Lucio Baldo has always been fascinated by how the world works. Throughout high school and university he sought opportunities to get hands-on experience wherever possible, working a variety of different industries—ranging from commercial construction, an electrical apprenticeship, and prototyping to fabricating agricultural machinery, overseeing construction projects at a remote uranium mill, and oil field services.
Of these experiences it was his time at FIMA Maschinenbau GmbH, an industrial centrifugal blower and compressor manufacturer in Germany, that sparked his business idea. After four years at that company, he decided it was time to move to B.C. and start his own business. However, he still wanted to maintain a positive relationship with his old employer FIMA. Lucio came up with the solution of helping them build out their North American market, and soon enough, FIMA became his first client.
Running a one-man show
Lucio proposed this idea to FIMA and was able to set up an exclusive contract to represent the German company in North America through his newly formed business, Baldo Procurement Sales and Service Ltd. “I was now responsible for improving customer service, building business, and growing sales in the USA and Canada,” says Lucio. As the sole North American partner, Lucio’s learning curve was daunting—until he found Export Navigator and his advisor, Nick Maclennan.
“I found Export Navigator when searching for assistance with the importing and exporting of commercial goods,” explains Lucio. Nick identified several opportunities to grow Baldo Procurement Sales and Service Ltd. This included connecting Lucio with valuable resources and contacts and encouraging him to formalize his business. “Nick encouraged me to take the leap to incorporation, which is something I am finalizing now,” notes Lucio.
The land of opportunity
With his business plan in place, Lucio recognizes how crucial Nick has been in allowing him to focus on growth while avoiding common start-up pitfalls. “I am not in the business of learning by mistakes, so it is invaluable for me to get access to reliable resources through Export Navigator,” he acknowledges. “Now, I can be certain I’m doing it right the first time.”
True to his word, Lucio has plenty of big plans for expanding his first client’s presence in North America. One includes streamlining North American operations for the sale of spare parts by taking advantage of Canada’s manufacturing and sourcing faster, more cost-effective customer service. As for his own business, Lucio aims to also expand his customer base. “I hope to acquire other customers, German or otherwise, and continue to foster Canada’s economic partnerships with the rest of the world,” says Lucio.
Although he is the sole partner for FIMA in North America, working with Nick helped Lucio feel like a part of something larger. “After Export Navigator, I feel more confident conducting export business, and feel like I’m not in it alone,” says Lucio. He hopes to expand his team soon as business grows, but for now, he is grateful for the doors that Export Navigator opened. “I’m doing my best to make a living combining my passions: cultures, machinery and helping people,” exclaims Lucio.