Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Raised in Juarez and El Paso, Antonio Rico describes how his upbringing contributed to the establishment of his business, Electric Systems Engineers, Incorporated (ESEI). Rico attained his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UTEP despite some difficulties resulting from having attained his K-12 education in Juarez and some struggles to improve his English-speaking skills. He was drawn to engineering under the prospects that it was a “career of the future.” His current business, ESEI, provides IT services, telecommunications, networking design implementation, and project management. He was encouraged to start his own firm based on his experience working in telecommunications in Juarez and began his firm during an economic recession in 1994. His target customers were El Paso’s utility companies and then later maquiladoras in Juarez. Some of his best clients included GECU who, in 2006, signed them on to a major contract to build a GECU building. Mr. Rico also considers the company’s 15-year existence as a major success. He believes that his business is something that his children could potentially inherit; yet he would rather allow his children to find their own calling. He does not feel that he has encountered any challenges to growing his business as a Hispanic since he has worked with various people. Rico also describes his involvement in business boards such as those that employ 8-A government contractors. He describes future prospects and plans for the expansion of his company. Rico encourages future Hispanic business owners to become more involved in business organizations and to be careful of their business decisions.
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Interview with Antonio Rico by Alejandra Diaz, 2009, "Interview no. 1513," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.