“I did my share of traveling the globe when I was director of Bacardi global brands,” Joaquin says with a touch of tangible fatigue in his voice. In 2005, I became global brand director for Dewar’s Scotch, leading all global brand strategies. I learned a lot about doing international business and about other cultures.”
“But it wasn’t easy on family life…” I add.
“No, it wasn’t,” Joaquin continues. “I was talking to my wife and kids more over the phone and by Internet than in real life. Sometimes I think my wife must be a saint, coping with all that. Or maybe ‘just’ an angel,” he jokes.
“I agree,” I say. ” Not about your wife of course, but about the learning curve while traveling. So you had your university education, you had your experience working for Nestle, followed by the international experience in global positions within Bacardi. And now? What is the next step, besides enjoying a bit of family time?”
“It’s a next step,” Joaquin replies. “Learning new skills, like government relations. Bacardi is an important employer here in Puerto Rico that pays a lot of taxes and therefore plays an important role in society. Paying taxes is good as it is necessary for ensuring education.”
Joaquin pauses and takes a sip from his water bottle. “We measure our results at the end of the year in three fields: ‘people, planet and profit’. Public companies have shareholders, who have invested money. Their biggest concern is the profit. Bacardi is a private company, a family business. Of course we have to make profit, but we take full responsibility for ‘people’ and the ‘planet’ as well. People work with us for 20 or 30 years, become part of the family. And we take care of them.”
“Personally I’m a great believer in the power of education, so that’s where I devote my time and energy. Alongside running the Bacardi business, of course,” he adds with a smile.