The Day I met Eugenio Baeza, my favorite Business Tycoon

By Jaime Enriquez Parada

I have been wanting to write this for a couple of years now of an event that changed my life forever.

This is the best I have made my best to recall the events that took place the first or second week of January 2015. I was lucky enough to have been granted a visit / interview with my home state greatest and most prominent personality, Eugenio Baeza Fares, CEO and president of BAFAR, a meat processing conglomerate that has branched into even more areas of entrepreneurship and innovation in my home state and in the southern part of my country and even in the United States.

A little bit of background about me. I come from an Engineering background, learning the art of programming at an early age as well as having in sales experience (bubble gum) as well as other items as child (an entrepreneur initiative). I had been working on a Software startup called Inode that had some great developments for the Nokia handset maker company from Finland.

During my lifetime I have had contact with some interesting personalities, ranging from important investors and a couple of wealthy individuals and an Ex-president of the US and a few more, but I was never prepared to have someone as generous to share his knowledge as Mr. Baeza.

So, to continue my story, I was lucky enough to have been invited some days before to have dinner with the most prominent political and business figures in my home state and a special guest, former president and prominent economist Ernesto Zedillo at a dinner at a known hotel in my home city, where everyone went around and introduced ourselves.

So, as the dinner went along, everyone introduced themselves I introduced myself as someone who make software locally and exported internationally, but long before I spoke it was Mr. Baeza´s turn to introduce himself as the head of the BAFAR group and I do remember the general feeling of respect that went around in the room when he spoke, only to be followed by a clever joke when it was Mr. Baeza´s daughter turn to introduce herself.

By that time I had known only a little bit about BAFAR, other than my best friend’s mother working there talking about Mr. Baeza´s geniality and cleverness in business. I knew it processed meat and that it had achieved what most other wealthy families in my state achieved only in generations. BAFAR in 40 or so years went from a small shop to a conglomerate of businesses spanning several countries and trading several companies in the stock market.

The dinner was expensive for a 3-course meal, but it was a bargain just to be around such great and prominent figures of my home state. Well, out of all the personalities I met at that dinner, the one that got my most attention was Mr. Baeza, for the way he spoke, for the way he handled himself, for the clever joke of her daughter and for the generous philanthropical activities that his foundation is known for.

After a few days I was brave enough to send him a Facebook friendship request thinking it was just a long shot, and I still remember when he accepted. It was December 26, around 9 PM, as I was having some drinks with a friend visiting from Germany, it was then when he accepted my friendship request, and I was overjoyed, and my friend noticed when I told him Mr. Eugenio Baeza had accepted my friendship requested.

I remember I waited a few days before I got the confidence to write to him, first thanking him for the request acceptance and then telling that I was the young entrepreneur that mentioned that was doing software for Nokia and exporting software and that would love 30-minute chat with him. To my surprise he gave me the number of one of his assistants and told me, tell her to put you in the agenda for January. As you can imagine I was much happier than before.

Thought about for days what I would say to him, what kind of business proposal could propose and to be totally honest I was going to invite him to invest in my company, I was ready to do it, but the meeting unfolded much better and gave me something much more valuable than money.

This is how it went.

My secretary and I arrived at his office early for the meeting. Then a few minutes later came Mr. Baeza wearing a very original and authentic kind of style, probably 100% Cuadra brand a type of luxury / country style line of clothing and accessories, but he looked awesome and very relaxed in my opinion.

We waited a few minutes and then he let us in.

I was very nervous, but I felt prepared. As a funny story I made the dumb mistake of sitting on the very chair he sits, I noticed and moved immediately. I thanked him for accepting the request, I gave him a small gift, so we started to chat. He was generous enough to tell me all about the story of BAFAR, how he had started.

He mentioned that in the beginning he only wanted to come to work in a very nice suit, perhaps some days own a jet and that was it. So, while still working at a Ford Motor Company plant in the city, he started selling parts of the beef that nobody would trade, and the business started flourishing. I started noticing both his intellectual capacity and both his process driven attitude and his like of monitoring and measuring everything. As the now common say is “what cannot be measured cannot improve”. He shared to me a recent development in the company, that they had developed a special SAP module for his business, and that his engineers did it not SAP. Having had a bit of experience with ABAP (SAP´s programming language) I knew that was no easy task. Then he finished that sentence saying, well now we own a jet and now I know I don’t have to come in a suit to work (with a smile on his face)

He then shared that he had 10,000 employees at the time and that every single one of them he gives them the option to enroll into a Harvard (The Ivy League University) online course to advance their career and that the minute someone steps into his headquarters his wish is that they fulfill their Mexican Dream, a dream of progress, of education and more.

He then proceeded to give me a tour of his office, now and I was able to see that he likes and loves to hunt, and I must make clear that he mentioned that he only does furtive hunting meaning when it is not a species in danger and with all the necessary permits.

So, one of the things that impressed me the most was the size of his office, the size of mansion, 3 stories high and in the upper level the room where the company meets.

