To answer the question, why entrepreneurs nowadays have a bad image, Jordi Castanyer (Soller, 1942) raises his hands, the skin destroyed by the chemicals with which he has been working since his youth: “There is nothing we can do about it. What I’m trying to say is, that business is never easy and even less in a small company like ours”.
Jordi Castanyer’s father, Tomeu, was electrolyte technician, and that determined the future of the firstborn of the family. While his brothers studied at the university, Jordi was already working for his parents at the age of 17, right after finishing school. “My father did not manage it alone, so I took the responsibility.” He studied languages and accounting. “Languages have always played a big role in my life, my wife is Dutch” he says with a wink.
His father had a clear vision for his company. He founded Depur-Clor in Sa Pobla and the first soap factory on Majorca, La Roqueta. The company developed among other things the bleach “El Parado”, which is still on the market. The Castanyer family were pioneers who were the first to sell bleaches in plastic containers.
At the beginning, many difficulties had to be overcome. The credits were high, “14 per cent, it bordered on usury”, and the tourism boom in the Balearics led to an increase in transport costs and prices for materials and electricity.
At first the company was located on the first floor of the family house. “This made our work much easier at the beginning, as we were always there, we have always worked consistently, a real family business.” It was in 1966, when Depur-clor relocated to Son Castelló. Due to the treatment chemicals, it was advisable to move into the commercial area.
They began to produce a special soap for the cleaning of milk bottles and worked for the Asociación General Agraria Mallorquina (AGAMA) and for the Catalan brand Letona. The most important customers for the company, however, were the hotels & resorts of the Balearic Islands, who ordered Depur-Clor to clean their swimming pools.
Side by side, Jordi worked with his father, and learned many things from him. “Some of the advice my father gave me was never to deceive customers, to provide the highest quality and always to be reliable. This is something missing in many companies of today.”
Interview published in “Empresarios con Valor”
©Mª José Merino