A Glimpse into Spanish Business Landscape: Opportunities and Trends

If you want to successfully navigate through the maze of Spanish business as an international business person, intriguingly, the business schools such as C3S imparting business study in Spain teach you to print your business cards in English on one side and the key content in Spanish overleaf. If you are conducting business in Catalonia — a huge parcel of land administratively divided into four provinces such as Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona — you would be appreciated to put your content in the Catalan language together with English and Spanish, a lesson which B Schools including C3S pass on to its students like a Chinese whisper.

‘’As Spanish people take a lot of pride in their language, hence, it is always advised for those students studying in Spain to learn Spanish which can used as a trump card and put them in the box seat,’’ says Hiren Raval, chief executive of C3S Business School in Barcelona.

‘’Learning Spanish is a massive advantage for students studying in Spain as there are 477 million native Spanish speakers, and that number increases inordinately if we include those who speak Spanish as a second language,’’ Dr Aida Mehrad, a professor at C3S Business School. Spanish is known for its straightforward pronunciation and following phonetic orthography, which means that words are generally pronounced as they are written.

According to the World Bank, the industrial sector in Spain accounts for 20.4 percent of GDP and employs one-fifth of the active population. Manufacturing as a whole is one of the most significant sectors as it accounts alone for around 12 percent of GDP. The tertiary sector of Spain contributes 67.4 percent of the GDP and employs 76 percent of the active population, notwithstanding the participation of the graduating students studying in Spain. Tourism, a dominant part of this sector, is pivotal for the country’s economy, being Spain’s main source of income, hence, comes as a natural career choice for many students studying in Spain.

As Spain witnessed an unprecedented downturn in economic activity during the Covid-19 crisis, some top business schools such as C3S have been teaching theories and strategies that can lead countries from recession to recovery. These are invaluable lessons for those studying in Spain, as they now know the real-life patterns of business and economy with the predictions of Milton Friedman’s “plucking theory” of the business cycle, which implies that, like a guitar string, the harder an economy is “plucked down”, it bounces back stronger than ever before. Now, according to the IMF, the Spanish economy expanded firmly in 2021 (5.1 percent) and 2022 (4.3 percent), also thanks to the recovery of tourism activity and the resilience of the labour market.

Studying in Spain must be looked at as a massive opportunity as the supply of high-skilled workers is not expected to be enough to meet the demand for high qualifications. According to Cedefop, in Spain, the share of the labour force with low qualifications remains substantially higher than the EU-27 average. In recent months, universities and business schools such as C3S have outlined this shortfall in their ‘’Study Abroad in Spain’’ campaign.

While studying in Spain a student atomically finds himself/herself as a part of the labour force, and can earn up to 20 Euros or more per hour and be gainfully employed for a maximum of 20 hours each week. Students studying in Spain can find a range of work in the tourism and hospitality sector besides a medley of assignments in sales and marketing such as retail and sports. The major industries that drive the economy and business of Spain are tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and energy, hence, students studying in Spain easily find jobs in these sectors.

Spain is a strong choice for entrepreneurs. Many business schools such as C3S Business School efforts are being invested in the direction of shaping students studying in Spain as future entrepreneurs. According to the Spain National Report focusing on Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA), the percentage of the 18-64 population who are either a nascent entrepreneur or owner-manager of a new business — recovered last year in Spain, reaching a rate of 5.5 percent of the population. The report highlights that close to 10 percent of the population including students studying in Spain have shown eagerness to become entrepreneurs in the next three years. There is also an uptick in perceived opportunities in a post-pandemic environment, this perception is extended to students studying in Spain.

Traditionally the Spanish management tends to be hierarchical, with clear lines of authority and decision-making. Respect for authority and adherence to formal protocols are important in the Spanish business culture. Business leaders are expected to maintain a professional demeanour and exercise their authority complying with business ethics and values. However, the recent explosive growth of flat or horizontal organizational structures has turned this prevailing organizational hierarchy on its head. The organizational efficiency of short, wide, and lean entities is considered to be more business-casual and renders employees more of a voice in their positions and overall business decision-making.

Picture of Written By: C3S Business School

Written By: C3S Business School