By Melisa Ferradini.
Daniel Galván is 48 years old. 19 years ago he left his job to start his own. This is how La Roca Marmolería y Pinturería was born on August 1, 2002. His life was spent in the Lazareto neighborhood with his parents Heriberto and Teresita and his brother Carlos. He went to kindergarten at Colegio Sagrada Familia and elementary school at School No. 1. He took the electronics course at UTU for three years but did not finish it. He has 6 children, Sebastián, Diego, Facundo, Dahiana, Matías and Thiago. His work beginnings were in construction, then he joined Ferretería Caroní where, through customer service and training in the field, he gained experience. He toured many countries taking courses on color in large paint companies and marketing on the subject. He currently carries out his personal endeavor together with a human group par excellence that would not have been carried out if certain people had not trusted him and the work team that has accompanied him for so many years.
-What encouraged you to start this business and how is it working?
-In the beginning it was all very unexpected. It was a proposal from people from Montevideo. I worked in Caroní hardware store and we were just experiencing the crisis of 2002 and a company in Montevideo trusted me and proposed to open a paint store. After running this business, an important marble company called me from Montevideo. Everything went to the lungs and thanks to these people who trusted me and gave me everything. The company that I have today I owe a lot to these two companies that trusted me, Sinteplast and Pavisur. The 2 managers of these companies Álvaro Bodega and Guillermo Rojas were the ones who drove me to have my business 19 years ago. Today, despite the pandemic, we are working very well. These 2 years have been the best despite the situation.
-Would you like to invest in a similar facility in another area?
– I have a physical place and the workshop. That takes a long time. It would be very good but that takes time. The theme is always on the mind is to get the staff and make the time one. Right now mine is lunging. I’m going to place allowances, it seems to me that this already has a vision more of an entrepreneur than of a worker. I am simply a worker who got lucky.
-What has been the policy of your company in relation to the incorporation of new items?
– We started with the paint shop and then we added the marble work. The painting part was always my thing, it was what I dedicated myself to in my old job. The issue of the marble industry was given by the insistence of importers who wanted to bet on having a branch in Salto. The truth has been the best thing that ever happened to me. Today the business is 80% marble and 20% paint shop. What we do the most is street work. You arrive with the allowance, you incorporate the subject of painting to the people and you already advise them. People like you to go to their place. Have an interview in your space. Advise them.
-What have been the sales strategies during the pandemic and what are your expectations for the future?
-No one expected that situation. It was a very big uncertainty. At that time, I think most of the companies in Salto thought we had to close. The truth. There I went out to talk to the people who were doing works. Go out to chat with them. With people in the middle. Architects, builders, etc. People who had a job but who had the same uncertainty as me. And I told myself this is the time to build and get things done. It was not known what was going to happen in months to come. No one knew what was going to happen. At that time I had the stock, I had the people and I wanted to work and that was the time to do it. You couldn’t stand still. There were many housing cooperatives that wanted to do the work that they had the money and that benefited us to continue working. Thanks to this work in conjunction with the cooperatives that indicated their work, we continue. Also in the pandemic, when people stayed in their homes, they began with repairs in their homes. To paint to fix details. That also helped us with the painting issue.
-How is marble working in our country, are they local products or do you work a lot with foreign products?
-95% of the products come from abroad. That I am sure. In our country I think I know that there is only one quarry where national black granite is extracted. This quarry is the one that supplies all the marble factories in Uruguay. Today what generates labor is expensive, there were many quarries in our country but they were disappearing for that reason. Most of the material is brought from Brazil, Europe and also from China. What is worked the most are products that are brought from abroad.
-La Roca has been in the market for 19 years. What balance can you make of these years?
-The balance is one of a lot of sacrifice, a lot of tears and a lot of sweat. Always trying to do things well and correctly. Always good with humility and having the right people to work with. My staff has been with me for a long time and we are like a family.
-The marble work is of great artisanal content. What staff do you have for this?
– From the beginning, the specialized personnel were few people. There were not many people who worked stone and few who wanted to work with me who was just starting out. The staff is with me from the beginning and in turn taught others who have joined us. Not only did they work with me but they have been teachers of others. Today they are excellent marble makers.
-What activity do you like to do in your free time?
-I really like going to the gym. It clears me up a lot and deals with other people and you don’t talk about work. It relaxes me a lot and does a lot of good for me physically and for my mind.
By Melisa Ferradini.