Joan Planes was born in 1941 in Estamariu (Lleida).
After graduating in Industrial Engineering, he began his career as head of production and quality control at Paris Morató, a company in the automotive sector.
Together with three other shareholders, he founded Astral S.A. de Construcciones Metálicas in 1969. He was the top executive of this company, which was devoted to the manufacture of metal fittings for pools. This company would later become the Fluidra group.
From 1972 onwards, Joan Planes was personally responsible for Astral’s process of internationalisation through the opening of the first branch offices in France and Italy.
In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, while he continued to spearhead the company’s international expansion, he also took the lead in bringing all of the companies together into what became known as the Astral group. At the beginning of the new millennium, Joan Planes was the driving force behind the creation of the Fluidra group and its listing on the stock exchange. He also began to gradually hand over the management of the company to his son Eloi Planes.
Joan Planes was the President of the Board of Directors until the end of 2015. He is currently Fluidra’s Honorary President, a post in which he oversees the entrepreneurship projects of Fluidra Accelera, as well as the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility actions.
Besides the awards given to him over his career for such things as innovation, his work in Fluidra’s process of internationalisation has been widely recognised. It is particularly worth highlighting the special prize given by the Government of Catalonia for the Internationalisation of Catalonia’s Economy awarded in 1995 to Astral Grup, S.A. and to him personally in 2006. Also worthy of mention is the prize awarded to him by the newspaper El Periódico in 2003 to the Best Business Initiative and the Government of Catalonia’s Creu de Sant Jordi (St George’s Cross), which was awarded to him in 2013.