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Xavier Badia

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Xavier Badia

Carrer del Sol, Igualada, Spain

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General info

At the age of 22, with a Masters in business administration, managing a family business – established in 1889 - was not easy. In 1997 my father and uncle wanted to retire and they had three alternatives from which to choose from.  The first was to close the company, the second was to hand over the company to the workers and the third, hand over the company so that I would manage it. 


When I accepted the job of running the business I took it on with enthusiasm.  And when you take on a family business, the approach is that you have a moral obligation, to guarantee the continuity for the following generation.  It is not something which you have built and can make and dismantle as you wish.  You have to have your feet on the ground and recognize the work carried out by the people that have given you this opportunity and also to be capable of transmitting all of this. 


The work of a tanner has changed a lot thanks to the mechanization of a great number of the processes, but it still enjoys a high level of craftsmanship. All the tanning processes require the sensibility and touch of our fingers, because only by touching the leathers can a professional sense whether the things are going right or whether something has to be modified.  As we work with small batches and different process combinations, each operator must have a clear idea of how his activity influences the end-product. Working with high quality brands means that our leathers must comply with very strict standards with regard to colour and its strength, resistance to rubbing and final appearance.  For this reason, the final processes are the most delicate of all the tanning process


An large part of the corporate success of Curtidos Badia is thanks to the team.  One must have a good team, and to be a manager is exactly that: to be surrounded by a good team knowing that when you are not in the factory, it will carry on working efficiently. Working with a good team allows me to dedicate time to the industry, such as, to the Guild of Tanners of Igualada, the Spanish Tanners Association, as well as presiding over the Igualada water-treatment plant.


One project which I am working on is to convert Igualada into the European Capital of Quality Leathers. The tanning industry has given Igualada a series of infrastructures that allows it to adopt different positions as future European capital of quality leathers. There are museums, an engineering school, a municipal school which teaches craftsmanship… the sum of all these factors cannot be found in any other place in Europe.  And if to all this we add the determination and spirit of the tanners, organized in an industrial cluster, we can see that this conversion and recognition objective is achievable. The A3 Professorship in Leather Innovation of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia will attract investors, consolidate the industry and facilitate innovation. 


My greatest satisfaction has been to save a company, to save 50 jobs and generate another 50 new work places.

  • What (s)he says about the job:
  • My greatest satisfaction has been to save a company, to save 50 jobs and generate another 50 new work places.
  • Works at:
  • Curtidos Badia
  • Job:
  • Managing Director

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