Her parents’ meeting place now decorates a whole wall of her apartment in the form of a black-and-white photograph. This is how important the memory of her parents is to her, particularly her mother, who died of cancer in 1976. Marcia was 16 and immediately became responsible for her sister Vania, four years younger than her, and buried her first dream. She had actually wanted to become an athlete, as she was a talented 400-meter runner, but that was over now. From that point on there were other duties as well as her obligations to her pragmatic father, who told her: »Set yourself goals and stand on your own two feet. You need your own career, your own money, and your independence.«
She became a chemist, and was always first in her class. We see her, the young woman she was then, taking her first steps in the professional world. To begin with, in a laboratory far outside of São Paulo. To enable her to work during the day and continue studying at night, she buys a motorbike and braves the São Paulo traffic. She marries, has her first child, supports her husband, is expecting Georgia, her second child, and is now working as a sales representative and covering thousands of kilometers in her car every year. A difficult time, but that is far from the end of it. She applies to do a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and is the only woman to be awarded one of the highly sought-after places. However, her professor makes her promise that she will complete all eight exams with the highest marks. She says: »That’s not fair,« but then agrees: »OK, I’ll do it.«
At Clariant, people first noticed Marcia Rios in 2002. She was working for a customer, and was hired to turn the company’s special lubricant for the metalworking industry into a success. Michael Pronin, Region Head of Clariant Latin America, says: »Marcia has essentially been one of our company’s top female employees for a decade now. She is part of a new generation of female managers, and to put it simply: she is a very positive example. Known to everyone, successful, and exemplary in every respect.«
Pronin is an energetic and dynamic man, a former Chilean naval officer. A picture of a ship in heavy seas hangs in his office, underlining in a very visible way one of his other sayings: »In Latin America we are familiar with crises and will not shrink before any storm.«
A chemistry set for advanced hobbyists could hardly be more exciting and explosive than this socially, politically – and particularly economically – diverse region of the world. In Pronin’s eyes, Chile stands among other things for an »excellent educational system and major copper deposits.« With a population of 50 million, Colombia has metal ores and produces both coal and increasing amounts of oil. The same applies to Mexico, with the added rider of »rising personal consumption.« Argentina is the powerhouse of the agricultural industry, and also has a strong presence in the oil and gas segment. In Peru, the mining sector is the most important driver of the economy, while Venezuela is extremely rich in oil. Brazil is taking something of a breather after an unbroken five-year economic boom in the years running up to the 2014 Football World Cup™ and the 2016 Olympic Games, but offers the most exciting prospects for Oil & Mining Services and ICS.
»With 12 production sites and laboratories with the best facilities, we have a powerful footprint in the region and are among the top international specialty chemicals companies in all relevant markets. In Latin America we manufacture around 80% of our sales ourselves and account for 15% of the Group’s total worldwide sales – with 7% in Brazil alone,« says Pronin.