Luis Sans Huecas was born in Madrid in 1969 where he grew up and developed his early years. He attended the University of Barcelona (UB) where he acquired a degree in Mathematics and soon after he developed a keen interest for the world of business. Since the age of 26 he has developed a good part of his career as creator, director and manager of businesses in different areas and sectors. They range from postal mail operating services, to the textile industry, the field of dental hygiene to managing large communication companies as well as the financial and corporate world.
The Cencla Group was born in Madrid in 1997 as a new business area of Agencia L, a company dedicated to outsourcing the printing of invoices, bank statements and documents of high seceurity levels. After years of work, Agencia L transformed into Grupo Cencla, one of the main national corporate groups dedicated to the area of managing security documents. Grupo Cencla includes Agencia L, Cencla, CDPT and Artes Graficas Lerchundi; companies dedicated to direct marketing as well as management of printing highly secured documents, marketing, invoices, credit cards and booklets etc.
My vision of the project consisted in expanding the line of business, initially focused on the printing of documents for the field of direct marketing. We aimed to give a renewing face to the company and set it for a new path in “document outsourcing”, which managed the printing of invoices, bank statements etc to the holding of clients. In 1998 I managed the acquisition of Artes Graficas Lerchundi, the first national service for printing documents of a high security level for Banking. In 1999 CDPT was created, turning into the biggest private factory in Spain dedicated to the personalization of cards for banking, telecommunications, memberships etc…
During those years, the growth of the company was based on the acquisition of small and medium companies to the group that I managed. The investments made, surpassed 34 million Euros and the final value of the Group in 2001 surpassed 135 million Euros. The closing of the year 2001 reached a billing higher than 90 million euros with more than 4000 people on the team and 7 production centers opened in Spain and Latin America.
On the 24th of April 2001 the first private postal operating service was born in Europe. As creator and CEO of the project, I had to manage and create from the very beginning the creation of ViaPostal. I was responsible for the development of all the components of the project, and the managing of a high performance team focused on achieving goals in a record time. One of my first tasks in the company was attracting financial investors that would give the necessary backing to the project, which was superior to 57 million Euros. Once this objective was met, we focused on the creation of a network of postmen on a national level and the implementation of the necessary technology and machinery for the classification and management of shipments.
We achieved in a record’s time the opening of 20 delegations on a national level, creating a network of postmen superior to 2500 of the first year, covering up to 75% of the national territory. We were able to increase the company’s market share to 16% and earn 78.40 million euros in turnover. By the end of 2002, the investment plans needed were blocked after an aggressive legal battle with the public organization of Correos and the Ministry of Development (Ministerio de Fomento). As a result we could not finish the promised investments by banks thus having to cease all activity of ViaPostal by 2003. This was the first entrepreneurial failure and also one of the biggest learning processes for my career.
GROUP FABRIC DECORATION
Group Fabric Decoration was consolidated as one of the main producers of home fashion textile. The company contained five factories that specialized in different products and were located in India (KIRUPUR). This company also launched several clothing textile brands (Hudson River, El Loco, etc), and set up a network of stores across Spain known as Colors.
Grupo Fabric Decoration invested an amount of 29 million dollars for the buying and renovation of several textile factories in India. The company managed to reach an increase of sales of 350% in 3 years, surpassing 85 million to 196 million in 2006. Due to the restructuring and renovation of the production systems, and also the opening to new markets, we achieved an improvement from EBITDA of 27%.
By the end of 2005 it was decided to set in place a search for a financial partner or industry that would take charge of the group. It was ultimately sold with a capital gain of 33% to the following Chinese Groups respectively: Dongguan Yourmoon Home Textile Co. Ltd and Jintion Textile (Notong) Co. Ltd.
BRAND CAPITAL MADE IN SPAIN
After my experience in the textile industry, I decided to launch my first venture capital fund specialized in Spanish Fashion, BCS (Brand Capital Made in Spain). I had the aim of creating the first holding of fashion Spanish brands and reach the goal of 500 million euros. It was the first venture capital company raising a fund for an investment project that was already fully developed with the different companies already studied and negotiated. We were able to significantly reduce the investment periods and therefore substantially improve profitability of the objectives. The ability to search and personally recruit investors, on a national and international level, allowed me to create a network of investors from Latin America and the Middle East. This network then proved to be highly useful for future projects, as we were able to achieve investments deals that reached 225 million euros in 2007.
I had the opportunity to direct as CEO the main dental health clinic around the world, with more than 400 centers in Spain and 50 in Italy. During these years I had the opportunity to meet and develop the main pillars of the projects Vitaldent. We opened the Italian market and set the pillars for the rest of Europe. We created the Center of Superior Studies (CES), with the objective of improving the training plans and procedures of both the medical staff and the non-medical centers. This was done with the aim of improving the growth strategies in terms of quality and training.
We closed 2010 with a sales growth superior to 13% in RED and 95% in the Red de Clinicas (Clinic network) as they increased up to 95 centers. The Ebitda closed in 2010 with an increase of 20%.
