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Alejandro Salgado: 'Being located in Barcelona has opened a lot of doors for us'

Alejandro Salgado: 'Being located in Barcelona has opened a lot of doors for us'

Alejandro Salgado, CEO y Fundador de IXIAM

Alejandro Salgado is from Buenos Aires; as he himself puts it, he is a porteño. He came here 20 years ago to study for a Master's degree and decided to stay: he now has a family here and IXIAM, the company he founded, is based in Barcelona. IXIAM is a consulting firm that develops open source technological solutions for the nonprofit sector and for groups that seek to make an impact on society. He says that being based in Barcelona is important for IXIAM as it has helped them to break into difficult markets such as the American market.  

Why did you choose Barcelona? 

It was a natural choice. When I first came here, both I and my girlfriend (now my wife) discovered that there was a strong cultural affinity between Barcelona and Buenos Aires. What makes Barcelona special is a great local culture with its own tradition and history, enhanced by the cultural diversity of the people who live, study, and work in the city.        

What aspects of the city would you highlight as positive?

Barcelona's cosmopolitan profile makes it a perfect place for entrepreneurship and professional development. Being located in Barcelona has opened a lot of doors for us in international markets, even in countries such as the USA where customers were initially reluctant to work with foreign suppliers. In that respect, the Barcelona "brand" adds considerable value. It should also be said that following the opening of the T1 terminal the city now receives a large number of direct international flights. And let’s not forget the simply amazing range of cultural, leisure and restaurant opportunities that Barcelona offers. ,    

Which aspects of the city would you like to improve? How?

We have noticed that the city has become much more insecure in recent years, especially in the last few months because of the Covid-19 crisis. I think that better communication and collaboration between the various security agencies would help. And I think it is important to continue supporting entrepreneurship. Despite bodies such as Barcelona Activa, it would be great if the city offered more incentives and aid to entrepreneurs. Lastly, I think that tourism has been demonized in recent years and this is damaging the hospitality sector, which is one of the city's economic engines.   

What are the strengths that will help the city overcome the COVID-19 crisis?

To overcome the crisis, initiatives such as ACCIÓ's Covid-19 Business Marketplace, which we are part of, are essential for promoting both supply and demand for local projects. Given the size of the city, it is also important to encourage the use of bicycles and scooters.    

¿What do you think of Barcelona’s plans for the summer??

I note that the city is quickly adapting to the new post Covid-19 scenario and there are interesting cultural events on offer such as the Monumental Club at the Monumental arena and Soundit for those of us who like electronic music.     

What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?

I hope that the city will continue to do its best to encourage industry and the local economy and I hope to see Barcelona become more united, perhaps by putting aside differences for the time being and trying to pull together. 

Which city do you consider to be your city? What do you miss most?

Having lived practically all my adult life outside my hometown, Barcelona is my city of choice... although my Buenos Aires roots are still well-intact.  

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