Q&A: An Interview With Jorge Padrón
The president of Padrón Cigars Inc. speaks about his Nicaraguan cigar brand.
From the Print Edition:
Gen. Tommy Franks, Nov/Dec 03
(continued from page 11)
A: There's a lot of challenges. My goal is to make sure that this company continues in the way it has for the first 39 years that we've been in existence. My father has worked very hard to get where we are today, and I consider it a responsibility, not just on my end, but my family members as well, to uphold that tradition that's been passed down.
Q: Are you taking a more active role in the day-to-day operations of the company?
A: I'm fortunate enough to have a father who is 77 years old and is still actively involved in the business, to have someone looking over me, someone who is probably one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, on both cigars and the management of people from a production standpoint. Am I taking a more active approach? Absolutely. My goal is to one day, and little by little, take some of the load off my father's back, and to help him continue what he's already begun. My responsibility is to ensure that I earn the respect of the people who are associated with this company, and that they realize that I'm going to do what's fair and what's right for the company as well as the employees.
Q: What are you doing specifically that's maybe a little different than from what you did two years ago?
A: In the cigar industry, there are many different processes that affect the overall product. Obviously, we have what we call the distribution end of it, which is in Miami, which we have been handling now for over 12 years, and I have handled personally for that amount of time, along with my brother, Orlando, and my sister Elizabeth. I have been involved in the operations in Nicaragua, but my objective now is, at some point down the road, to handle the same types of responsibilities that my dad handles now, which entails the coordination of all the employees, all the different parts of the business—the growing, the manufacturing, the sorting and deveining—just getting a firm grasp on all the different parts of the company, as well as the personnel within them.
Q: Do you ever come to Nicaragua without your father?
A: I have come here on my own; very soon I will begin to do more and more of that. The types of things that you learn here are things that you don't learn in a university or a book. The things that you learn here are things that are just day-to-day issues that you have to learn how to resolve through experience. For me, the important thing is to learn little by little, and to ensure that I know every aspect of the business.
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