Six years of Festival occurrence have gradually marked the course of Habanos S.A. strategies to develop its goods. Javier Terrés de Ercilla, Vice-President of Development, belongs to the last list of those believing that the astonishment capacity is what can never be lost.
Habanos: What is your assessment of the VI Habanos Festival?
Javier Terrés: The Festival is the most important event on Public Relations we carry out at world level. This VI Edition has both made it quite clear that people are interested in the Habanos world and ratified once again that Habanos culture is extrapolative to other sectors. As you may know very well, this year we had a Commercial Fair where over 40 companies were represented. And it was a complete success from all viewpoints, not only because of the number of companies, but also due to the quality of stands and the number of participants and visitors that came. New exhibitors came along and Habanos goal – which is and has always been to surprise the consumer – was attained.
We should take into account too that there are certain chapters that are gradually consolidating within the Festival – and I am not speaking about the gambling-related aspects that are well known by everyone – but there are certain events such as the Whisky and Cigar Challenge, the Habanosommelier, the International Seminar, the Scientific Seminar, and the Commercial Fair – which are important parts – on which we are going to work more in order to surprise those visiting us.
H: How is Habanos inserted within the market and the industry of the luxury world?
JT: I think the luxury market and the industry of the luxury world have peculiar characteristics, as we all could see during the panel with the great panel members participating there, and the interest it arose within the audience. It is a global industry. The luxury world is a global world and, in our case, i.e. Habanos´, I can assure you the consumer has the same image of, let us say, Cohiba in Cuba as in Spain, France, China or Australia. The Habano is a highest quality, elitist good with aspirations, and this is one hundred percent transferable.
H: What is Habanos´ intention in order to continue developing its product image?.
JT: Habanos´ intention is to surprise the consumer every year with a product exceeding the consumer’s expectations. In this are both Tabacuba and Habanos involved, they two being highly co-ordinated. Our idea is to make 2004 the “Montecristo” year. We are going to develop the “Montecristo Fashion” project with a Portuguese company and will lunch a new cigar gauge named Edmund after Alexander Dumas´s novel. We all know about Edmund Dantes´s world.
H: What are the characteristics of the new cigar gauge?
JT: It is a heavy cigar with a 52 ring gauge, it is very adapted to the current consumer that wants heavy ring gauged cigars.
H: And, concerning the “Montecristo Fashion” project, what are its expectations?
JT: “Montecristo Fashion” is a project we are working on with a great deal of illusion. Arcotêxteis is a most powerful company, we think it can work and I am sure it will be useful to potentiate and enhance further the image of that legend, that myth, that history, that image of a masculine man – I know you women do not agree much in that it may be for men only – but unfortunately this is the universe, the target consumer existing in “Montecristo.”