So we went around all the animals, he told me how the thrill and excitement of hunting both lions and elephants since they don’t just stand still, they come charging at you and you must make the shot at 20 meters or so. I went ahead and asked Eugenio what hunt he was most proud of and he moved a few meters and said these deer (some exotic ones) I asked and why, he mentioned for these I had to be dropped at a valley, climb many meters up a mountain, wait for 5 hours do the hunt, and then wait another 3 or 4 hours for the team to pick me up again. I observed his face, and it was pride what I saw. Being a good student of personalities, that feat meant he had to wait, patiently and diligently climb up, perform the hunt and then patiently wait for the team/ helicopter or whatever it was to come back and pick him up, I just thought it was just the way he had built BAFAR, starting out with uncertainty climb slowly but steady to the latter of success and then wait for the reward.

As we reached the top floor I saw the room where the board of directors of his company sits, I noticed some beautiful art, then at the farthest place I did notice a painting of spiderman and I remember asking “Mr. Baeza, the art on the walls is beautiful, but I cannot help to notice the contrast between the general theme  and the super hero on the wall, why is that” what he answered both shocked me and made me his biggest fan. He said, “Young man, to change and improve the world one has to be a superhero” and that right there made me a student of his, an admirer and developed a sense of hunger to know more about him and how he built his business.

Then we talked for a bit about my business, I showed him a couple of videos that Nokia had made about us, I could see he was very happy that Nokia sent a team of video producers to the capital state of Chihuahua to film it.

I briefly told him my vision of Chihuahua, that I wanted a bright and very futuristic view of the state, filled with high paying jobs and what I was doing was producing locally with my prime ingredient being the intellect of the developer and that I was selling worldwide. I showed him a couple of sketches and videos (Architectural sketches) of what I wanted to build; he did see those but then the following thing happened as I recalled.

He said young man, those videos are great, but you need to structure your project in a certain way, I personally love Michael Porter´s approach, he stood up grabbed a couple of books and told me, here. Take them, read over them and come back to me and tell me what you want or need.,

I remember I had just gotten back from London for a one month vacation in Europe only to be followed by Tony Robbins (World’s best life coach) Five star and very expensive seminar called Business Mastery, it was expensive and very valuable but balancing things out  got much more business advice in the hour and a half I spent with Mr. Baeza than a whole week with the world´s best performance coach.

I thanked Mr. Baeza and I left shaking of excitement. He was kind enough to sign “Una apuesta por Chihuahua/ A bet for Chihuahua”. I was excited for several days. I have read those books probably 10 to 20 times. Learning every time, and I thank God I did not ask for funding as it as my original plan, I was looking for at the time as I would have probably lost it. Instead of that he gave me the greatest gift, to be able to call him friend. My wife says to me, Jaime he is your friend, only a true friend lends you books. He has published several books and I have read them from start to finish several times. I am a believer that if you study how a writer expresses his or her words you can get a sense of how he or she thinks.

Over the years my personal business has gone up and down along with others I have created. I still do software, but now I am into e-commerce, blockchain and nearshoring now.

I was happy when Mr. Baeza was the mayor of my city, I knew he would bring progress, eliminate job redundancy and make government once and for all efficient, just like a company should work. Unfortunately, he was at that position for 104 days, he wrote a book about it, very interesting called 104 días.


Only two people have impressed me both intellectually and with their vibrant personality, and One is Tony Robbins, a two-meter giant both physically, intellectually and spiritually and the other one is Eugenio Baeza. And my favorite one by far is Eugenio.

I want to take this moment to publicly thank him for that time he gave me more than 8 years ago. That hour and a half changed my life, it made me rethink the way I do business, made me reformulate how I approach things, how I do process, how I look at investments, how to approach with precaution and be ready to press the business action even when adversity or an adversary comes charging back at you at 10 feet from you. I learned a lot from his book Architect of your Destiny, which basically taught me that you are who you are because of the habits you do or do not do daily, it is not by stroke of luck or the things that you do every one a year, it is the things that you do every single day diligently that forms your character, your personality and hence your destiny.

Just by following what I have learned through his books I have changed my habits. I now wake up at 5 AM every single day, spend some hours reading, exercising, doing business and spending time with the ventures I perform as well as balancing time with my beloved family. Getting to know him made me a better person, to aspire for more health and wealth. I only regret meeting him in my late 30´s I just wished somehow; I would have been exposed to his brilliance and methodic approach at an earlier age. Having said that If during my lifetime achieve 10% of what he has done I will consider myself super successful.

I thank you Eugenio, I know you will have many more successes to come. My only wish is that in the future we can partner and do business together. I admire you dearly, know how great of a person you are by doing great things in your foundation. I wish you health, wealth and love my friend. I know you will be more successful as the years go by and that you will bring more progress to your employees, the city of Chihuahua, the state and Mexico.

You can read more about my friend on his official Wikipedia Page

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