Enrique Becerril – Nissan
Just a few years ago, corporate buildings were a huge business deal for any investor to promote a new workplace for several companies that want to be in the best spot inside a financial district
Nowadays, so many office staff have adapted to the post-pandemic hybrid or remote working method. The real estate business has been needed to offer new possibilities for the new way of work for several headquarters.
Despite this, Enrique Becerril can’t spend much time away from the office because he, as facilities and real estate manager, is charged with consolidating the physical portfolio. So, too, are his counterparts at other companies, as there’s such a glut of surplus office space in Mexico and just about everywhere else. Becerril, however, might have a leg up.
Seasoned by his many roles in facilities and real estate at other companies and industries, Becerril collaborates with global brokers in identifying new requirements for some of Nissan’s properties. Part of the continuous effort of his role has been to make Nissan operations more efficient, focusing on their facilities inside its new headquarters in Mexico City.
“By having too many assets that do not generate a profit, the asset ends up an expense,” Becerril explains. “By defining a solid leasing strategy for our properties, we seek to expand our business.”
Of course, the more attractive the property, the more marketable it is. He understands that condition and is aware that with a well-maintained facility in a central corridor, the attraction will come, so Becerril needs to be prepared for any robust negotiation he might face, but it’s all part of overseeing real estate for an automotive giant—a task he relishes.
“I am very committed to this company,” he tells Blueprint in January. “Nissan has given me many opportunities to meet people and visit countries. I want to grow within the company and have more business knowledge. Today I am in a service position. It would be interesting to have the 360-degree view and see all the business issues.”
He’s already seen many of those issues since returning to Nissan in February 2022 after around 18 months in a similar role with Volkswagen’s Mexican division. Before VW, Becerril served a 2016-to-2020 stint in a couple of Nissan roles, departing in April just when COVID-19 began to disrupt office life and coming back in time to oversee a safe return to the workplace.
That, he says, transcended property considerations, Becerril emphasizing it was a people project that necessitated social distancing and stringent sanitation protocols. Looking back, he says this was as important a project as any he’s ever led, and now with the worst of the pandemic hopefully over and there being a new business as usual, Becerril will use his savvy to help ready Nissan for what’s to come.
This isn’t just about Nissan developing cars, he says. It’s just as much about generating and improving the customer experience in mobility issues through vehicles, technology and tools.
“The company seeks to satisfy the needs of our clients, and we cannot stagnate,” he says. “We must reinvent ourselves and look for new actions to be the spearhead for our clients and customers. We seek to enrich people’s lives.”
The right draw
In some capacity, Becerril says he’s been doing that since earning an architectural degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2009, with one of those years as an international student at the University of Florida. That was a character builder, he says, about leaving Mexico City for Gainesville, Florida. But he’d encourage other young people to broaden their horizons.
“Sure, it was a challenge and, at times, complicated, arriving there alone and not knowing anybody,” he says. “But I’m proud of what I accomplished there and brought back a different perspective than those who stayed in one place.”
The perspective has factored in his professional growth, the sometimes-restless Becerril trying his hand for several years with many companies before settling on the automotive industry. Early on, he designed schools, homes and storefronts at an architectural firm, went in-house with Liverpool Retail Stores, moved to MW Group for a broader role in residential and commercial properties, and finally arrived at Nissan as a visual identity specialist for all Latin America dealerships.
That was when he did most of his traveling, Becerril counted upon to develop regional supply support to Nissan operations in 34 countries. A couple of years later, his responsibilities increased as a regional brand visual identity and infrastructure manager, including an additional four main countries—overall of 38 markets—and Becerril enhanced to deploy VI programs for electric, light commercial and pre-owned vehicles business units and established control processes to optimize regional performance.
VW took notice and, in 2020 enlisted him for managing and refurbishing all brand logos and reviewing and analyzing architectural projects—one of Becerril’s core strengths.
“I’ve always liked to draw and create stuff,” he says. “I like showing how you can build something and overcome the complexities.”
Back to Nissan
He’s been doing that and more since returning to Nissan in February 2022, a pivotal time when the post-pandemic office return coincided with many other projects. But it’s all systems go, and Becerril reckoning how different so much should be a year from now, the operation leaner and meaner and enhancing Nissan’s Mexican stronghold.
“Before, I was working more on the commercial side, but now it’s on service,” he says. “But, my background has prepared me for this role. It’s important to have positive relationships with your customers, whether they’re internal or external. You’ve got to understand their requirements and have the tools to make everything happen.”
Outside life also fulfills, and while Becerril is far removed from Gainesville, he remains a Gators fan and one who hopes the university’s football team can recapture the winning ways it enjoyed when he studied on that campus. But most of Becerril’s attention is here, and when he’s not working, he’s a family person keeping busy with his wife and daughters, 3 and 5 years old. Athletically inclined, he keeps fit by swimming and running.
Given Nissan’s ambitious agenda for this year, Becerril’s recreational time might be at a premium, but he seems to be having much fun on the job. There’s something satisfying about applying one’s architectural skills to so many other of a company’s needs.”
“It’s having a vision and reflecting it in real life,” he says. “It’s something I’ve always enjoyed.”
View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. II 2024 Edition here.
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