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Kona invests in Robe
Mexico – Kona is a vibrant technical production company located in a hilly industrial area in Mexico State, just on the northern outskirts of Mexico City which was founded by the charismatic Andres Marroquin in 2012.
Andres has worked in the entertainment technology industry for 24 years. His experience encompasses working for some extremely large rental operations, and immediately before establishing Kona, he was running PRG Mexico / Ocesa. Andres reached the juncture where he wanted to take his fund of knowledge and run his own operation based on a more ‘boutique’ model of business, specialising in providing full and imaginative technical production solutions for a diversity of events.
This year, Kona has invested in Robe MegaPointes and Spiiders, currently 26 of each type of fixture, soon to increase and with that they have also sold off their previous moving light stock which was made up of competitor products.
Kona is dedicated to rigorous standards of excellence and works across all sectors for production companies and brand activation agencies as well as on live shows in fashion and television. As well as supplying their own projects, Kona is enjoying a healthy cross rental business, especially on the new Robe kit.
Andres is growing the company (which is currently housed in a warehouse and authentically industrially chic office space) with a compact team of 14 fulltime staff covering admin, technical and creative and boosted as and when needed by a regular pool of freelancers. Andres himself personally handles most of the project management.
While it was a bold move to make this new Robe investment, by keeping the quantities sensible and manageable, Andres is taking a calculated risk. “The market here in Mexico can be extremely volatile,” he explained, “so as a smaller company we need to think smart and be flexible.”
He sees a massive potential in the county which he regards as very much ‘emerging’, strategically located between two major oceans, a gateway to the economic powerhouse of Latin America and enjoying a lively healthy musical interchange with the US. “Mexico is in a unique position and our industry is in a very exciting place right now.”
Andres initially noticed Robe becoming more and more prominent on band and show technical riders while he was still at PRG Mexico. “In the last two years, that trend has spiked dramatically, and now most of the riders we see contain some sort of Robe element.”
He believes that to stay ahead of the game, they need to take these US and European influences onboard and “make them available and work in Mexico”.
He chose MegaPointes and Spiiders as the first Robe investment based on the majority of recent riders passing across his desk.
Another major factor reinforcing his decision to take the Robe road is the levels of service, support and excellence from Showco, which was appointed as distributor in 2016. He’s known the sales team there for some time, and comments: “Their quality is unrivalled, the response time if we need anything is outstanding and Showco embraces the same high standards that are at the heart of Kona.”
He thinks Spiiders are a quality product that are easy to maintain and fix – not that they need to do this very often – due to the modular design. “Excellent wash fixtures with great colours and, with the effects, there’s a host of other options and versatility which really widens the spectrum of applications.”
The crew love them because they are small, light and ultimately handleable.
Recent cross hires for the Robe kit have included (to PRG and Logra) popular singer Chayanne’s tour which featured 120 MegaPointes in total, shows for Dead & Company and the most recent season of ‘Playing in the Sand’ in Cancun.
In picture: Mario Torres Vazquez (SHOWCO), Andres Marroquin (Kona) and Luis Becerril Rosales (SHOWCO).
photo: Louise Stickland
25th January 2019
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