"After 31 years in GAMBÍN, I can't imagine being anywhere else"
He came into the office one day to fill a vacancy. It was 1989. Since then, Manuel José Carmona has never missed a single day, except for holidays or bank holidays. Sometimes not even that. "I'm dependent on GAMBÍN. Since I live across the street, even if it's a weekend, I come down for a while to organise my work. For me this is an extension of my house," he says. Who could have imagined this when, a few weeks after starting with us and having a subject left to finish his Social Graduate studies, he told his uncle Quino that he was getting overwhelmed. "I told him I was going to spend a week thinking about it: it's been 31 years since then and I'm still here," he smiles.
Carmona, born and raised in Cox, carries GAMBÍN in his veins. Within the company, he's been through every department. "Accounting, collection management, human resources... Except for warehouse work, I've done everything," he says. Currently, he is in charge of the field administration and collection control of the national wholesale market. From his office, located next to the weighing scale, he carries out his work.
The initial information, essential
"The lorry arrives from the field and is weighed ; then, in the computer, I prepare all the documentation in order to check the kilos and send the information to the database by category and origin. A forecast of the incoming product is made and thus, production can be optimised", he explains. "The information that goes into the computer at this point is paramount", he points out. Then there is the paperwork. "Every day I receive the transfers from the national market, I control the payments and we see how the coverages, the deadlines, etc are going", he says.
Three decades in the same place give you the opportunity to get to know the company really well, the profession, the sector and, above all, the people. "From the tone of voice, I can tell right away who's trying to trick me! Although we now have a protective barrier, as we have selected well with whom to work. We work with serious, responsible people with coverage", he claims.
"Seriousness is key in the field and the orchard"
This is one of the company's outstanding developments during this time, but it is not the only one. "The GAMBÍN brand is a guarantee. Quality is the basis of the company's good image, both now and before, when we were doing traditional market. If you take an orange GAMBÍN, it's GAMBÍN from the top to the bottom. And if you pick it JOGASA, it's JOGASA. You can't fool the customer. That's why the company is a benchmark. And this is something really important in the orchard and in the field, because it helps both in the relationship with customers and with suppliers", he declares.
In his opinion, training has been fundamental in achieving this. "A lot has been and is being invested in the company to train its staff. And that pays for itself: people are more efficient and everything works better. Professionalization has been a commitment of the management, along with conciliation, so that people can have their leisure time and their life outside work. Years ago, we had longer working days that led to nothing. With the commitment to well-trained professionals, this has been improved", he analyses.
Not to mention, of course, some of GAMBÍN's indispensable values. For him, the care for detail is also key. "People in the industry who are tired of travelling and being elsewhere always say that there are no 'dark corners' here. That the facilities here are an example of cleanliness and organisation," he says. An organisation that he strictly maintains in his workstation: "I don't like having a drawer full of papers. Until I have completed them, I don't get any rest. I am passionate about order and control in the workplace".
A professional life full of memories
As it could not be otherwise after a life in the company, Carmona keeps plenty of memories. "I remember a lot of the people who have left us, starting with uncle Quino, who used to arrive every day at two o'clock in the afternoon with his bundle of wood. Or José Gambín, Pepe's father...", he evokes with emotion. "It also marked me the day we closed the traditional sale and therefore, I had to call all of our clients on a Friday afternoon in order to tell them that we would not be open on Monday," he explains. "That allowed us to focus on the most important business units and for each professional to be more focused on their respective tasks," he says.
His view of the future couldn't be more optimistic: "I think we're on the right track. GAMBÍN is increasing its presence as a citrus exporter in many countries and we will continue to be faithful to our values and to the work that has always distinguished us", he predicts. Something he intends to continue to be part of without any doubt: "I can't imagine being anywhere else but here".