Juan Roig in October 2013
Juan Roig Alfonso
8 October 1949
|Occupation||Owner & president, Mercadona|
|Net worth||US$4.2 billion (May 2020)|
Juan Roig was born on 8 October 1949 in Valencia. He studied in a Jesuit school in Valencia, then at a boarding school, and graduated in economics at Valencia, but was not an outstanding student. Eight years after graduating, he studied a postgraduate at IESE Business School, University of Navarra.
With three of his five brothers, Juan Roig bought the shops from his parents in 1981. He largely bought out his brothers in 1991, and went on to build up the Mercadona supermarket chain, which now runs over 1,400 stores. His success in retail has been based on a risky strategy of competitive pricing, and on technological innovations such as barcode scanners and automated distribution facilities. He introduced full-time contracts for all employees in the late 1990s.
Roig was awarded the Prince Felipe Prize for Business Excellence in 2010.
Forbes magazine in October 2013 reported that Roig was worth 5,800 million euros, the second largest fortune in Spain. This in fact is the estimated value of the 78% stake in Mercadona jointly owned by himself and his wife. But since Mercadona shares are not publicly quoted, the figure is somewhat speculative. As of July 2018, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$4.3 billion. The shareholding yielded dividend income totalling over $400 million between 2006 and 2013 for Roig and his wife jointly.
At university he met Hortensia Herrero, and they married in 1973. They have four children, and live in Valencia, Spain. His wife is now vice-president of Mercadona. He is said to favour family ownership in business, provided that the family members contribute positively.
He has been described as "shy, but a tough businessman" and as "a practical man, direct, austere, takes things seriously, his manner may appear cold if he does not trust the person he is talking to". Many aphorisms are ascribed to him, such as "in Spain we have to imitate the hard-working culture of the Chinese bazaars" and "you do not have to do a job that you like, but you have to make your job something you like doing".
Through his wholly owned company Alquería Capital, Roig supports Proyecto Lanzadera, which helps young entrepreneurs set up their businesses and offers them space within the Lanzadera Business Centre, in Valencia. He also sponsors a professional basketball team, called Valencia Basket.
- "Forbes profile: Juan Roig". Forbes. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
- "Juan Roig". buscabiografias. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Solidaridad y esperanza frente a la pandemia". Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Delgado, Cristina; Zafra, Ignacio (4 November 2013). "Juan Roig, el 'súper' del mercado (Juan Roig, the 'super' of the market)". El País (in Spanish).
- Metcalf, Tom (14 May 2013). "Spanish Billionaires Hire 4,000 Amid Country's Job Slump". Bloomberg Business.
- Delgado, Cristina (30 October 2013). "Amancio Ortega, el rico que vale por 15 (Amancio Ortega, the rich man worth more than [the next] 15". EL PAÍS (in Spanish).
- "El dueño de Mercadona, Juan Roig, ya es la segunda fortuna española (The owner of Mercadona, Juan Roig, now has the second largest fortune in Spain)". El Mundo (in Spanish). 30 October 2013.
- Pérez de Pablos, Susana (21 January 2013). "El nuevo proyecto "Lanzadera" dedicará tres millones a financiar a emprendedores (The new "Lanzadera" project will allocate three million [Euros] for financing entrepreneurs)". EL PAÍS (in Spanish).
- Manuel Mira (2 April 2013). Juan Roig: De cómo Mercadona devino en imperio (Juan Roig: How Mercadona became an empire) (in Spanish). La Esfera de los Libros. ISBN 978-84-9970-830-0.
- Javier Alfonso (10 April 2014). Historia de un éxito: Mercadona: Las claves del triunfo de Juan Roig (Success story: Mercadona - Juan Roig's keys to success) (in Spanish). Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial España. ISBN 978-84-16029-10-5.