if you were in charge of hsa?


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So if you were put in charge of hsa what would you do, If you had full control and could do whatever you liked with Cuban cigars?

Here is what I would do first I would halt all deletions for a period of ten years, and scrap the Re program.

As a replacement for re’s I would introduce a heritage release program, with the aim of restarting production on a limited scale e of cigars which can’t meet the sales targets but deserve to be retained in habanos history this would be for cigars like ra 898s partagas, caronas, sdc 1,2,3 etc with the aim of eventually increasing sales of these sticks so eventually they could re-enter regular production.

With the brands I would put someone in charge of each brand with incentivised pay they would have full control of the brand and could release what they liked. Personally I feel if all the Cuban brands were in competition with each other it would encourage innovation in the brands and would increase choice for the consumer. Although the brands would be in full competition with each other results would be measured in terms of sales compared to what each brand started with.

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Much of what you've mentioned has been discussed in the past and for the most part fallen on deaf ears. Given that some of the things HSA has

done over the past few years - layoffs, production cuts, etc, are some of the signs of a business dying a slow, painful death, if I were in charge,

I'd probably be looking for employment elsewhere.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I really don't care what HSA does. I'm looking forward to a future in which they no longer have a

monopoly on the production of Cuban cigars, a future with privately owned companies and open competition.

Damn the Behikes, full speed ahead!

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I'm with Colt on this one...I am looking foward where people like fuente and pepin can have open access to cuban tobacco and see what they can do with it. Hell even with nicaraguan and dominican tobacco, they are making some very very good cigars. I think its a sign of things to come. HsA is dying a very slow death.

If I were in charge, like you Matt, I'd axe the RE program and reintroduce axed cigars as limited runs, like the Diplo's 3-4-5, RA 898, Boli lonsdale, ERDM Lonsdale, ect. LE's would be 1 cigar a year and Gran Reservas every 5 years or so.

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Not to get off topic, but I understand there are a lot of individuals who are very critical how the show is being ran over there in Cuba. And I will respect that. Although, it could be a lot worse I have to remind myself. I have a modest stash of around 60 boxes and boy I really couldn't be any happier. I still find a handful of current production cuban cigars some of my personal favorite, and ones I'd say are the best of the best. Partagas 898, HUpmann 46, 50, and PC, Monte Esp, ERDM CS, Lanceros, RASS is a short list. For many generations before mine cuban cigars have been cut from production, yet I still remain satisfied not even knowing what they where or how the smoked. Life goes on.

Speaking in general terms, state ran organizations are always wasteful and inefficient. But, that's a different story. Most companies that fail do so by straying further and further away from their core business, in this case regular production high quality cuban cigars. When times get tough, senior management like to think up new directions and ideals for the company which makes matters worse by putting focus further from the core business.

Not giving it much though, if I had to role play this out I would not do much with the current portfolio right away. Put major focus on quality control. One of the black eyes on their face is the variance and inconsistencies from box to box... even cigar to cigar within the same box. This means large focus on the day to day blending of tobacco. Ensure packaging and presentation remain top notch. Supply chains remain well managing from raw material to finished product. I'd just make it my focus to make the worlds best cigars through regular production. Of course any company has to have some sizzle with their steak. The GrandR program seems to draw a lot of attention.

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I just posted a similar type of thread before seeing this one. At the end of the entry piece I once again found blame in leadership.

It seems to me, as I stated in my own thread, that once Fidel stopped smoking there was a marked down turn in the Cuban cigar industry in general. This could be coincidence of course, but when all things stem from one man, a dictator or and oligarchy that moves the political spectrum away from one of the islands major exports and interests, one should expect a decline in that product.

It is just another facet of my perspective. There is not a lot of latitude permitted you when you live in an authoritarian state. If the authority once more made smoking a national interest and a source for national pride, it would be! When you are the man in charge... and things go to hell, there is little room for blame for anyone but the man in charge! -Piggy

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I would simplify the numbers of shapes but make them with care and consistancy in taste, construction, draw and wrapper colour/quality. Sorry Rob, but that would take away the need to inspect and grade every box, because they all would be HQ.

I would create a core line for each marca, consisting of regular shapes :

- churchill

- pyramid

- corona

- robusto

- double corona

- panatela

- lonsdale

- petit corona

So each brand would have the same 8 cigars. That way you could really appreciate the different tastes and compare one brand to the other.

I would also have a 5 pack of each cigar to be able to help people try all the cigars without braking the bank. I would also have a sampler pack of all shapes of a marca like NCs have.

I would allow 2 distinctive shapes more per marca, to have something special that no one else has, for a total of 10 cigars.

