National University

Alumnus Thrives in Mexico's Booming Aerospace Industry

 When taking measure of the border economy, one sector that has taken flight in recent years is the Mexican aerospace industry. For some like National University alumnus Roberto Corral (GMBA, 2001), the sky is the limit.

According to McClatchy Newspapers, More than 260 aerospace companies now operate in Mexico, exporting some $4.3 billion in aircraft and parts in 2011. The Mexican government hopes to nearly triple in such exports, setting an ambitious target of $12 billion in aerospace exports by 2020.

Carlos Guzman Bofill is CEO of ProMexico, the Mexican Government institution in charge of strengthening Mexico’s participation in the international economy. He attributes the boon in aerospace business and its related cluster of thriving companies along the Tijuana-Mexicali corridor to a highly skilled labor force, a geostrategic location and positive investment conditions. Negocios, the official magazine of ProMexico, reported last June that Mexico’s aerospace industry has posted average annual growth of almost 20 percent, positioning it as a major player in the global marketplace.

Prospering in the midst of this dramatic growth is Corral. Since earning his Global MBA from National University in 2000, Corral’s career has also soared. He served for almost five years with Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix and Mexicali as an award-winning manager before accepting a breakthrough position opening the Mexican market to Flugel-LLC, a company providing high-quality repair and overhaul services to the aviation industry.

In 2011, Corral parlayed his years of experience and knowledge of the Mexican aerospace industry by becoming part owner of Volare Engineering, a privately-held, Mexicali-based corporation offering expertise in design, product engineering and manufacturing services for aerospace and transportation industries. He was invited to join the company by Sergio Segura, founder of Volare and a friend of Corral’s from college. As owner, senior executive associate and director of sales and marketing, Corral is now setting and executing a bold strategy for growth.

Volare Engineering specializes in galley and cabin furniture design, including bulkheads, partitions, stowage and equipment racks. It is in close proximity to companies such as Honeywell, Goodrich Aerospace, Gulfstream Aerospace and Rockwell Collins, and the company also dovetails with dozens of Mexicali assembly plants serving the aerospace industry.

Volare’s engineering staff has worked with industry leaders such as Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell Douglas and Fokker. A certified Six Sigma Black & Green Belt, Corral has mastered the tools and strategies for process improvement, driving significant and continuous improvement and achieving significant reductions in incidences of rework and creation of waste. He has recently authored several industry articles, and enjoys a bright and promising future as an international leader in the aerospace business.