For Eloi Planes (Barcelona, 54 years old), president of Fluidra, a leading Catalan family company in the swimming pool sector that has been listed on the Ibex 35 since 2021, words are as or more important than numbers. This industrial engineer by profession and poet by vocation, he defends emotions as allies in life. In the way he expresses himself, he shows a deep emotional intelligence that has been worked on over the last few years. Among the hobbies of this man from Barcelona, married with three children, are writing (above all), running, cooking, Barça and Frank Sinatra.
Ask. When did poetry come into your life?
Answer. He comes from a very young age, when he was 17 or 18 years old. I suppose that this facet must come from my mother, that she is a very creative person and, in fact, she has written stories for her grandchildren. I met again in 2009 or 2010, coinciding with the crisis. It was my space for reflection and reflection.
P. So seriously does he take it that he has published his first book.
R. In The purest trip (The purest journey) there is a part written when I was young, 40% of the book, and 60% is written later, from the year 2009. The truth is that discovering the young Eloi surprised me. I thought ‘what a creative guy’.
Q.What time of day do you write?
R. On the plane, during work trips (he shows a small notebook with some of the poems, written by hand, that he will include in his second book. The last one that appears was created on the flight from Barcelona to London).
Q. He says that the book is born “from the most conscious, darkest and at the same time funniest moment of reflection.” What time is that?
R. They were hard times from a personal point of view and I think I return to writing to find myself, to find my balance. Those were intense moments: the economic crisis, three young children, a job that demands a lot from you, a family that needs you. Somehow you feel surpassed, although these are years of much personal and professional growth. The book ends at a sweet moment in my life, in 2013. It took me several years, I’m slow, I don’t have that much time to write either (laughs).
Q. What did you discover about yourself when you made that inner journey?
R.. I realize that the pace and the way I was living life had to evolve if I wanted this to be sustainable. It helped me gain perspective, relativize and balance my life. Among the things I have learned is living 100% in the moment, although sometimes it is difficult. Crisis situations in the end make you learn, improve and grow.
Q. How do you balance your life to have hours for your family or your leisure time?
R.. I am a very active person, at home they tell me that I am hyperactive, I sleep little and that gives you some time to do more things. Regarding leisure, there is something that I have not forgiven for a decade and that is to do the Camino de Santiago once a year, for about five days, with a group of seven friends. It is one of those things that I demand of myself, even though it is a difficult moment. I remember doing the road and being on the phone in the middle of the merger operation (with the American Zodiac).
Q. He has just run the Barcelona marathon with Alex Roca, a young Catalan with cerebral palsy. How was the experience?
R.. For me it has been a pride to be able to run alongside Álex and accompany him in this experience. He is a person who has always been an inspiration and for me he is a clear example that in life you set the limits. It has shown me that with perseverance and perseverance you can achieve it. It has made me very happy to run and finish my first marathon and the fact that it was with him makes it even more special.
Running is a way to play sports, to keep up and be balanced. It’s something you can easily do when traveling and racing helps you set a goal. I try to run a minimum of three days a week, both on the street and in the gym, depending on where I am.
Q. What things make you angry?
R. I am not a person with a strong character, but I can’t stand arrogance and lies, that can make me angry. We are all necessary, important, equal and that is not respected, it seems to me one of the despicable things in life.
P. What excites you?
R.. I can get excited about everything, I am a sensitive person in many aspects. Emotions are great allies in life, both positive and negative. I think that among executives this is more and more integrated, the form of leadership has evolved and changed, although sometimes it is difficult for us to talk about this, about vulnerability. This was my fundamental fear with the book, showing myself vulnerable. And, on the other hand, the part of also understanding the emotions of others, of your team, what worries or motivates them, is part of leadership.
Q. Shows great emotional intelligence.
R.. I have worked a lot and I have done everything, from therapy to growth courses. I think these things help you get to know yourself better and how you function.
Q. Concerned about mental health?
R.. I think you have to be very vigilant. In the end we are in a world that is difficult to follow and that impacts our well-being and I believe that the only solution is to take care of yourself physically and mentally.
Q. Decide: eat in a starred restaurant or traditional food?
R.. I am more of traditional food. What I do tell you is that I really like cooking, I love it and I am a perfectionist.
Q. What kitchen?
R. From a paella or some chickpeas with espardeñas to a spicy lobster or barbecued fish. If you ask me about a work restaurant, where I eat with clients or we have celebrated retirements, I think of Passadis del Pep. Also in the Argentine La Tavernicola.
Q. Do you eat everything?
R. I eat everything, but I try to watch my diet, my weight. I fast for 24 hours every 15 days on the recommendation of my dietitian and I’m doing great. I plan it when I have long trips and I do it almost without realizing it. It’s to reset the body, but I’m not obsessed with these things.
Q. Can you tell me about a song that has marked you?
R. I love music, for example, I love Frank Sinatra and, above all, the song Cycles, which speaks precisely of the fact that life is cycles. My son said to me: ‘What if we tattoo something together?’ and he chose the name of this song (it shows the small tattoo on his ankle, the only one he has at the moment).
Q. If you had belonged to another era, which one would you have liked to live?
R.. The Renaissance, because I am interested in everything. He would have been an inventor, a painter, a writer…
P. It’s Barca. He’s angry?
R.. I am disgusted. They are situations in which Barça should not find themselves and I think they should be explained, it’s time to go out and show your face.
Q. Will he still be on the team?
R. We will continue being from Barça
Q. What will you do when you retire?
R. I have not thought about it, but I think that one of the things that I would surely love is to transmit and share my experiences to the people who can be of use to them.
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