Vicenç Pedro, Director of Production Futureco Bioscience, has been participant and artificer of the growth of the company since its foundation until what it has become nowadays, a world leader company in research, production and marketing of agrobiological inputs of zero residue respectful to the environment. Pedró is an incombustible self-taught entrepreneur who took, sixteen years ago, the responsibility of the production plant and is one of the key pieces of Futureco Bioscience that has led the company to what it is today.
Tell us how you began to work in Futureco Bioscience.
I came sixteen years ago, when Rafa (Juncosa, CEO of Futureco Bioscience) created the production plant for Futureco's products. That was already made about eighteen years ago. That factory was set up under the hiring and supervision of an industrial engineer, who apparently did not give the expected result...
It was complicated. The factory was set on a local and facilities whose conditions were not optimal. The issue is that it was sold and used in complicated conditions that risked quality. The company was facing a big problem at that time. The product was sold and to make the customers stay interested in our product we knew what he had to do, but the results of what was produced at the factory sometimes lacked the quality we expected.
A difficult arrival into the ring...
Starts are complicated. If you have started to sell and at first you have won a customer, to win also its loyalty your product has to reach the optimal quality just in time. Rafa spent much time traveling and was troubled. Finally, as he knew me, he decided to involve me. He needed a reliable person who could take charge of the factory and who could solve all those problems. A person with criteria.
So he count on you. Had you worked on something similar before?
No! I told him I had no experience in this area. I hadn't done this kind of work in my life and I was unaware about the sector. He said "I'm sure you'll get along, you only have to apply logic". I saw him so convinced that I accepted. Looking back over time I think he was right.
You accepted the challenge.
I got into this adventure, yes! He needed someone who he could fully trust, and in whom all the task of production could be supported, who could control the staff and could also organize all the factory processes.
Involved in production control or in more tasks?
At that time work was not as defined and marked out as it is today. Today we are years away from that! Now we project a lot of technology and innovation, but the start was in a much more basic conditions. When I arrived at the first location, the facilities were very precarious. Within the scope of that time, the company was starting and had few resources. We had to adapt to already used and second-hand machinery and semi-automatic systems. Our products were dense, which lead us to adapt and adjust equipment, that had already been used for other products, for a good final result. You had to review and rectify almost all machines at the same time you had to serve your product quickly.
Yes, cumbersome and complicated, but it was what it was. With that we had deal and move forward. I came to know that world through working a lot. We spent whole nights working, and sometimes we needed the cooperation of all and get hand to hand to fix things, detect incidents and solve them... I lost a lot of weight at that time!
You look very healthy now.
Beacause that was very long ago! Now it is surpassed and that is what allowed us to grow. For my part I gradually got to know the product, the production, the type of equipment, reactors, engines and circuits in a factory like this. I was adapting myself and getting to know the environment. We were hiring staff and changing, renewing equipment and gradually automating processes, getting better until what we are now.
All that effort paid off.
It was what we had to do, because if we hadn't drawn a good product, we would not have lasted two minutes in the market. If now we are here, as a reference company in the market, is because we did well at that stage, despite the adversities that overcome. Thanks to that know we are a leading company in the sector.
With a strong structure and a large investment in R & D.
Yes. Investment in research is because it is the present and future of the company, that's very clear, but we are also currently improving the portfolio of bio-stimulants and nutritional products and develop to provide higher quality and better service. Throughout these years we have reinvested in substantial improvements in space and equipment to make things more automated and in a controlled way.
What did you work on before entering Futureco Bioscience?
I've been rather freelance. I spent a long time taking charge on a gardening and floristry company of my own, and other types of trade. In another stage we set up a video production company where we made videos for different companies, and I was more focused on that issue. We also worked six years for the Spanish Television (TVE), working at that stage as cameraman.
Cameraman of Televisión Española? What a change!
Changes in my life always come in the same way. I start from the blank things without really knowing, just for the desire of doing something new and different. We set the video production company and one day that we had to cover a press conference at an event we did'nt have a cameraman, I don't know if the cameraman that had to come was sick, but he didn't arrive and the point is that we ran out of cameraman. I offered myself. I said something like "it's okm don't panic, you tell me how this camera works and I'll record it".
