Spain’s Grifols wins European Industrial Excellence Award 2019

Prize awarded on IESE’s Barcelona campus

Grifols receives the European Industrial Excellence Award 2019. Photo: Roger Rovira

December 5, 2019

Spanish pharmaceutical company Grifols has received the European Industrial Excellence Award 2019 for its contribution to growth in the sector, for its entrepreneurial mindset and global mentality, and for the strength of its management team.

Leaders of the business and academic worlds gathered on IESE’s Barcelona campus for the awards and conference to share success stories and address the challenges and opportunities of the industrial sector. It was the 23rd edition of the awards and the first time it took place in Barcelona. The award is promoted by IESE, through its CELSA Chair of Competitiveness in Manufacturing, and a host of other European business schools.

Throughout the day, around 200 academics and executives from companies such as Jeanology, HelloFresh, Héroux-Devtek, Infineon, John Deere and Europastry shared their best practices and highlighted the importance of issues such as sustainability, digital transformation and Industry 4.0.

Grifols praised for responsible growth

Grifols is a pharmaceutical company specialized in blood plasma-based products, many of which are used to treat rare and chronic illnesses. It was founded by Josep Antoni Grífols i Roig in 1940, and is today an organization with annual revenue of €4.5 billion, more than 21,000 people and global operations in more than 100 countries. The company is present throughout the plasma value chain, from the collection to the distribution of the medicines produced from it.

“The success of Grifols could not be explained without the entrepreneurial and global mentality of the company and its management team,” said IESE professor Eduard Calvo, director of the prize in Spain. “We often see organizations with similar cultures whose approaches degenerate into an irrational push for growth that ends up undermining the company’s competitive positioning, profitability and morale of employees.”

“Grifols, on the contrary, bases its growth on a healthy non-complacency and tireless efforts to develop and acquire key assets and capabilities,” Calvo added.

Francesc Rubiralta, president of CELSA Group, highlighted that while “in most cases, when we think of industrial excellence, aspects such as logistics, operations, supply chain, lean manufacturing, etc. come to mind. However, as this week is highlighting at the COP25 Climate Summit in Madrid, it is essential that environmental, economic and social sustainability be present as a central axis in all areas of activity, and industry cannot stand idly by.”

He noted that his own company has taken a multitude of measures in recent years to improve its “At this time, we recycle more than 90% of our waste and aspire to reach 100%. All this has allowed us to become the number-one recycler in Spain and second in Europe.”