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I told you in my last Blog that I’d be all at sea today. I meant it literally. I was due to join Puig senior management and some of the company’s key retailers onboard one of several racing yachts commissioned by the company to coincide with the Vela Classica, a sailing boat race organised by Puig.
Now of course we Kiwis are outstanding yachtsman (last time I checked the Americas Cup score we were leading the Americans by 8-1 – first one to 9 wins – anyone know the final result?) so I am sure my presence would have scared the living hell out of any rival boats.
Alas though, as is my wont, work once again got in the way, and I’ve spent the day instead back in my hotel room, belting out a couple of features on Hamad International Airport against the looming, guillotine-like threat of the weekly e-Zine deadline. Was I MAD when I launched the e-Zine with a weekly frequency?
So the closest I’ve got to the sea is a walk along the marina, the magnificent Mediterranean view from the window of my room at the astoundingly good W hotel and the Puig Vela Classica cap I’m wearing to remind me of what I’m missing.
However, I’m not complaining, with my luck (and sailing abilities) I would have probably fallen overboard, taking Puig’s travel retail boss Patrick Bouchard and Gebr Heinemann co-owner Claus Heinemann with me, thus robbing the industry of two of its finest sons. There was also the option of sitting on a catamaran and drinking Champagne while the others raced. Much more tempting though that was, I resisted it in the great cause that is The Moodie Report.
I’m here as the sole travel retail media representative at the 100th anniversary celebrations of Barcelona-based fashion-to-fragrances house Puig. Today I had the very great pleasure of interviewing Chairman & CEO Marc Puig (below), who represents the third generation of the Puig family and who has led the company to great success since taking on his two roles in 2004 and 2007 respectively.
Our chat took place in certainly the most beautiful surrounds in which I have ever conducted an interview – the Real Club Nautico, looking out over Barcelona Harbour.
Marc, a charming and understated man, talked candidly with me for nearly an hour on what it takes to make – and sustain – a family company in a world (especially his sectors) dominated by multi-nationals. That’s an endlessly fascinating subject I think – you can read his answers in what I promise is a compelling and distinctly non-corporate interview in coming weeks. The binds of family are tighter at Puig than any of the knots on today’s yachts, something I saw first hand when I met Marc’s father, the legendary ‘Don’ Mariano Puig (below with Marc and I). “Congratulations on your 100th anniversary,” I said. Quick as a flash he replied, “Me? No, I’m not that old!”
[From left: Claus Heinemann, ‘Don’ Mariano Puig, Marc Puig]
Last night I was priviliged to attend a wonderful dinner at the local Barceloneta restaurant with Patrick; other members of the Puig team; Claus Heinemann and Kay Spanger of Gebr Heinemann; plus Claus’s and Kay’s delightful wives Brúnnild Ute, and their lovely children Clara Heinemann and Tatjana and Carolina Spanger.
A stream of tapas flowed like Barcelona’s twin rivers Llobregat and Besos, while a zesty 2013 bl8 verdejo/Sauvignon Blanc blend from Birlocho in Rueda was as deeply chilled and refreshing as the company.
Tonight’s the Gala Dinner. How do you celebrate such a landmark anniversary? In some style, I suspect is the answer.