In 1975 Dr. Julio Brache became president of Pasteurizadora Rica, a position which he still occupies today. Born in Moca, Dominican Republic, the life of this prominent man is closely associated with the success of one of the most enterprising agroindustrial entities in the country, the Rica Group. His success has been key to the Rica Group reaching and keeping its undeniable leadership role in the area of processing milk and citrus products.
It is interesting to note that he is a professional in the medical field of which he is a reputable surgeon. Dr. Julio Brache was the first director of the Moscoso Puello Hospital from 1956 to 1959. During this period he was also a surgeon at the Dominican Airforce hospital from 1956 to 1959. As of 1964 he practiced medicine at the Salvador B. Gautier Hospital, a position which he left in 1969 to dedicate himself entirely to overseeing Rica Pasteurizer. 10 months later the pasteurizer celebrated its first month of sales topping 1 million quarts of milk.
Under Dr. Julio Brache’s presidency Pasteurizadora Rica saw the rise of sister companies; DOMINICAN CITRUS PARTNERSHIP, and SAN ANTONIO DIARY. These companies make up what is today known as the Rica Corporate Group.
CEO of Rica Group
Pedro Guillermo Brache Álvarez, CEO of Rica Group and son of Julio A. Brache, lives by the values he learned at home. He studied at the San Juan Bautista Institute and finished his high school education at at Princeton, New Jersey. He pursued a university degree and a master’s at the University of Syracuse and the American University of Washington, D. C., respectively.
During his student years he was unclear as to what course he wanted to follow professionally and therefore at the time he did not wish to stop studying. “It was a time that I enjoyed to the utmost and I missed it when it came to a conclusion. I am a person who gives himself body and soul to what he does.” He graduated in 1987 and started at Rica in 1989. “I started at the bottom. I rotated through various departments until I reached this position. My father gave me the opportunity and I was able to benefit from it.” His idea of success is very peculiar. “It is all about giving your children the same opportunities you had.” The best advice he ever received was to be humble and empathetic, something he learned from his father. “You have to put yourself in the other’s place and understand their feelings. I do not ask my people to do anything I would not do myself.”
He believes a manager should see the firing of an employee as his or her own error. “All managers must analyse themselves before making such a decision: did I not give enough support, training or the necessary tools? You have in your hands the lives of many people and when they are successful so is the company. I like to see executives arrive at Rica and make a career here, see how the company helps them evolve, grow personally and professionally. It is through the personal development of its people that companies grow”.
“My father is a humble man, the kind that gives a a lot of importance to the human element. He created the company out of nothing, something that can be more difficult than taking over an existing enterprise that is already running. Not all doctors have enjoyed good fortune and success in business. He succeeded because he has incredible common sense and knows how to use it. He is also very positive and altogether this is what makes for a great man”, emphasised Pedro referring to his father.
Another important factor in the information of the company was the fact that Don Julio was a cattle rancher. He produced milk but had no one to sell it to. “A group of friends decided to get together, among them the Cáceres family who still form an important part of the group. With time my father ended up with most of the shares. That is how the company was born”.
Pedro cannot leave out the important role his mother played. A family story told to Pedro give us an idea of the kind of woman she was. “When my father was going to buy a part of the shares I was very young. My mother took us all into a room and told us: “Your father is going to make a business deal that if it goes well we will all do very well but if it goes bad we are going to be worse off than we are now.” That was very important because in that moment our mother instilled in us a sense of family, a sense of sharing all that goes on in the family business.” remembers Pedro.