The Man with a Heart for the Children of Honduras – Rocky Patel
In an industry built on name recognition and reputation, Rocky Patel’s passion has brought his brand to heights unseen by most boutique cigar manufacturers. His hard work and long hours have been paying off in big ways.
A survivor of the cigar boom, Patel has outlasted his competition with unrivaled persistence on his quest for perfection. With a grueling travel schedule, office responsibilities and production, Rocky still maintains the enthusiasm that he has had since day one. As he travels the world, putting his cigars in the mouths of his consumers, his passion extends beyond the retailer, allowing his customers the experience of meeting the man behind their favorite smokes. Rocky Patel has created a company that has out shined even those created by multi-million dollar corporations, and he’s doing it one customer at a time.
Los Angeles Lawyer
It was the mid-1990s when the premium cigar market was drastically changing. Rocky Patel lived and worked in Los Angeles as an entertainment and product liability lawyer. Through a friend, Rocky was introduced to cigars and was instantly fascinated by them. He then became one of the original founding members of the Grand Havana Club in Los Angeles. While dabbling in various investment ventures, Rocky was approached with a business plan to manufacture cigars. It was still the early days of the cigar boom and Patel was apprehensive. However, after sending a good portion of money to Honduras, the finished product flourished on the market.
Indian Tabac Cigar Co.
While his friends and colleagues were saying, “Don’t be foolish, you’ll never make it in the cigar industry”, Rocky had already completed the first step of his journey. In 1996 at the RTDA in Cincinnati, Ohio, Indian Tabac Cigar Co. had arrived. People flocked to the booth in droves to purchase hundreds of these new, brightly packaged sticks. Rocky felt that it was up to the young companies to come into the marketplace with fresh ideas, bold packaging and fuller cigars. With his eye-popping packaging, Patel has gone against the grain. This is a strategy that he has strived for and has certainly paid off.
Search for Perfection
While on the search for perfection, not a single moment goes by that Rocky is not thinking about cigars. From packaging, marketing, improving blends and every other facet of creating the finished product, Rocky is always formulating fresh ideas and new techniques. It is important for Patel to have a product that can sell itself. However, waiting around the office for phone orders is suicide. This is why Rocky takes to the road as often as he does. Traveling also gives him the time to really contemplate his new ideas and concepts before implementing them.
Often heralded as the hardest working man in the business, Rocky Patel is married to his arduous schedule. He rarely sees his home and headquarters in Naples, Florida. Yearly, he logs more than 300 days on the road and over 150,000 miles. He has once been in 600 cities within 750 days! However, the time on the road is worth it, considering, that in every town, Rocky wins over new customers and introduces more and more people to the Rocky Patel brand. This practice is an extension of Patel’s plan to get his cigars in the hands of as many people possible. In the ‘mom and pop’ world of tobacconists, it is important for Rocky to share his enthusiasm for his stellar product. That enthusiasm is, often times, contagious and it shows in the faces and attitudes of consumers worldwide.
“One of a Kind Experience”
While meeting new and unique people everywhere he goes, Rocky also hosts trips to Honduras for his Customers. He wants to give his consumers a ‘One of a kind experience’ by witnessing his operation and passion first hand. The labor and hard work that Patel’s guests see is translated into a real understanding of the dedication and time it takes to make his cigars. Rocky also makes sure that every one of his guests gets to smoke the finished product. This is just one of the many ways in which he gains dedicated consumers for life.
Rocky’s business travels and life experiences have molded him into the person he is today and the street children of Honduras have been especially near and dear to his heart.