From that moment on I spent more than six years working as a freelance producer for TVE, as a cameraman. I worked very well and was auxiliar to the teams of the house. We worked for programs with authority and prestige such as "Panorama" or "Informe semanal" (Weekly Report) and in reserach programs that some cameramen refused to work in because of the risk, such as hidden camera recordings, also when the schedules were sometimes untimely and did not come up to them well.
Were'nt there any reckless or adventurous cameramen in the public TVE?
No, for sure they were! Several. I don't speak for everyone. Obviously there were very good professionals, happy with their work and who dared to take risks. I don't know how it is now, but I'm talking about covering such special cases in which it was easier to count with an external team as me. We also did reports for a Dutch television and others within the world of visual communication...
You left cause you got tired?
Let's say that working conditions changed and I returned to the stage of the decorative and dried flowers, always independently. Except for some very specific case, I have not worked for a company until I got to Futureco Bioscience, where I was hired.
With apparent free rein to function autonomously.
Yes, yes. Rafa put me from the beginning, in Granollers, with full confidence and freedom. He hoped not to worry, I knew I would come out well and on. He trusted, and trusts me. In my case the trust has always been absolute, and we also have a family connection. I have been always been occupied and worried about the factory and involved in all decisions, of course with permission. I think the move went well.
You seem to be a person with the ability to learn and adapt quickly.
Not much more than having common sense and good application of logic, I notice a lot of things. If you are a person with certain criteria and ability to learn, everything goes on fluently. Man, I 'm not doing the work of Carol (Fernández, Director of R & D) because it is not enough to be awake, I would need a university education focused on research such as her's, but in other areas this premise can be applied without doubt.
Learning by doing...
It is exhilarating. Right now we are back in the line in which we will probably develop changes and expand. I like these challenges. There comes a time or a situation in which your work is a bit repetitive because you manage orders, deliveries, arranging, manufacturing, people, etc... Already done it. I like to get new challenges.
Has your work in production changed much?
Yes. I have done all the work that can make a factory worker. This has allowed me to know everything first hand, both processes and machinery. There were four employees at the beginning and we all had to do it all. I could not sit in an office when we were four. Gradually along, with the evolution of the company and additional staff, accompanied by the implementation of the ISO and other certifications, work has been taking me a little closer to the office, but anyway I can't disregard the plant or much less. So I coordinate everything with my plant manager. On a day to day we always do a first meeting to plan the work. For example, on Monday we revise the timetable for the week depending on the orders. We review the status of everything. From the raw materials we have to those that are entering, the availability and status of all processes, or if there are delays, solve problems.... What I do is coordinate and verify the order from it's demand until it leaves. And there you control everything. Then contingencies that come out in the day to day work, the needs of other departments in relation to the production and monitoring of all processes...
What do you highlight of this time in Futureco Bioscience?
The growth of the company. Seeing the result of all the effort and how we have progressed. People who enter the company now do not incorporate longer this perspective, but I've been sixteen years here and I have lived very proudly the evolution. Personally, I have also learned a lot. The work in Futureco Bioscience has given me many good things, but I'm especially pleased to see that all the goals we have been marking to ourselves have been overcome.
Beyond the factory, which activity do you devote more time to, what are you passionate about?
Anything related to sports, family and friends. I do a lot of sport. I like to run, go to the gym, playing Paddle... I need physical activity! I have very few resting heart rate, and I need to change it so my heart doesn't stop (he laughs).
If you had to recommend a book, what would it be?
A book that I've always liked and I just recommended it recently to my son as we found it the other day doing a removal is "A Confederacy of Dunces". It is pretty old, but I really like it.
What about music?
I like everything. If I had to choose a Long Play or any song, I'd choose any Californian band, also Reggae music. Any disc of Bob Marley.
And a movie?
Blade Runner. It's a film that once changed the aesthetics of cinema, especially in the genre of science fiction. I love comics, and that movie keeps much the aesthetics of comics.