Finally, our trip to Spain is approaching the end with our last two days in Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Madrid is a truly Spanish city with the rich culture and artistic heritage. It is the largest city in Spain and the third largest city in the European Union after London and Berlin. The city is very diverse, sophisticated, vibrant and elegant. Not only that its culture is very rich, but the business landscape and economy are also highly developed. It is home to many global big companies such as Santander, Acciona, Ferrovial and Telefonica, which we all got to visit. The architecture and cityscape are very elegant with many beautiful historic buildings, squares and palaces around the city and big roads everywhere. People in Madrid, called Madrileño, are very nice, friendly and welcoming. Now, I understand well when people say “If you are in Madrid, you are from Madrid!” as I felt very comfortable and welcoming living in the city. It is also home of the world’s most valuable football club, The Real Madrid. This city is full of excitement, great food and attractions of all kinds to see and explore.
Day 1: Our first company visit was at Ferrovial’s facilities and headquarter. Ferrovial is the world’s leading infrastructure construction and operations company. It provides end-to-end solutions for cities and infrastructure in many countries around the world. Its services are highly integrated including design, financing, construction, management of operation and maintenance. At Ferrovial’s facilities, we got to see Madrid from underground walking through its plant down over 10 floors and access to its tunnel, M30 – Madrid Calle 30 project. The project design and technology used are very advanced that ensure efficiency and security. After that, we went to visit its headquarter and were given an introduction about the company by the Head of Strategy, Ms. Maria Teresa Pulido. The next company visit for today was Santander, one of the world’s famous bank specializing in the retail market. The company’s growth has been driven mainly through acquisitions; and its strong presence is concentrated in 9 major markets including Spain, Portugal, Germany, the UK, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and the US. Its headquarter is amazing; it is like another city for Santander employees with golf course, art museum, training center with a 600-student capacity, huge conference room, infant education center, gymnasium and even a private huge park like national park in the states. The final activity for today cannot be anything else besides a nice dinner at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium of The Real Madrid. No surprise, the restaurant was full; and it is so clear to me that people in Europe, especially the Spanish, are so crazy about soccer.
Day2: We start our last day with a company visit at Acciona, the world’s number one company in renewable energy. The company also provides construction and management services. The company is 75% owned by a Spanish family. And, we got the great opportunity to meet with José Manuel Entrecanales Domecqthe, the chairman, CEO and the member of the family. After that, we visited the Prado Museum, one of the most famous museum in the world with thousands of paintings from world’s famous artists collected by the monarchy of Spain. Finally, we walked around in the city appreciating the beauty of the city and architecture as well as enjoying the lively atmosphere with the nice Madrileño and our lovely crews.
Our Chazen Spain trip has come to the end. For the past five days, we learned tremendously more about Spain, its culture, its economy and most importantly its wonderful people. Special thanks to our three Spanish organizers who planned everything so well and arranged for us the best of Spain.
Thanujdee Seriwathanophas ‘17
Chazen Spain 17