Interesting interview with Kate Lyons Market Executive at Enterprise Ireland Madrid – Where innovation means business.
How big is the Irish presence there, which companies are doing well?
The Irish presence in Spain is growing, and more and more companies are seeing Spain as a target market. Many companies are looking outside of the UK to diversify their exports and many are looking within Europe to do so. Although it presents its own challenges, the Spanish market can be a huge opportunity for Irish clients with well-defined product offerings and a clear value proposition. Of course, you can’t mention them all and without singling out any in particular, some of the companies doing brilliantly here are Ding, Cartrawler and Portwest. Ding is an online mobile phone top up service that enables individuals living or working abroad to instantly top up the mobile phones of family and friends back home and has been very successful both globally and in the Spanish market. Cartrawler is a travel technology platform that connects customers of OTA’s or airlines for example, with car rental, rail connections and private transfers. Portwest designs, manufactures and supplies safety workwear and protective clothing with an extensive product range. All three have a large global presence and have been doing really well in the Spanish market. They are also all very different which showcases the wide range of companies across a variety of sectors doing well in their fields here.
What are the particular challenges of doing business here?
Spain is quite a price sensitive market in comparison to Ireland and Spain hasn’t yet emerged totally from the crisis however the economy is recovering. Unemployment levels remain high at around 19% and youth unemployment in particular is extremely high. However having said that, there are opportunities in Spain for Irish companies, as our client companies are proving every day. The Spanish and Irish tend to get on well and for Irish companies offering high quality innovative products and services, Spain is an attractive market.