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“Barcelona must do more to encourage new business”, by Andreas Kubek

“Barcelona must do more to encourage new business”, by Andreas Kubek

Andreas Kubek is 50 years old, married, and has two children. He was born in Austria and lived in the Tirol, Vienna, London, Milan, Tokyo, and Singapore before moving to Barcelona 14 years ago. He is now CEO and a partner of Abintio Consulting, a consultancy and process outsourcing firm that was founded in 2009 and has offices in Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid. The company has a diverse workforce of 15 nationalities and helps its customers adapt to a changing world by providing services they either can’t or don’t wish to handle themselves.

Why did you choose Barcelona?

Well, twenty-seven years ago, I fell in love with a Catalan girl, who is now my wife. After living in various countries, we decided that Barcelona was the best place to start a family. My wife had always wanted to return, and I fell in love with the city during my first visit.

Right from the start, I recognized that the talented professionals in Barcelona were in a good position to offer professional services throughout Europe.

What aspects of the city would you highlight as being positive?

Barcelona has the perfect balance. It is big enough to offer a wide range of cultural activities, but it takes only 20 minutes to get out of the city and into nature. As an Austrian, I consider it a luxury to live so close to the beach and the mountains; sometimes, I go skiing and sailing on the same weekend.

I also love the wide variety of people from around the world, the culture, and the gastronomy, not to mention the entrepreneurial spirit of so many of my friends and acquaintances, which is quite unique in Europe. This spirit is embodied by fantastic Business Schools like ESADE or IESE. As an entrepreneur I really enjoy working with such well-educated people.

What aspects of the city must be improved? How?

One issue I am concerned about is insecurity and the absence of any clear vision for urban mobility. It is not enough just to reduce the space available for cars; one needs viable public transport alternatives.

Furthermore, policies should be put in place to enable locals to live in harmony with tourists.

I miss the way Barcelona was when I arrived.

What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?

I hope that the city will do more to encourage business and to attract and retain talent.

I am sure that the America’s Cup will give a boost to the city by showcasing Barcelona’s privileged position.

Which city do you feel as «your city»? What do you miss the most?

I feel at home in both Barcelona and Vienna.  I miss Austria most just before Christmas, and it’s not always so easy having parents who live so far away.

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El Periódico

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