CEO of ING Direct Visits Madrid Campus

Carina Szpilka speaks to EMBA participants

04/12/2012 Madrid

Carina Szplilka572_MEI1_IESE_065911

Carina Szpilka, CEO of ING Direct, provided participants in IESE's Executive MBA Program with insights on leadership and the latest shifts in consumer behavior during a special session held on Nov. 30. Her talk was part of the program's Global Leadership Series on the Madrid campus.
Szpilka said that the current economic crisis has sparked important changes in the world and also in customers.

Consumers have become more responsible and this has created a need for greater responsibility on the part of companies in terms of how they interact with clients, employees and society. Clients are also demanding more information, discounts, and opportunities to buy, as well as a stronger voice in the marketplace. In this context, pressure on brands and consumers is different from a few years ago, and companies must have to reinvent themselves to adapt to the new environment.
Speaking about her career, Szpilka said she considers herself privileged to have built a bank, which currently serves 2,700.000 clients, from scratch. She said she believes in the purpose of the orgnaization, as well as the importance of working with honesty and transparency.
"We live in an 'experience' economy, in which the client has to be central, things have to go well the first time and you need a team that is highly committed," she said.
Companies have to be relevant to their clients, meeting the needs of the people they work for, in order to make the customer a "fan."

Mother of three daughters, Szpilka said she tries to incalculate value such as effort, sacrifice, generosity and companionship in her children in their everyday activities.
In closing, she advised the participants that "you must constantly challenge yourself and learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable."