Saturday, October 29, 2011

MBA Career Fair Provides Cautious Optimism for Spain

Esade recently hosted an MBA career fair and it was exciting to see both Spanish companies and MNC's defiantly saying, "We are growing; we are hiring." This jives with a recent Victor Mallet assertion (Victor is the FT's Madrid Bureau Chief) that Spain doesn't have an innovation problem - it has a construction problem. There are two reasons:
1) Too many people work in construction. Construction still employs an astonishing 10% of the workforce, though that has fallen from 12% in 2008.
2) Cronyism and corruption impedes productivity in the Spanish construction industry, as the recent Sacyr scandal illustrate.

Though certain brands continue to thrive, with Zara's sales growing 8% last year and Desigual planning to add 1000 workers in Asia alone, times are tough in many sectors. As alternative energy subsidies dry up several firms announced lawsuits against the government for failing to deliver promised subsidies. Any healthcare firms stated one after the other that demand is stable (or growing) but they feel the pressure to innovate at cost.

Finally, we take a moment to remember our fallen comrades: the MNC's with significant headcount in Barcelona that were conspicuously absent from the career fair. Among them were Deloitte, Sony, HP, and Ricoh.

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