Alejandro Robaina

Alejandro Robaina

The largest figure in the tobacco industry in Cuba
Country: Cuba

  1. Alejandro Robaina - A Biography
  2. Incredible Turnover
  3. A Love for the Land
  4. Passing on the Legacy
  5. A Family Business
  6. Challenges and Success

Alejandro Robaina - A Biography

Alejandro Robaina is one of the leading figures in the tobacco industry in Cuba. He dedicated almost his entire life to becoming the best cigar producer in Cuba, if not the world. His family has been growing tobacco on plantations in Pinar del Rio since 1845. In recent years, the management of the company has been taken over by Alejandro's thirty-year-old grandson, Hiroshi Robaina, while his father, Carlos Robaina, also participates in the family business.

Alejandro Robaina

Incredible Turnover

The turnover of the Robaina company is simply incredible. Approximately sixteen hectares of tobacco are cultivated annually, a number that has remained almost unchanged since the revolution. However, Alejandro's success is not only due to the high turnover; his farms are known for their extreme efficiency. In a conversation with the Minister of Agriculture, Robaina was able to demonstrate that the average farm in the country achieves a result of 0.4 percent of its potential, while a meager 4 percent is considered a high value. Alejandro consistently achieved a minimum of 36 percent.

Alejandro Robaina

A Love for the Land

Alejandro believes that his love for the land and genuine care for it are the reasons behind his outstanding results. The entire Robaina family works tirelessly to prepare the plantations for the new year. The land is meticulously processed and fertilized. While new technologies and tobacco varieties are actively utilized on the farms, the Robaina family is not quick to abandon the old, proven methods.

Passing on the Legacy

As mentioned earlier, the reins of power are gradually passing into the hands of Alejandro's grandson, Hiroshi. According to Hiroshi himself, his role is much easier than his grandfather's, as the company is already firmly established and the main business methods have been thoroughly tested. Alejandro, of course, passed on to his grandson all the knowledge he acquired over the years working in the tobacco business. The Robaina family's commitment to tradition and their meticulous approach is a rarity in today's world, where farming has ceased to be a multi-generational endeavor.

A Family Business

Many wonder why the leadership was passed from Alejandro to Hiroshi instead of his son, Carlos. The truth is that as long as the family business thrives, it doesn't matter who is considered the main figure in the outside world. They understand that each family member contributes equally to the common cause. Eighty-seven-year-old Alejandro, his son, grandson, and numerous relatives all work actively for the company, mainly Carlos and Hiroshi's cousins. The Robaina family's close friends also have nearby estates, and they willingly share trade secrets with each other.

Challenges and Success

Ten years ago, the family business in Cuba faced challenges. However, the farmers managed to convince Fidel Castro that family organizations were more efficient than government-run farms. Alejandro had numerous discussions with the Cuban leader on this matter, and the Robaina family was invited to join a cooperative company, which they adamantly refused. In the end, Fidel made the appropriate conclusions and handed the land over to the families. The future proved that he made the right decision. The Robaina plantations are rightfully considered one of the most successful companies of their kind, with Alejandro Robaina still leading the way, despite his age, as he continues to be energetic and business-savvy.