Leader of the family-owned, Spanish supermarket honored as part of the fourth annual Babson Connect: Worldwide Entrepreneurship Summit in Spain

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Entrepreneur and family business leader Juan Roig has been honored by Babson College with induction into the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs® (ADE) as part of Babson Connect: Worldwide in Spain. Roig was awarded at a private ceremony on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in EDEM Business School, Valencia, the institution that also simultaneously hosted The 2018 Babson Collaborative Summit.

Established in 1978, the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (ADE) is the world’s first entrepreneurship hall of fame. Since its inception, the academy has recognized and honored entrepreneurs who have contributed significantly to the development of free enterprise throughout the world. Collectively, the 110 members of the academy have created millions of jobs and improved societies around the world.

Other international ADE inductees include Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group, Ernesto Bertarelli ’89, former CEO and Deputy Chairman of Serono SA, Harry Susilo P’96, PBM Founder and Chairman of the Sekar Group, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, Gilberto Trigano, Chairman and CEO of Club Med, Gustavo Cisneros ’68, President and CEO of Cisneros, and more.

 “Babson is proud to induct Juan Roig, an exemplary family business leader, entrepreneur and investor, into the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs®,” said Babson College President Kerry Healey. “Mr. Roig epitomizes entrepreneurial leadership—guiding and growing a successful enterprise, investing in his employees, and supporting local entrepreneurs and Spanish startups. His wide-ranging impact demonstrates how entrepreneurship can create positive change in the world, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Babson community.”

The Babson Collaborative Summit took place April 18-19 in Valencia. EDEM Business School hosted universities and institutions from USA, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Spain, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru, and the United Kingdom. The members of the organization engaged in activities in order to achieve depth and breadth in entrepreneurship education. 

Juan Roig

President of Mercadona and Founder of Marina de Empresas—an initiative that convenes local entrepreneurial resources under one roof to provide local entrepreneurs with the training, advising, and financing they need to succeed.


Juan Roig Alfonso was born on October 8, 1949 in Valencia, where he was named Honorary Citizen in 2014. He is married to Hortensia Herrero, and together they have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Roig studied at the University of Valencia, where in 1973, he graduated in economic science and completed the PADE programme in IESE Business School. Furthermore, he was awarded an Honorary Degree by the Valencia Polytechnic University, becoming the first entrepreneur to receive the acknowledgement from this University Community.

In 1975, he joined his father’s company, Cárnicas Roig, which at the time had a butcher and a convenience store division. On October 17, 1981, Juan Roig started managing the company, and in this way, it started operating independently as the Roig Group. This is how the Mercadona project started; at the time, it had eight stores in Valencia and a total surface area of approximately 300 m2, whereas today there are 1,627 supermarkets in Spain and some 84,000 employees.

Juan Roig is a university graduate whose real calling is being a “shopkeeper”, and who decided to move the company in a totally different direction in 1993, when he led the implementation of the Total Quality Model. Its basic pillar is the satisfaction of the company’s five components, namely The Client, known internally as “The Boss”, The Employee, The Supplier, Society, and Capital.

Roig is Honorary President of the Spanish Commercial Coding Association (AECOC), Vice-President of the Spanish Association of Convenience Stores and Supermarkets (ASEDAS), and Honorary President of the EDEM Business School. Additionally, he operates in close collaboration with the Family Business Institute (IEF), where he has also served as President. On a personal level, he fosters the educational and entrepreneurial project Marina de Empresas (which unites under one roof EDEM Business School, Lanzadera, a Startup Accelerator, and Angels, a seed investor). In Marina de Empresas, students, entrepreneurs and business people alike learn from Juan Roig’s wisdom. Furthermore, he sponsors Valencia Basket Club, and presides over the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, from which he supports sporting patronage initiatives.

By way of acknowledgement of his entrepreneurial initiative, he has been awarded the Príncipe Felipe Award for Corporate Excellence, the Valencia Government’s High Distinction, the Jaume I el Conqueridor Grand Cross, and the Gold Medal for Merit in the Workplace.

About Babson Connect: Worldwide

Launched in 2015 in historic Cartagena, Colombia, Babson Connect: Worldwide is Babson College’s premier global business summit that brings together renowned figures in the international business community, as well as Babson alumni, faculty, parents, administrators, and friends, to celebrate the ways in which Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® positively transforms businesses, societies, and lives.

Babson Connect: Worldwide has since traveled to Dubai, UAE, the international hub of entrepreneurial activity, then Bangkok, Thailand, one of the great economic success stories of Asia, and now Madrid, Spain, a leading European financial and technological center rich with culture and history.

About Babson Collaborative

The Babson Collaborative is a membership organization that brings together educational institutions seeking to build and grow entrepreneurship education for the betterment of our world. Membership is composed of institutions from around the world, which are committed to developing a global learning community with a belief that greater scale and impact will be achieved by working together. They, like Babson College, believe in educating entrepreneurs of all kinds who think and act to transform opportunity into reality, and create social and economic value everywhere.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-rankedcollege for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

By Brianna Radicioni,, (781) 239-4548 | 04/19/2018 04:00