In the mid-twentieth century, Thomas Fox –a young entrepreneur born in Wisconsin– and Frank de Freire –a young Peruvian engineer– became partners and created in Peru the Interamerican Trade Development Company S.A. (INTRADEVCO S.A.) to manufacture, under license, SC Johnson & Son’s famous household cleaning products. Fifteen years later, they obtained the license from another US company, Sara Lee, to produce the famous Kiwi shoe polish.
Thomas Fox’s experience in the Communications Department of the US Navy and the business energy that both partners shared, led them to the manufacture of JVC –a prestigious Japanese corporation– radios and televisions. As a result, INTRADEVCO became one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Peru, with an important turnover and a large number of employees.
Years later, INTRADEVCO would add to its operations the gold mining activity in the Madre de Dios River, for which it built in Brazil a major dredge moved by mule through the Amazon rainforest.
The wide range of activities and the relationship with large prestigious transnational organizations allowed INTRADEVCO to gain great experience and build a solid team, which continues to be part of the company. Political and economic changes in the country between the late 70’s and early 80’s forced INTRADEVCO to reduce its operations by 10% and close the Gold Extraction and Electronics Divisions.
In 1992, encouraged by the new economic and social conditions for investment in Peru, a group of young entrepreneurs acquired INTRADEVCO, which became INTRADEVCO INDUSTRIAL S.A. The new administration gave the company a boost by buying Procter & Gamble’s SAPOLIO, a brand that until then was just a polisher powder used for washing kitchenware, utensils and other hard surfaces, but highly regarded in the local market.
A second big crisis hit INTRADEVCO in subsequent years, when SC Johnson & Son ended unexpectedly the production contract it had had with INTRADEVCO for over 50 years, representing more than 80% of total turnover.
Under these circumstances, General Management, with the support and enthusiasm of its technical and commercial staff, decided to make use of the SAPOLIO brand to manufacture other household cleaning products, such as Dishwashing Paste and Liquid Detergent, Powder Laundry Detergent for domestic and industrial use, floor wax, disinfectant, etc., quickly achieving wide acceptance. They quickly achieved wide acceptance for its excellent quality and low price. This is how the company not only recovered lost sales but also doubled them in a short time.
The company then decided to venture into the marketing of ORAL CARE products with the DENTO brand, which became a symbol of Peruvian products. In this manner, DENTO happens to be one of the few instances in the world where a local toothpaste brand manages to capture and maintain over time a very important market share in this highly contested category.
INTRADEVCO subsequently registered other brands such as AVAL, GEOMEN, etc., used to launch personal care products such as AVAL liquid soap –a leader in the Peruvian market– shampoo, deodorant, sunscreen, etc.
Based on the success of its products, INTRADEVCO INDUSTRUAL initiated once again a process of installed capacity modernization and production expansion. Once completed, it will not only produce on average 50% more units, but it will also prompt innovation by introducing in the market several new product categories such as abrasive fibers and cleaning cloths. In addition, to complement the presence of the products that we export to about 30 countries, INTRADEVCO has acquired plants and other assets in neighboring countries such as Chile, Uruguay and Ecuador.
This is all an evident sign of the company’s strong will and its brands value to participate in the world market.