By Maria Morancho, The Washington Center Program Intern
Though only 10 years old, Luis already knew how to run the business. Hearing the sound of the mill producing feed for the cattle or helping with bottle feeding the calves were things that he was already used to. His dad managed the trade of the cattle and also the feed production. His mom was in charge of the domestic chores besides collaborating in selling olive oil. His two older siblings were also actively involved in the company, and all grew up in a familiar business that required sacrifice, cooperation and dedication seven days a week.
One day after school, Luis went to help feed the cattle. He enjoyed being with the animals. That same day, one of the calves swallowed Luis’ First Communion ring! He urgently called out to the farmer nearby. They decided to isolate the calf and wait until “recovering” the ring. Luis was very grateful to that man who decided not to tell the story to his father. He knew that the ring was expensive, and he didn’t want his dad to be angry with him for not taking care of his own belongings. That week, Luis dedicated longer hours than ever to take care of the cattle because he believed he had to work hard to get the ring back. He “observed” the calf’s output for the next few days without losing hope. It wasn’t until the third day that the ring appeared, and Luis looked after it as if it were a treasure.
Luis learned important business values such as effort, patience, commitment and responsibility, not to mention the importance of maintaining a good network. These same values, together with the entrepreneurial spirit inherited from his father, served Luis well when he obtained the position of main shareholder of the company Hnos. Morancho Español S.A. in 1981.
Luis became the sole owner and decided to keep the original name of the business. He made a huge investment and expanded the company into what has now become a $30M operation. In 2001, he and his wife, Mireia, created a second company, Bopin Grup S.L., to raise cattle for the certified meat industry, an emerging market. Using an ever- strengthening network, both companies continue the production of bovine cattle not only on company-owned farms, but also on partner farms that agree to raise the cattle according to company standards. They are industry leaders in the bovine sector of the Spanish market.
I know this Luis as “Dad.” His passion and dedication in the business has led me to start an adventure looking for new opportunities abroad, in particular in Washington, DC, where I am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Dad, but with a mindset open to new challenges. I hope to find my passion while collaborating with the Maryland Women’s Business Center, where I perform business development support essential for my professional career.
I greatly appreciate my parents’ spirit of sacrifice and their constant support, as well as the education I have received that has led me to be the woman that I am today. I am ambitious and committed, and I appreciate the strong values my parents passed on to me, and I will use them in both my professional and personal future.
And to think it all started with a little boy losing his ring to a calf!
About the Author
Maria Morancho, is Maryland Women Business Center’s intern from The Washington Center Program. She is from Altorricon, Spain, a town with about 1,500 people. She attended university in Barcelona, and worked there for a year. This is her first time living and working in the United States.