Wabi Sabi and Luxury

There’s a Japanese proverb that says that the person who makes poor quality goods is worse than a thief, because he makes things that neither last nor provide true satisfaction, while a thief at least redistributes wealth in society. Well, when it comes to quality Prof. María Eugenia Girón knows everything there is to know. Here she…

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How to create sustainable success through affinity?

IE Focus 2012

Colombian entrepreneur Natalia Londoño is an alum of IE Business School’s Master in Sales and Marketing Management. She is about to head the opening of a new Becara Franchise in Bogota, which will be the first step in the firm’s expansion into Latin America. Becara has been operating in the field of design, production and distribution of furniture and interior design items for 44 years, and is now present in over 40 cities worldwide that include Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Istanbul and Jeddah.

You are heading the expansion of leading interior design retailer Becara in Colombia. Becara is now present in 7 countries, and the Bogota store marks the beginning of the firm’s operations in Latin America amid economic growth in the region. What made you decide to take on this project?

One of the main considerations was the contrast of Spain’s economic situation with what was happening in Latin America, particularly Colombia, my home country. Colombia is in the throes of expansion with a sustained annual economic growth rate of 4% in recent years, coupled with a trade balance surplus.

Coming back to Becara’s expansion in Colombia, Becara is a leader in the furniture and decoration sector. I met its founder in 2011, which coincided with a decision to return with my family to live in Colombia after twelve years in Spain. I was invited to get to know more about Becara, and the moment I saw the 22,000m2 warehouse in Valdemoro I realized that this was a great company with excellent potential in a country that is growing as fast as Colombia.

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New Solutions for Global Crisis

The Great Breakthrough: New Solutions for Global Crisis was the theme of the 2012 of the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, South Korea. 4 IE Faculty members lend their expertise and insights in understanding the unprecedented challenges that leaders will have to confront in the 21st century. Organized around the theme of Creative Leadership, IE presented…

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Reaching out to the top: QS Global 200

IE Business School ranks top 10 worldwide in all categories of this year QS Global 200 Business Schools Report. This report focuses merely on the employability of MBA graduates by region and specialization asking more than 3,300 MBA recruiters. Focusing solely on employers’ views provide a reliable insight as to which business schools produce MBA graduates and alumni that are favored by recruiters.…

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Spain’s solution to the crisis: embrace entrepreneurship

IE Focus | By Patricia Gabaldon, Professor at IE Business School

The nanny state is telling its children it’s time they became more independent by creating their own companies and jobs.

It would appear that the Spanish state is forcing its “sons and daughters” out of the “family home”. The offspring in question actually quite like living at home and don’t mind contributing to the household budget if they know that the money will be used for the common good of the family, and they trust the system that has worked so far.

But now reality seems to be kicking in and it’s time to make their own way in life without the protection of a nanny state. Just like Tanguy in the French film of the same name, they are constantly receiving hints to ensure that they realize the Spanish state will not be there to catch them if they fall, and that they have to increasingly depend on themselves and their own means and actions. The hints are pretty clear – a medium-term reduction in unemployment benefits as from the sixth month, a reduction in civil servants’ salaries, less healthcare coverage, more restricted access to education… The Spanish welfare state is being watered down and the Spanish are gradually realizing that they cannot depend on a nanny state. The way in which these cuts will affect the Spanish labor market in the short and medium term is not yet clear, but what is clear is that working as a civil servant will no longer be an attractive career choice and that a proactive search will henceforth have to be even more proactive, if that is possible in these difficult times.

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