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People and innovation: the solution to a new crisis

| News | Corporate Law and M&A

Jaime Olleros, Managing Partner of Andersen Tax & Legal in Spain, insists on the importance of companies taking a definitive step towards plans in which more competitive and sustainable alternatives are designed to maintain their margins

We all remember the crisis of 2008, Lehman Brothers and what came behind it. What seemed firm began to sink in a few years. Big companies ceased to be. Others, agile, innovative, enthusiastic and with a broad and global vision weathered the storm and entered a new stage of growth.

In recent years all sectors have grown. The real estate sector re-emerged and to a lesser extent the construction sector, first because of its low prices, the assets seemed to have no value, then because of the decline in housing stocks and finally because of the rehabilitation of real estate. The banking sector is amid restructuring, reinventing itself and beginning to think of new financial products with which to reverse the fall in its margins and feeling the threat of new fintech operators. The rest of the service sectors are growing both organically and by concentrations. The agricultural sector has been one of the most agile, with a large increase in prepared and pre-prepared and fifth range products. The industrial sectors oriented to the export and supported in the improvement of technology and efficiency with a good trend. In this context, the reduction in unemployment has been very significant, as well as the increase in social security contributions and consequently the increase in domestic demand for goods and services.

New players, new circumstances

But in this new period and in which everything seems to be coming, not everything is the same as before, there are new actors who, once again, laminate the margins of the traditional sectors with which they compete or replace and which do not evolve or have not evolved or have not innovated. Now the margins are growing again, but by improving costs and efficiency and, of course, by competition, a rule that should not be forgotten in any case. However, the margins that were enjoyed before the crisis are far away. Those margins will not come back and, in any case, will be displaced to sectors that innovate or concentrate. There is a need to grow, to concentrate activities and businesses that will allow us to reduce the burden of general expenses. Financial expenses are not important now. We are also all immersed in the concept of innovating, in offering better and more competitive alternatives to customers, to the consumer. The returns on the risks will be different, but they will exist. In the international environment, geopolitics is playing a bad trick on the world economy. It is to be expected that at some point the major world players will agree on the need to reorganise their positions and give stability to the planet. Once again, the economic and social situation will have changed, and other parameters will condition future evolution.

The importance of regulation

Although it has always been present, in the coming years regulation will take over more and more of the market and economic activity in Western economies and obviously in managed economies, because all economic players are aware of the need to grow, but at the same time to protect the citizen. In the new stage, the growth of the sectors must be aligned with regulation, whether it be financial, social, corporate, sustainability or good practices, which allow adequate remuneration for business risk but compatible with a world in continuous improvement. The EU's activity is of great importance for product and consumer protection regulations and, now, Cybersecurity. The digital technological world leaves open doors to crimes against privacy, intimacy, but also against the know-how of companies, their strategies and products and, of course, against States. The permanent need to verify compliance with all these regulations has appeared and the resources allocated to this compliance is an added and necessary cost.

New Entrepreneurs

Along with the necessary growth in innovation in the sectors, new entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs appear with the aim of providing solutions, new approaches to new problems and opportunities. Innovation is not only technological, it is mental, and we see it every day. It is a fact that allows us to conclude that we are at the beginning of something, of a new era with more information and much more dynamic knowledge if possible, which we glimpse very briefly. Back to the challenges, whoever manages to be the first in the new industrial, digital, technological and social revolution, and knows how to concentrate efforts, share projects, share knowledge, will be at the forefront.

We must ask ourselves whether everything is merely growth, technology and innovation, but we must conclude that, in the end, everything is once again focused on people, on professionals from all sectors, the true architects of change, which is why the transfer of knowledge and training must be the guide for all companies and, without a doubt, promoted and protected by the States. Companies that understand this will have sustained, sustainable and profitable growth and will not lose space, since the mere growth of material wealth will ultimately be a hindrance to people's growth.

You can see the article in Expansion

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