Interview Eduardo Sanchez Navarro Jr., by Anna Urbanik, Los Cabos Magazine – Issue #12 – Spring 2007.
Before our meeting, all I knew about him was that he is a young, successful businessman whose vision and hard work helped him to strengthen and enlarge one of the most important and influencial property and tourism development corporations in Los Cabos.
As we spoke on the beach terrace of his “Cabo home”––as he refers to the luxurious villa located along the Tourist Corridor where he lives during his monthly visits to Los Cabos from his permanent home in México City––I learned much more about this fascinating businessman and one of the key players in the development, now and in the future, of Los Cabos. As the sun started to set, painting the sky bright red, Eduardo talked about his journey.
After completing secondary school in México City, he spent two years in a boarding school for boys in Massachusetts in the United States. “It was an excellent experience,” he said of this time there, “That’s when I became independent and learned to be self–sufficient––when I needed to be.” In addition, the school’s extensive sports program sharpened his appetite for competition, as demonstrated in his subsequent athletic and professional performances.
Handsome and relaxed, he sat in a wicker chair looking too young to be one of México’s top company leaders. Wearing a green polo–style shirt embroidered with the logo of Club Campestre San José, one of his corporation’s major developments, he proudly articulated his attitude as a company man. At the same time, his athletic bearing revealed his dedication to sports in general and particularly to what he says is his lifelong passion, hobby and a job all in one––horseback riding.
Ever since he was 11, Eduardo has been in love with horses. Now, at 35, he’s more committed than ever, riding daily starting at 6:30 in the morning and competing every other weekend. “Apart from the fact that I love this sport, the adrenaline rush is indescribable, and the connection you develop with the animal is very unique,” he said passionately. “And what I really appreciate about riding is that you may be just fine, and all of the sudden the horse throws you, and it’s all over. It makes you very conscious that you’re not always on top.”
Eduardo said he cherishes the discipline and persistence he learned from his experience with horses. These two traits have always accompanied his professional development. After graduating from México City’s prestigious Anáhuac University with a degree in business administration, he went on to specialize in national and international business.
While still at school, however, he started his first formal job, joining one of his family’s businesses––Home Mart. He helped start this company in 1993 when he was only 22, and, during the eight years that followed, he worked to make it México’s largest home improvement retailers with 27 locations across the country.
After that, he spent two years working as the president of Materializalo.com (Materialize It), an internet portal focusing on the construction industry. In 2001, Eduardo was invited back to head another family business––this time as general manager of his father’s (Eduardo Sánchez Navarro Redo) real estate empire, Grupo Casa. By 2003, he had transformed this family company into a formal corporation that he named Grupo Questro.
“One of the biggest difficulties was to transform a family business into an institutional company,” he recalled, “but we are in that process and getting closer to accomplishing this goal with every passing day.” Today, Grupo Questro is one of the leading developers of land and tourism in Los Cabos, managing about 5,500 acres of prime Los Cabos real estate, mostly in the Tourist Corridor area.
Cabo Real––a 3,000–acre complex that includes nine luxury resorts––was Grupo Casa’s first investment in Los Cabos and the heart of his father’s empire. The complex features two prestigious golf courses: the Robert Trent Jones II–designed Cabo Real, and Jack Nicklaus’ El Dorado.
Work on two large projects is underway in the San José del Cabo area. The first, Puerto Los Cabos, is an $800–million U.S. private marina and luxury hotel/residential development. It is one of Baja California’s most ambitious development projects in a century. This 2,000–acre, integrated– concept community will feature 400 slips in the marina, six hotel complexes, more than 1,000 prestigious residential lots, two signature 18–hole golf courses (one designed by Jack Nicklaus and the other by Greg Norman), an ecological reserve and a commercial center. “Puerto Los Cabos is going to be so beautiful and sweeping … that it’ll become an obligatory outing for all visitors to Los Cabos,” assured Eduardo. The first oceanview homes are now finished with some coming on the market.
His corporation’s other major project, the 550–acre Club Campestre San José, is a master–planned, all–inclusive urban development whose target clientele specifically includes families in the local community as well as foreigners. After completing this project’s 18–hole Jack Nicklaus’ signature golf course, a beach club and general infrastructure, it is scheduled to begin home construction by the middle of 2007.
As Grupo Questro strives on, Eduardo always thinks ahead, constantly dreaming up new projects. Just in Los Cabos, two more projects are awaiting their turn. Outside of Baja California Sur, Grupo Questro has new investments in the states of Hidalgo and Sonora as well as the Federal District.
Eduardo, when asked about the secret of his success, answered humbly, “The genes of my creative father and those of my hard–working grandfather make a good mix, I guess.” And, as we all know, behind every great man is a great woman, and this case is no different. When I mentioned his wife of nine years, Paulina Lebrija, the mother of his three sons, Eduardo (6), Jerónimo (4), and newly born Andrés, he said without hesitation, “She’s everything to me”.
If you haven’t heard much about this man, it’s because he avoids the spotlight, managing to keep his gracious, approachable and captivating personality. But you are sure to hear much more in the future.