But he said his father “has never pressured me” into making the company a career. “He said that, if I wanted to work at the factory, the job was there for me and he would support me. I was never forced into it, which I consider a very humble act and a strategic business decision by my father.”
“The way we've adapted to the very competitive market in the past 50 years” is one of the most interesting aspects of the company, Castelló Pérez said. He includes flexibility and fast decision-making among the advantages of family ownership.
But it has not all been wine and roses for Castel Plast, whose earliest jobs included designing and manufacturing the dial for the 1967 Ford Mustang radio and supplying components to radio and television manufacturers such as Magnavox, Telefunken, Philco and Admiral.
The personal care side of the business came later. In the 1980s the company was making 1 million toothbrushes a month. In the 90s, electronics companies Braun, Panasonic, Texas Instruments and Black & Decker were added to the client list.
One of its worst chapters was when Castelló Bernardo's personal assistant, a two-decade employee, was found guilty of fraud in a court of law. The worker ended up in jail and the company's administrative practices were overhauled in the wake of a thorough audit.
Castelló Pérez said Castel Plast's mixture of his father's experience and his technological decision-making has proven to be “an excellent formula.” He admits to being “passionate about plastics” and his work, saying he learns something new every day.
He studied electronics engineering and telecommunications at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Tec de Monterrey), Campus Ciudad de México, before realizing he was unsuited to electronics and switched to business administration.
He also completed a nine-month course in plastics at the Instituto Mexicano del Plástico Industrial (IMPI) in Mexico City and a 10-month advanced business program at top Mexican and Latin American business school IPADE.
In 2013 he was a finalist in Mexico's EY (Ernst & Young) Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
Castel Plast designs, develops and manufactures precision components using engineering plastics primarily. It supplies customers in the fields of telecommunications, electronics, cosmetics, consumer, pharmaceutical and personal care fields worldwide.
It has 21 injection molding presses, whose clamping forces range from 20-520 tons. Blow molding, mostly in a controlled environment, accounts for most of the remaining activities, which also include 3-D printing and mold making. The company's tooling department produces about four molds a year and employs 12, some of whom have worked for the company for 30 years or more.
Castelló Pérez estimates the company has designed and manufactured “at least 1,000 different parts” over the years.
He said that his strategy for increasing the size of the business does not necessarily mean adding more presses. He wants the company to evolve into a plastics processor that makes more sophisticated components than at present. “So instead of making low-cost components we'll produce value-added, specialist products.”
The company plans to invest $600,000 in new machinery in the next 12 months. “We bought a new machine last year. We are constantly modernizing our equipment,” Castelló Pérez said.