Wikispanishfood.com editorial team
This month we're focusing on the meat industry, one of the main drivers of Spain's economy, to offer a brief look Carlos Serrano Pérez, the managing director of Cárnicas Serrano, a family-owned company founded 57 years ago in Paterna (Valencia) by Blas Serrano Castelar and his wife, Carmen Rodrigo Cervera, along with their children, Blas and Carlos Serrano Rodrigo.
The son of the latter, Carlos, was born in 1965 and joined the company in 1980 when he was 15. He worked while he finished school, in 1983.
He held various positions within the company until 1985. When he turned 20, and until 1994, he worked in Cárnicas Serrano's sales department, and then moved on to coordinate different areas of the company. In 2000, when he was 35, he became managing director, a position he shares with his brother Abelardo.
Since then, Cárnicas Serrano has experienced non-stop growth. So much so that, according to the company's earnings released in February 2016, revenues amounted to 63.4 million euros in 2015, 3% more than in 2014. The strategy, based on a firm commitment to innovation and a greater international presence, is securing Cárnicas Serrano a spot among the leading meat companies in Spain. It's also interesting to note that, of total 2015 revenues, 30% corresponds to exports, which expanded by 4% in terms of volume in the last year. Cárnicas Serrano's main foreign markets are in the European Union, primarily France and Germany.
The company also has a Cuban subsidiary, Cárnicas Bravo, founded in 1996 and headquartered in La Habana, whose primary customer is the hotel industry and which obtained revenues of 41 million dollars.
According to Kantar Worldpanel, the company expanded its presence in Spanish households by 7% with respect to 2014, reaching 5.5 million, which means that 1 out of every 3 families consumes Serrano products.
Carlos Serrano has been combining his day job with the chairmanship of the National Meat Processing Industries Association of Spain (ANICE) since 2014. He's also a member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation (FIAB), a member of the Executive Board of the Association of Valencia Region Meat Companies (AICCV), and a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of Food Industries of the Region of Valencia (FEDACOVA).
All of these posts reflect Serrano's personal commitment to the future of the sector, and the segment in particular, as it's not common for a businessman to be so involved in the institutions that defend the segment's interests.
His passion for sports, which he inherited from his father, is evident in his company's sponsorship of the athletics team Serrano Atletismo, currently a leader in the Valencia region. It comprises more than 100 members, some of which are top runners in Europe.
About 20% of his workforce enjoys running, according to the company. In fact, the company obtained its first award in the Promotion of Physical Activity and Healthy Habits category, at the El Mundo Zen Adecco awards, which recognizes Serrano's focus on his employees in this area.
On a personal level, Carlos is friendly and transparent. He's a person who is clearly shaped by the work that he does, who knows what he wants; he doesn't tell you how to do things, but he expects to see results.