The future of the Spanish company: challenges and objectives

The future of the Spanish company: challenges and objectives. Aspects such as internationalization, efficiency, innovation and attracting talent to position itself globally and grow. 

In order to position itself globally and grow, Spanish companies need to develop in areas such as internationalization, efficiency, innovation and talent acquisition.  

In the early 21st century, Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman coined the concept of Liquid Modernity. Bauman tried to explain a modern world characterized by uncertainty, rapid changes, and an elusive nature of reality, as opposed to a previous world where this reality was more stable, predictable and with slower structures. The fundamental pillars on which an individual’s identity relied on during the postwar period (strong Government, stable family, indefinite job) have been liquefied to create individuals scared of the thought of losing everything. 

In this globalized changing reality with high degrees of uncertainty, Spanish companies find themselves with the need to compete. For that, areas such as internationalization, efficiency, innovation and talent acquisition must be developed

Positive aspects 

Now, Spain, and by extension Spanish companies, feature some positive aspects that could place them in leading positions. Some of these are: Increasing competitiveness rates. 

  • Fast internationalization due to the crisis. 
  • Phased repatriation of human talent with international work experience.  
  • Innovative spirit. 
  • Gradual constitution of prestigious global brands in productive sectors such as fashion, construction, leisure, gastronomy, and retail. 

The Government needs to tackle the disproportionate unemployment rate, since it is of importance to the economy’s structure. This will help to define not only the basis of economic growth, but also what the productivity model will be for the next years. 
In view of this, Spanish companies, as well as society itself , face a series of challenges in order to create a healthier entrepreneurial ecosystem in the medium to long term. These economic, social, and political challenges are also influenced by a historical moment characterized by uncertainty. Among them, these stand out:  

  1. Innovation and Technology. According to several studies, we are now witnessing the birth of the 4th industrial revolution that impacts all areas of life. It occurs at great speed and is defined by its capillarity and virality, which influences our whole world. Society is becoming digitalized and big data offers the possibility of knowing users and customers in detail. Thus, it allows immediate improvement of services, products, and processes as well as it facilitates intercommunication and accessibility. The ultimate goal is to have more and better information for decision making. Digitization should allow the development of capacities for fast-paced innovation. And innovation should result in increased competitiveness and in a continuous creation of competitive advantages for companies. 
  2. Education. The education system should aim towards employability. For that reason, a reform that properly assigns budgets and resources and prioritizes high academic standards, rigor, and meritocracy is needed. An education system closer to the business world is necessary as it would solve a double challenge. On the one hand, to create world-class professionals. And, on the other hand, it would grant Spanish companies access to talented recruits. Other equally necessary aspects to improve are scholarship funds, recovering investment through R&D&I, and promoting partnership strategies between the academic world and the industrial base. 
  3. Entrepreneurship. An entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged by Spanish companies and society through a boost of the entrepreneurial culture and support and financing of innovative ideas. There is a necessity for developing an entrepreneurial culture during the most basic stages in the educative system to understand entrepreneurship as an independent activity rather than the solution for unemployment rates.  
  4. Size. SMEs have traditionally been considered the basic triggers of entrepreneurship. In order to compete in a global scale, Spanish companies should expand. This would allow them to gain maturity and lead sectors where there are more possibilities of success. Likewise, the mentioned expansion would produce an increase in productivity, synergies, and financial muscle. 
  5. Economic policy. The economic policy the Spanish Government develops shall focus on promoting the competitiveness in production. Among other issues, it is important to eliminate administrative barriers, to digitalize and simplify procedures, as well as to promote a better inter-administrative coordination, and to guarantee the national market unity. In the same fashion, having a steady long-term tax policy and reducing the high levels of public debt, which excessively diverts resources that are necessary for the private sector development, are essential.  
  6. Leadership. Better educated and informed managers who are more flexible, adaptable, reliable and able to make good decisions in a reasonable and sensitive way are needed for the development of Spanish companies and society. Management shall transition from giving commands to take the leadership. Not to mention betting on social responsibility, ethical principles, and transparency. Management should also replace short-term targets with long-term ones that involve sustainability and respect for the environment. 
  7. Financing. The Spanish economic model has a high degree of bankarization, which in periods of crisis poses as an important deterioration factor, as it has been the case in the last the years. Assessing how convenient it is to support the introduction of private funds in companies in order to solve their financing problems is needed. An efficient and effective model to generate stable savings for private agents must be developed (investment and pension funds, etc.). Also, reframing the secondary capitals market operations is crucial. That way it will be accessible for SMEs as well as it will encourage the development and strengthen of alternative financing sources (crowdfunding platforms, fixed income markets, etc.). 


As a conclusion, it can be said that Spanish companies must compete in a highly globalized and volatile context. Therefore, tools to become more efficient are a necessity. A couple of examples of said tools are a powerful innovation capacity, orientation towards internationalization, the possibility of attracting local talent, and access to stable long-term financing sources. 

All companies, regardless of their size, must adopt the flexibility a startup has. They should continuously redesign themselves while maintaining their quality levels. Companies must also seek for the right amount of growth which will allow them to increase their productivity and to achieve synergies. 

The important challenges posed require basic consensus, as well as strong institutions, and legal security. In the future, Spanish companies will not only need to become more globalized, but also, they must learn how to manage uncertainty. Uncertainty is here to stay. Companies need to learn how to stay operative and thrive in a context that depends not only on their own performance, but on the current circumstances. 

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