Thomas Scholl: “Barcelona must open its doors to the world again”
Thomas Scholl has been based in Barcelona in August 2018. The 51 year old German national is married with two children and has lived previously in Stuttgart and Milan. He is Chief Financial Officer at Freixenet, Spain’s largest exporter of sparkling wine, as well as the world’s largest producer of cava. Freixenet has subsidiaries all over the world and wineries in the best wine-growing areas, including the United States, Mexico, and France.
Why did you choose Barcelona?
When I was asked to take on the position of CFO at Freixenet I was excited both about the idea of working for the famous Freixenet company in the Penedès distric and being able to live in Barcelona, «the Mediterranean capital,» a far cry from my home in Guldental, a small town in a German wine-growing area.
What do you see as the strengths of the city?
The list is long. Among many other features, I value its location between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains; the social life, culture, sports, and infrastructure; and its international style. Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world that has something for everyone.
What aspects need to be improved? How?
Digitalization, education and training, traffic, and sustainable tourism. We need to work together, share our experience, and learn from best practice at local, national and international levels.
What do you think will help Barcelona to get over the COVID-19 crisis?
Everyone is familiar with Barcelona either because they have visited for work or leisure or because they have heard about it and the opportunities it offers. Barcelona simply has to reopen its doors to the world and welcome people back. The crisis has taught us shows us that living and working in harmony is a much more effective way of living.
What challenges do you think the city will have to rise to once the crisis is over?
People have often gone back to behaving in in the same way after a crisis, rather than opening their minds and doing things that are better suited to the new realities, albeit rooted in solid foundations. Barcelona and its citizens have a great opportunity to prove once again how innovative and creative they can be.
What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?
I hope that Barcelona will manage to position itself as one of Top 5 of the world’s leading cities for digitalization, training, tourism and the protection of the environment, and that it becomes a model to follow.
Which city do you think of as your own? And what do you miss most?
I love living in Barcelona but I always miss Guldental when I am away. Apart from that, I really miss the variety of breads I can find in Germany… but that isn’t only the case in Barcelona!
Read the interview in El Periódico.
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