“Russian and Spanish: business in a private club”, the Russian Week at Gild International in the Media

During the presentation of the Russian Week at Gild International I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Manel Manchon of Economía Digital.

Marc Ambrock, the German businessman and President of Gild International, is a huge advocate for companies to internationalize. Manuel Manchón 25/05/2013

Marc Ambrock during the presentationAmbrock is a German businessman who has deep roots in the business practice, ethics, and values that have made large German enterprise one of the world’s largest and most thriving economies. His family business, Ambrock group, has been in international business for 125 years. Ambrock now runs other projects like Adminex, which he founded to help the internationalization of the small and medium size enterprise.

This is his passion. Ambrock has lived in Barcelona for 20 years, but travels constantly. His wife is Catalan, and that fusion is fundamental to Ambrock. “No German would touch his arm to his interviewer, Mark distances,” he says, after doing the same with this reporter.

And that extroversion, which is also the sign of a security for his work and for all that he believes, has led to another project that he dedicated his body and soul to. Ambrock has revitalized the private business club Gild International, which was launched in 2007 in the Eixample of Barcelona, but over the past two years, has gained full force.

German Persistence

This is the club where you do business. An exquisite gourmet restaurant pampers its guests; there are multiple meeting rooms of different sizes, and the overall cozy atmosphere is very different from a large hotel or offices of political institutions and businesses.

In a small palace in the charming and paved passage Permanyer, Russian and Spanish professionals exchanged views this past week. A platform dedicated to Russia, with the momentum of Ambrock.

“The Germans have already been in Russia for years, and while they have had many failures, they are persistent, and that is the best feature that an entrepreneur can have who wants to internationalize” says Ambrock.

No public contests

In the club, we provided a platform that that clashed with the norms of the highly competitive business and professional world. In Russia, there are “no public contest” for innovative projects and ideas. One of the biggest factors in internationalizing is to be sure “you know, you establish a personal connection”. Therefore afterwards, an entrepreneur can have access into certain circles where decisions are ultimately made. This takes time, and constant travel, says Ambrock.

Russia is now emerging as a huge market, “because it is a continent with a growing middle class,” said the German businessman.

Increased exports

During Russian Week, the project director of Invest in Spain, Mercedes Pizarro, spoke of the Russian sin of neglecting many areas of the economy, but energy efficiency however, is the true Russian manna. Furthermore, there are many Catalan Natural Gas companies that are already present in Russia.

In addition, Russia and Spain signed an agreement that has facilitated trade and grown exports to Russia by 47% over the past two years. The turnover has grown from 1.994 million euros in 2010 to 3000 million in 2012, according to the Ministry of Economy.

Russian Tourists

What else is in Russians interests? For now tourism. The tour operator Natalie Tours Catalunya brings each year nearly half a million of Russian tourists, one of the most important sources of wealth in these times of economic crisis. Those tourists, however, can be clients of other sectors as well, because they also seek business opportunities in Catalonia and Spain, as noted Ambrock.

The exchange of knowledge in private clubs, which have always existed, is now more valuable than ever; especially with many governments in an agonizing situation and few ideas to stimulate the economy.

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