The Mobile Industry: Catalyst for Growth

Barcelona mayor speaks at IESE’s New York Center


Xavier Trias

IESE’s New York Center hosted on May 17 a special conference, "The Mobile Industry: a Trigger in the World Economy," which included the participation of Xavier Trias, the mayor of Barcelona; Agustín Cordon, executive vice president of Barcelona Mobile World Capital Foundation; and Joan Tarradellas of Acció of the Catalonian regional government.

During the conference, speakers described how the city of Barcelona has evolved to become a global showcase for innovation and an industry hub for the global growth of mobile.

Barcelona has worked hard to make the city serve as truly global hub the mobile sector – which involves not just technology firms, but firms from a variety of sectors, Trias said. Enterprises are attracted to the city’s corporate tax benefits, a high quality of life and abundant, well-trained talent. These are among the features that helped Barcelona beat out other major European metropolises competing to become the Mobile World Capital, a designation established by GSMA, a global association of mobile operators and related companies.

"Barcelona has been home to the Mobile World Conference for last eight years, generating over 300 million euros in revenue from the conference alone. Being the Mobile World Capital is a great opportunity for Barcelona," said Trias. "We understood early on that the mobile industry is very important."

Additionally, Juan Manuel Barrionuevo, director of strategy at Barcelona Mobile World Capital Foundation; Barbara Mallinson, CEO of Obami; and Pau Sabrià, CEO of Olapic, shared their insights during a panel discussion focused on Barcelona’s role as the Mobile World Capital.

They highlighted Barcelona’s commitment to the mobile industry and its unique strengths, which attract start-ups as well as large, established multinationals to work together in order to better reach global markets. The panel discussion was moderated by IESE Prof. Sandra Sieber, head of the Department of Information Systems.