As for LE and RE, I would remove them completly and instead have a Habanos or LCDH branded cigar line that would have 5 exclusive cigars per year, with a limited amount of each made each year. They would have a double band, one with Habanos/LCDH name and the other with the year. As for the shapes from year to year, they would have carte blanche.

That would create 5 special cigars per year, made with premium aged tobacco, something like a sort of mix between the Maduro 5 and Behike lines.

And of course, I would get rid of Guatanamera cigars and the likes, which reflect very poorly on the rest of the portfolio.

So for all of you that think that it would mean the end of a lot of your favorite cigars, you will still have 10 cigars of more than 20 marcas plus 5 exclusives each year, meaning a bit more than 200 cigars to choose from : that's still quite a lot !

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I would send out reps to attend things like the Toronto MegaHerf to see what a little passion (Rob's) does for fostering a real attachment to the cigar smoking community at large. And once there, you can tap into the wants and needs of said community. Back to basics.

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I'd immediately discontinue all EL, RE, LCDH, jars, etc. I'd bring back the top 75% of all cigars deleted over the past 20 years. All cigars will have 3 available packagings: A 10 box, a 25 box, and then either a 50 cab or a 100 cajon. Looking toward the future, I'd make it impossible to delete any cigar that's been in production for more than 30 years.

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I would travel the world and ingratiatie myselves with all the big players and provide exactly what they want....RR, LE...anything. Then I would start a back door supply operation and get seriously rich.

Hang on....that's already been done ;)

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I would travel the world and ingratiatie myselves with all the big players and provide exactly what they want....RR, LE...anything. Then I would start a back door supply operation and get seriously rich.

Hang on....that's already been done ;)

... aren't you doing this now? -LOL

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I would travel the world and ingratiatie myselves with all the big players and provide exactly what they want....RR, LE...anything. Then I would start a back door supply operation and get seriously rich.

Hang on....that's already been done ;)

All you need is a tube of lipstick, and you'll be all set for prison.

But you do bring up a good point - I wonder how much influence MG had on the current state of affairs at the Conglomerate.....

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It's just a thought but realistically will Cuban tobacco ever be a real free market in the Western sense?

Sure the embargo will end, the country may become the most democratic in the world for all we know, but the tobacco industry could and probably will still be nationalised in both those scenarios just like railways/telecommunications were in the UK up until Thatcher.

The Cuban government owns the tobacco industry (land and factories etc)and regardless of what form of government emerges in the future (Left, centre, right), why would any future government sell off something as lucrative as the tobacco industry?

Sure they can and probably will allow free market into Cuba within the next ten years but I can't see the government selling off any prime growing regions. I would hazard a guess that free market/land ownership in Cuba will just mean people growing coffee/tobacco on the land that the government feels that nothing of any quality can be grown on.

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The Cuban government owns the tobacco industry (land and factories etc)

I may be mistaken, but it's my understanding that the tobacco farms (some if not all - Robaina's for example), are privately held,

with the government / Cubatobacco buying all the tobacco.

I agree that a lifting of the embargo will do little in the way of how things are done - change, privatization, etc, is a matter

for the Cuban side.

So, it is conceivable that if / when this type of change were to occur, farmers might be free to do business with whoever they choose.

This does not mean they would want or need to look outside of Cuba - I'm sure there are plenty of private entities in Cuba perfectly

capable of producing great cigars if given the chance.

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I may be mistaken, but it's my understanding that the tobacco farms (some if not all - Robaina's for example), are privately held,

with the government / Cubatobacco buying all the tobacco.

I agree that a lifting of the embargo will do little in the way of how things are done - change, privatization, etc, is a matter

for the Cuban side.

So, it is conceivable that if / when this type of change were to occur, farmers might be free to do business with whoever they choose.

This does not mean they would want or need to look outside of Cuba - I'm sure there are plenty of private entities in Cuba perfectly

capable of producing great cigars if given the chance.

You're probably right :D I assumed that the state held ownership over everything in Cuba, either on paper or unofficially.

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I like the bringing back of the 75% of discontinued smokes as was mentioned earlier...quite possibly resurrect the names and qualities of Dunhill and, if possible, Davidoff. AND ESPECIALLY make more lonsdale sizes and small belicoso/perfectos more available! :cigar::thumbsup:

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tempbond, i have to agree. Other than including a corona gorda and nixing the DC I think your spot on.

mm12- Couldnt agree more. Man would I love to have a 100 cajon of about 10 different cigars.

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I would also like to see each brand have a minute and maybe a demi tasse and minutos are very representative of the marca and I just like the demi tasse size and can see them having good appeal in place with draconian smoking resrictoins

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tempbond, i have to agree. Other than including a corona gorda and nixing the DC I think your spot on.

mm12- Couldnt agree more. Man would I love to have a 100 cajon of about 10 different cigars.

Thank you, great to hear you agree !

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