Miguel Blanca, 44 years old, married with two daughters. Born in Puebla, Mexico, he has lived in three countries and 5 cities; in Mexico he lived in Puebla and Monterrey, in the United States in Rochester Hills (Michigan) and Phoenix (Arizona) and now in Spain in Barcelona since 2017. He is Director of Human Resources and Finance for Spain and Portugal at T-Systems Iberia, which is a German multinational in the ICT sector with presence in 20 countries and 27,500 employees. In Spain and Portugal, T-Systems has 13 offices and 3,300 employees. It is a company with a lot of international talent (more than 28 nationalities). During these 6 years in Barcelona, one of his main priorities has been to attract and retain the best digital talent for T-Systems, developing a strong company culture and making T-Systems one of the best technology companies to work in Spain.
Why did you choose Barcelona?
I remember when I started working at T-Systems in Mexico 20 years ago (at that time it was a company called gedas), I was impressed during the on-boarding session to see that the company had offices in Barcelona. It caught my attention not only because Barcelona has always been an attractive city but also because my wife, although she grew up in Mexico, was born in Vilafranca del Penedés, so knowing that there was a possibility of one day working here gave us some excitement.
The truth is that being here now was more of an initiative of the company, which in 2017 was going through a period of change and opted for me for the Human Resources Management of T-Systems in Iberia. They made me the offer and after a very brief conversation with my family I decided to accept it, as I was very clear that Barcelona is much more than a tourist city, but also a multicultural city with a very rich business fabric, especially in the field of technology.
What aspects of the city would you highlight as positive?
Barcelona stands out for its architectural beauty, its cultural richness and its own personality, and at the same time it is quite cosmopolitan/multicultural. The geographical location and the great gastronomic offer are aspects that I appreciate a lot. In the field of business, there is a culture of innovation, especially in the digital area, like few other cities in the world. Barcelona is very attractive for entrepreneurs/startups of all kinds and for multinationals, with a well-developed ecosystem in this regard and an enviable supply of young talent.
What aspects of the city need to be improved? How?
I think that in Spain in general «bureaucracy» is a big disadvantage. It is true that in Barcelona, compared to other cities, there are things that work better (for example, digital services for citizens), but there is still a lot of room for improvement and sometimes I feel that the public administration does not have that sense of urgency to make things ‘easier’. On the other hand, I think we need to take the issue of security much more seriously. I’ve been here for 6 years and I’ve seen the situation get worse every year. It seems like nobody is doing anything.
What do you expect from the Barcelona of the next few years?
A Barcelona that knows how to take advantage of the great injection of the current young talent. It is important that it is ‘possible’ to live in the city so that this talent stays here. I hope that the cost of living here and the security conditions improve and that the entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to increase. I hope that infrastructure investments are well targeted and that public expenditure is well spent. I also hope that the political situation does not rule the agendas of public servants and that efforts are focused on making this city one of the best to live and grow in the world.
What do you feel your city is, and what do you miss most?
I have lived in 5 cities and certainly each one has its charm. I will never stop being Mexican so I will always miss Puebla, my roots and the joy and warmth of the people. However, I love living here and I hope to stay here for many years, I think it is a very good opportunity for me and my family.
If you are an expatriate living in the city and want to help improve Barcelona to attract more high-impact talent, you can complete the survey here: https://barcelonaglobal.civi-go.net/en/6th_international_talent_monitor