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Zamora Javier Pijoan

SPAIN - Industry

Javier Pijoan

CEO, Zamora Company

Bio

Javier Pijoan, CEO of Zamora Company, holds a degree in Business Administration, an MBA from IE Business School, a PDG from IESE Business School and several executive programmes in Strategy and Execution at Harvard Business School (USA). Mr. Pijoan has more than 30 years of national and international experience, transforming and managing companies in the food, beverage and distribution industries. He has worked for more than 18 years for Heineken International, where he was a member of the Global Executive Committee in Europe and General Manager of Heineken’s SIH in Spain, among other positions. He also held the position of CEO of Bacardi Limited in Iberia for more than three years. Previously, he worked for the Carrefour Group and Ingeniería Idom Internacional. Before becoming CEO of Zamora Company, he was an Operating Partner for Alantra Private Equity and a Board Member, Non – Executive Director for Grupo Varma and Winche Redes Comerciales.

"While we may not boast the resources of multinational conglomerates, we take pride in our people—the driving force behind our success."
TBY talks to Javier Pijoan, CEO of Zamora Company, about traditional production methods, sustainable processes, and goals for the coming year.
What factors have contributed to the remarkable evolution of Zamora Company from its humble beginnings in Spain, to its current status as an international company?

Zamora Company, a 76-year-old family-owned enterprise, originated in the quaint town of Cartagena, Spain. From these humble beginnings, we transitioned to Madrid. Our trajectory has seen us evolve from a local entity to a national leader within Spain and, subsequently, to an international exporter. Today, we are charting an exhilarating course towards becoming a truly global powerhouse. This evolution is not solely about expanding our presence across 83 markets; it is about cultivating a new paradigm of operation—one that is agile and globally oriented. Our driving force is the ambition to propel our company onto the international stage, leveraging our robust foundation. In essence, our distinctiveness is rooted in three core elements: a formidable portfolio, a cohesive marketing apparatus, and a team of impassioned individuals. From brands like Licor 43 and the Spirit of Martin Miller, to esteemed wines such as Ramon Bilbao and Mar de Frades, our portfolio exemplifies excellence. In 2018, we took a significant stride forward by bolstering our brand portfolio, ensuring premium offerings across various geographies and categories. The second pillar of our strategy revolves around owning our destiny. This entails establishing a strong presence in key markets worldwide, from Spain to the US, Mexico, Brazil, and Germany. By establishing our own distribution networks and personnel in strategic locations, we assert control over our trajectory and ensure direct engagement with our target markets. Finally, our success is underpinned by the passion and dedication of our team. While we may not boast the resources of multinational conglomerates, we take pride in our people—the driving force behind our success. Comprising hardworking, committed individuals with a hands-on approach and entrepreneurial mindset, our team embodies the ethos of a family-owned enterprise.

How does Zamora Company balance tradition and innovation in your production processes?

We like to discover things. Our responsibility extends beyond crafting exceptional wines; it encompasses staying at the forefront of industry trends and consumer preferences. The wine landscape is evolving rapidly, with increased demand for white wines, lower alcohol options, refreshing varieties, and sparkling selections. We recognize our obligation to discern consumer needs and market trends, leveraging this understanding to both produce outstanding wines and pioneer conversations with consumers. In blending tradition with innovation, we honor our heritage while embracing the dynamism of the modern market. For example, while preserving the legacy of venerable brands like Licor 43, which boasts a 75-year legacy, we also champion innovation to align with evolving consumer preferences, particularly among younger demographics and diverse global markets. Our approach embodies a continuous cycle of discovery and refinement, integrating newfound insights into our existing portfolio while upholding our commitment to excellence. It is this ongoing journey of exploration and enhancement that defines our ethos—a dedication to discovery and perpetual advancement. We view each step in our process as an opportunity to learn, adapt, and enrich our offerings, fulfilling our responsibility to both tradition and progress.

What initiatives are you implementing to achieve your goal of having 90% of your energy consumption coming from renewable sources?

ESG has been high on the agenda in this company from the very beginning. Our approach to ESG is holistic, encompassing various facets beyond just energy conservation. It extends to how we prioritize the well-being of our employees and imbue a sustainability mindset throughout our operations. As a family-owned business, we are deeply conscientious about our responsibilities towards our employees, our communities, and the environment. We continuously seek ways to enhance the sustainability of our investments, whether by reducing energy consumption, minimizing our carbon footprint, or innovating to decrease the environmental impact of our packaging. This commitment permeates every level of our organization, from the boardroom to individual departments. What sets us apart is the unwavering support from our board, who prioritize sustainability not merely for profit, but out of a genuine belief in our responsibility to build a sustainable future. This commitment is evident in the meticulous attention to detail in our sustainability reports, which rival those of multinational corporations. Our comprehensive approach to sustainability encompasses every aspect of our organization, with clear targets set in each department, driven not by coercion but by shared conviction.

What are the key goals and priorities for the upcoming years?

First, we are deeply committed to fostering growth. Despite the challenges presented by today’s marketplace, our growth mindset remains unwavering. Our ambition is to continually bolster both our top and bottom lines, ensuring the long-term sustainability of our company. Second, we are dedicated to expanding and enhancing our portfolio. Over recent years, we have made significant acquisitions, yet there is ample room for further development, particularly with newer brands such as Martin, Miller, Villanaza, and Lolia. We see immense potential in these ventures and are committed to their strategic development. Third, investing in our team is paramount. While many companies may be scaling back investments in light of economic downturns, we believe now is the time to double down on building capabilities. Strengthening our workforce is essential to realizing our vision for the company in the coming decade. Despite the challenging market conditions, particularly in certain European regions such as Spain, our company remains flexible and agile. This adaptability serves as a competitive advantage, enabling us to navigate uncertain terrain with agility and precision.

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