TU VIDA FÁCIL
A new challenge ahead: helping people improve their relationship between the profession and personal life. That’s how Tu Vida Fácil was born, through the implementation of two types of services known as SPACES for workers in their facilities:
- Space Tu vida fácil: where you will be able to find fresh and healthy food, prepared daily in our kitchens in a traditional way. Thus creating a revolutionary concept of Mediterranean “Take- away” food with a Gourmet Low Cost model.
- Space Tu Mayordomo, a service that managed tasks that could be given to someone else and did not require high-level preparation (such as taking clothing items to the dry cleaner, doing key copies, taking shoes for repair etc…)
We initiated the activity of this service in November 2012 and we currently count on more than 30 operations in Madrid, with the objective of reaching 150 operations by 2018. I created a multidisciplinary team that is consistent and self-sufficient thus directing the company with great success.
My current role in the company is to advice and support the directing team in the search for new opportunities or services that we can provide with the aim of increasing our customer’s needs and experiences.
The President of Grupo Intereconomia, a leading group of business communication and politics in the audiovisual landscape in Spain, asked me to provide some advice for the company. Combining this with my other business projects, I helped restructure the Group and evaluate its possible directions as the company was undergoing a critical financial moment.
The Group has two national Radio stations, two TV channels, a national newspaper and one of the online portals with the highest impacts in the business world. With a billing higher than 70 million Euros and an index hearing higher than 5.000.000 daily views, this Group became the third Audiovisual Communication Group in Spain.
I lived the unfortunate process of restructuring the company, having to run two ERES and downsizing the team of 1200 employees to the current 400. This had to be done because the Group was loosing more than 20 million euros annually. With this and other changes we found several prosperous paths to the situation. However the Council of Administration of the company understood that I had to pursue another path and for that reason I left the company after 18 months. Subsequently the Group joined the Acreedores Competition and it currently continues to be in that process.
It was one of the toughest and most unpleasant experiences in my career, having to reduce that many employees who were great professionals was extremely unpleasant. This phase of my career taught me to say no to friends and avoid getting involved in projects that although one has the aim to revive it can be predicted that they are destined to fail. I learned that is it vital to accept when a project is over and finish it in time because otherwise the project will end you.
I decided to create Weston-Hill in 2014 and I gave way to my two business partners José MªGarrido y Juan Garrido, great people and friends. I designed a new form of investment in Spain based on the security that companies give to their owners.
It is possible to find good business opportunities in times when the interest rates are low, hence profitability of money in banks is low and simultaneously the real estate is on its highest level of competition. I understood this correlation and created an investment model based on investments in stable medium sized companies. Working with various family offices and individual investors that understand that investing in an already functioning firm with a persistent background and a potential for growth is a medium to low risk investment. These kinds of investments have a high potential of profitability, especially in the long term.
In Weston we search for companies, study them and create the project to develop accordingly to their potential. We then select the management team and give support through our central structure; we follow the projects and conduct it to achieve our set goals. Our investors are the main shareholders of businesses with a high potential of growth, primarily international projects. They do not manage or conduct their companies, as that is our role.
During these two years we have acquired more than 18 companies and the results have proven to be very encouraging. We continue to move forward.
DREAMMAKER AND FOUNDER INVESTMENT TO CHANGE THE WORLD
“I have a dream and it is not small, but the first step is not to be afraid to say it, I want to contribute to Change the World”. From ICW we have as our main goal to find that all the investments that we make have that objective forcefully. We believe in the butterfly effect philosophy, by which small changes and actions can generate as a result, great effects. “The flapping wings of a butterfly can change the world”.
Beyond our needs and financial objectives, our great responsibility consists in improving the quality of life of the people that we can reach out to in order to achieve our goal. We create and support the development of businesses where people must be the central element in which the financial activity is taking place. We develop and endorse those companies that improve in a substantial way the life of the three main groups that make up a company: the clients, the employees and the providers.
I am convinced that all businesses should be done and built with a base of principles and ethical values. I also believe that the only way to consolidate a business in the long term, is done by fulfilling the set objectives and applying a management method that I refer to as RIE: a model based on Reinvention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in each company that we obtain.
By innovating in all processes of the value chain; supporting the entrepreneurship from within; allowing the teams that make up a company to contribute their management to grow along with the company; and applying improvements to achieve a unique product or service our companies will achieve rebranding and success. I believe in companies and projects with a valuable history behind, with a potential for a successful future and that offers our investors a sustainable growing profitability.
I firmly believe that successful investments are grounded on 5 key fields that I consider strategic in the current world: Agrifood, Health, Education, Logistics (Infrastructure) and Leisure.
If you want to know more about changing the world, visit out website. www.investmentcw.com
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POSITIONS HELD BY LUIS SANS
Co-President and founder of Weston Hill
March 2014- Present
CEO of Grupo Intereconomía
December 2012- March 2014
Founder-Advisor in Tu Vida Fácil
June 2011- Present
January 2008- October 2010
Managing Director at Iame Investment Holding S.G.E.C.R
Marzo de 2006-Diciembre de 2007
General Director of Group Fabric Decoration
January 2003- February 2006
Founder and CEO of Viapostal
June 1999- September 2002
General Director of Grupo Cencla
January 1995- May 1999