To date, he has created 17 companies and he assures me that the most ground-breaking one is still on the cards, which he plans to create in Valencia to give back to Valencian society part of what it has given him.
I push him to give me some clues, but he turns a blind eye.
He works 14 hours a day because he likes it, and he was about to put a bed in his office. He acknowledges that the toll he has paid is very high: in his case, a divorce. He believes that his sense of loyalty is way above average, and he is a good friend to his friends. He considers himself to be a good person who is very trustworthy.
I concede that I see him as being very normal, not at all ostentatious for someone who has passed through the MIT, ESADE and IE Business School. I imagine you won’t have enough room on your walls for so many courses and masters.
And why should I be different? I am one of those people who believe that you have to carry on learning, but that you shouldn’t think too much of yourself. In life you always continue to learn, and in business, as in life, sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.
At this point and with your track record, do you feel you are more an agricultural engineer or an entrepreneur?
In the first place, I studied agricultural engineering, but as the years have gone by, I can say that I am a serial entrepreneur.
My calculations make a tally of two and a bit companies per year. As I suppose you didn’t create any as a child, the number is even higher. Is it in your genes?
I suppose it is, and I inherited it from my mother, who in her time, fifty years ago, as a woman was audacious enough to set up a school, leaving her permanent job as a civil servant. The bug bit me at university: I worked alongside end of course travel agencies and for every 25 people, they gave me a free trip. As there were always more than 25, my friends and I travelled free to Ibiza, Amsterdam, Mallorca, etc. I then started hiring venues for parties while I was studying, some of them very well-known, such as the Brackman in Valencia, and then I bought them and sold them.
Wow, what a track record! But have all your businesses been successful?
Of course not. I have failed and I experienced the 2008 crisis, amongst other things. And I have also been taken for a ride. One of the last setbacks was in Turkey with Idai Nature. My former distributor registered the brand and then asked me for a ransom for it.
Do you know why I thought about you for my profile article?
Because I saw your photo next to a very modest blind, saying that this was the seed behind Idai Nature 15 years ago. It touched my soul, I can tell you, because your current installations are incredible.
This post had 45,000 views in just 3 days.
Have you travelled much?
Not much, but rather a whole lot, although I can’t say I’ve seen much. I have just been in Mexico for three days, in a hotel next to the airport and then straight back to Spain.
You must have done other things in your life, as well as being top of the class and working?
I have done lots of sport since I was young. In fact, my brother and I were called “the healthy ones.” I have played basketball for 20 years. I am left-handed, or rather I am ambidextrous, and this gives you an added advantage. In basketball I use my left hand, in football I use my right foot, and in tennis I am ambidextrous.
Now I have a gym at home and a business friend works out on my routines with me. I look after myself because we only have one body for our entire life.
I suppose you are a great reader?
Well, you are wrong, because I don’t have time to read books. The most that I do is read the headlines in the digital press.
But journalists like me have to earn a living
My life is full of meetings and programmed appointments. I start to work for myself at 8 in the evening. From this time onwards, I do things that I can only do myself along with answering my emails and calls.
Wouldn’t the idea of having a bed in the office have been more profitable?
I was very tempted to, but common sense told me not to do it. I would have been capable of spending several days there without leaving. It is good to disconnect and move around at times to become inspired.
How difficult it must be to have a relationship with you!
Yes, when my first son was born, I almost missed the birth because I arrived from Turkey just in time, and when my daughter was born, I departed for Mexico 24 hours later. The toll I paid was a divorce, but I still have an excellent relationship with the mother of my children, and I think my children are happy, which is the most crucial point.
Businessmen spend many hours working and I admit that it is difficult to put up with someone like me, who as well as travelling all week, when the weekend came around, I used to hide in the bathroom to answer messages from another time zone on the other side of the world and be able to continue working without having any arguments at home.
How long has your hobby been the sea?
It is quite recent, around five years. I had arranged to spend some time with friends, and we hired a boat on the Algarve to go fishing. It was a personal trial because I didn’t think I could spend hours and hours fishing without any mobile phone coverage. I was quite sceptical about the effect of the sea on my own disposition, but the blueness of the water, the peace, the wait for a fish to bite, all seduced me. I saw that I relaxed, and it helped me to clarify my ideas about life itself and about business. So, I bought a little boat and that was the start of it all.
When was your last outing?
Last weekend, with my children. Although I don’t have custody because of my travelling lifestyle, I can see them at any time because I have a good relationship with my ex. So, we set off with another family with children of the same age as mine. Out to the open sea for over five hours.