Beer. The oldest and the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, possibly dating back to the early Neolithic or 9500 BC, recorded in the written history of ancient Iraq and ancient Egypt. Archaeologists believe that beer was instrumental in the formation of civilizations! Beer has changed and developed a lot since its beginnings. Nowadays we know hundreds of beer styles and every country has their own types, just like the most renown breweries have their secret formulas, special production processes passed along from generation to generation. Beer connoisseurs travel around the world to discover new flavors, enjoy new tasting experiences, find the best beer ever brewed. Some countries and regions boast a long tradition of brew, counting hundreds of years. England, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium… These are some of the most renowned beer manufacturers, but not the only one. The right proportion of know-how and innovation, respect for tradition, correct investment decisions, highest possible level of business acumen and most important – guarantee of deliciousness: these are the pillars of a huge international success of an old, esteemed and globally well known Spanish brewery – Mahou San Miguel, a more than a 120 years-old company from Madrid, which managed to achieve an enormous success in an industry, in which Spanish entrepreneurships weren’t treated seriously for a long time. Analyzing the aspects of business activity of a modern, flourishing commercial organization, which Mahou San Miguel has become, we have talked with sources from the company that have help us understand, how a small, family company transformed into one of the most important Spanish exporters…
More than a century of experience
In 1890, four children of a French entrepreneur from Lorraine, founded a company, which was to change the brewing industry forever - Hijos de Casimiro Mahou, fabrica de hielo y cerveza (The Sons of Casimiro Mahou, production of ice and beer). It is worth noting that one of the founders was a woman – Carolina Mahou, yet there were only “Sons” in the name of the company … Nevertheless, Mahou beer was first produced at the brewery on Amaniel Street, Madrid in 1891 and its importance in the Spanish brewing industry grew slowly. Casimiro Mahou Garcia has become the first Chairman of the Association of Beer Producers in 1922 and after his death in 1943, his son – Alfredo Mahou de la Fuente – assumed responsibility of the company. One of the milestones in the history of the Group was so called the “Manilla Agreement” signed in 1953 between the shareholders of the company La Segarra and the Chairman of the San Miguel Corporation of the Philippines. As a result, a new brewery has been established – La Segarra S.A., which in 1957 changed its name to San Miguel, Fábricas de Cerveza y Malta, S.A. and the very same year Hijos de Casimiro Mahou became Mahou, S.A. As sales figures rose the company moved to a new and bigger building. In 1962 the exportation of San Miguel beer began; with Mahou brewing its first beer at the Paseo Imperial Brewery in Madrid, work on which had begun the previous year. Sometime later, the Mahou brewery on Amaniel Street shut down. Four years later the development of the company gained pace – San Miguel opened a second brewery in Malaga and in 1979 the French industry giant, Danone Group, had acquired a one-third stake in Mahou. In 1992 Danone began the process of acquiring San Miguel. Yet eight years later it was Mahou, which bought 70% of San Miguel from the Danone Group, adding to the 30% stake it already held, thereby creating a wholly Spanish-owned brewery group. After the purchase of San Miguel, Fábricas de Cerveza y Malta, S.A. by Mahou, S.A. at the end of 2000, the company changed its name to become Grupo Mahou-San Miguel. Nowadays, as sources from the company explain, “Mahou San Miguel is a 100% Spanish owned, family company, leader in the brewing industry in our country thanks to the talent of our more than 2,500 professionals.”
Creating the modern definition of company’s value
The Group’s evolution from a small, local brewery into a globally known role model, when it comes to management, investments, strategy of development and quality standards is simply astounding. Mrs. Gil de Castro says that “The company fosters development through internationalization, innovation and continuous improvement and is firmly committed to society”, but that does not explains the secret of the company’s success. Let us look at the most important aspects of the Group’s activity – maybe we will find answers to questions, which asks every ambitious manager in the world? Let’s start with some figures: Grupo Mahou San-Miguel is the leading and the most international brewer in Spain. It produces 75% of the Spanish beer that is exported! In 2012, Mahou-San Miguel has established itself as a leader in the Spanish beer market with a production of 12.3 million hectoliters and a market share of 37%. Sales have reached 1,173 million euros and operating income – 175 million euros. The investments have reached 72 million euros, allocated mainly to boosting the growth of the business as well as the modernization and industrial improvement of the Group’s production centres – eight brewing facilities and two mineral water springs with their own packaging plants. They are all equipped with the latest technology to ensure the excellent quality of products. The company hires more than 2,530 fully professional Employees, perfectly prepared for their tasks. As we can see, Grupo Mahou-San Miguel has everything that is needed to create global trends and continuously strengthen its competitive position, as well as executing its mission: “to Create long-term value. The company moves forward confidently, innovating and diversifying its business with high quality products.” And this is possible not only thanks to the best possible staff, amazing technological background, more than a century of experience and wise strategic decisions of the company’s authorities, but also due to a modern understanding of the definition of company’s value, based equally on the strictest standards of quality, as well as a special approach to the issues of environment protection and Corporate Social Responsibility.
He, who acts responsibly, has a bright future
Grupo Mahou-San Miguel, one of Spain’s ambassadors to the world, carries a great responsibility on its shoulders. A responsibility lying on every company, which has the honor to show the Spanish life style around the globe and promote the European values, such as respect to every human being, right of dignity, care for our planet. That is why Mahou-San Miguel is a socially responsible company. It integrates CSR into how it does things, throughout its entire value chain, from the raw materials the company buys up until the product is delivered to the Consumer. Mrs. Irene Gil de Castro explains that “the Group’s main challenge is to lead the change towards a more sustainable environment and become a reference in CSR in the off-trade sector. To do this, it takes on voluntary commitments in environmental, economic and social matters, which also contribute to strengthening its long-term leadership. Under the slogan An active commitment, its strategy in the field of CSR is structured around six pillars, each of which takes on specific commitments: to be the company that has the lowest environmental footprint, to be a leader in promoting a healthy lifestyle, to be the partner of choice for its Clients and Suppliers, to be the most trusted company among its interest groups, to be the best place to work at and to continue generating wealth locally.” It would be impossible to point out every possible initiative, foundation, sponsorship undertaken by Grupo Mahou San-Miguel, as well as prestigious awards granted by various organizations in Spain and abroad, which recognized and appreciated all the good done by the company during all these years. Scholarship programs, volunteer initiatives throughout the country, several honorable titles, such as Most Equal Company or Family Friendly Company, millions and millions of euros spent to promote environmental protection, sports, local communities, culture, fashion and gastronomy… This is only a drop in the sea of the company’s actions, which we will surely see more in the coming years. Thanks to such a policy of development, management philosophy and organizational culture, The Mahou-San Miguel brand family has not stopped growing since 1890. Today it has one of the most comprehensive and varied ranges on the market to accompany Cinsumers during their moments of pleasure. And what will the future of the company bring? We are thrilled to find out...