idaive Contractors Inc.
Héctor Sánchez, founder, president and CEO of Idaive Contractors Inc. (ICI), built a strong career in Puerto Rico’s construction industry. Sánchez worked for HB Zachry International (HBZI), an American construction firm over the course of 20 years. “I started out as a workman and ended up leading the department of engineering in northern Puerto Rico,” he explains. “In 1997, we had a commitment with a number of pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer and Merck.”
When the company was unable to continue working on these projects, HBI negotiated with clients to transition the contracts to Sánchez. He purchased the materials and equipment from his former employer and put his coworkers to work. When the projects were complete, Sánchez had built strong relationships with his clients. His performance on these projects gave ICI a head start in the construction industry. The firm soon grew to become a major competitor in the territory’s commercial and industrial markets.
For more than 15 years, Sánchez and his team have built a reputation for quality work on complex projects throughout Puerto Rico. Today, he employs approximately 100 highly skilled employees working in cooperation to accomplish innovative contracts for commercial and industrial clients.
“We try to take our engineering and administrative departments and keep them together, creating more of a family nucleus,” Sánchez explains. “That goes beyond just the work on a particular project. We try to retain this core so that when a client needs our service, all of our focus and efforts are ready for them.”
Client service and satisfaction are priorities for ICI. Sánchez’s clients include private companies, such as pharmaceutical businesses, state projects, refineries and petrochemical companies, as well as federally funded projects, such as public sector work on new schools. These diverse contracts all require attention to detail, safety and time efficiency. In order to maintain a high level of performance, Sánchez and his management team have to control cost, scheduling and quality.
“We are trying to keep the business fairly small,” Sánchez notes. “We have an average of 100 workers, because of the unstable economic situation the country is in. It is better for us to try to control and maintain 100 families safely than to try, unsuccessfully, to maintain 300 families and look bad. We have employees who have worked with us for 10 to 15 years. We do all we can to retain their loyalty and skills in this environment.”
A strong portfolio
By focusing on quality control and safety, Sánchez and his crew have built up a large portfolio of projects for commercial and industrial customers over the years. Clients trust ICI to have the skills and experience necessary to pull off major contracts that come with unique challenges. The company has established lasting relationships with suppliers and strategic partners that are dedicated to helping ICI get the job done right and on time.
Recent work includes a project for Puma Energy. “They had a refinery that exploded and we are participating in reconstructing it,” Sánchez says. “We are also working on the facility’s fire system to help manage and prevent incidents in the future.”
Other ICI current projects include site work at the Antilles High School on the military base of Buchanan, Puerto Rico. “This is a federal project,” details Sánchez. “Also on the public end, we recently finished the modernization of Lola Rodriguez de Tio School.” The school is located in San German, Puerto Rico, and is a government project from the Authority for Infrastructure Financing of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (AFI).
ICI has a large backlog of work for the coming few years. Sánchez maintains good relationships with former and current clients in the pharmaceutical industry and sees potential in the growing health care market. “We like projects that are related to human health,” he notes. “We are always doing projects with Pfizer and other pharmaceuticals in Puerto Rico.”
This backlog will help ICI remain stable in an otherwise volatile market. “Our intention is to proceed with caution,” Sánchez explains. “This industry is fairly dependent on what the government of Puerto Rico is going to do. We are always looking for ways to diversify in case there is a drop in the pharmaceutical industry. We need capabilities to fall back on in the public and private sectors.”
Government policy and economic trends are of concern for Sánchez and his team. “I would say around 50 percent of the Puerto Rican economy is influenced by construction,” he notes. “To keep that going, we need businesses, particularly the pharmaceutical industry, to keep investing in new plants and facilities. We hope that our government sees this and will adjust our resources to be more attractive to this industry.” With cautious optimism of Puerto Rico’s private industry growth, Sánchez is looking forward to taking on new opportunities with Idaive Contractors Inc.
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