Press releases


Business and academic leaders meet to discuss the challenges of the industrial sector

Barcelona, decembre 9, 2019

  • The event, held for the first time at the European level in Barcelona, brought together top executives and academics to share success stories and reflect on the challenges facing the industry
  • Companies such as Grifols, Europastry or CELSA Group™ have revealed, from different perspectives, the keys to achieving operational excellence
  • As part of the event, Grifols received the Industrial Excellence Award in Europe for its outstanding contribution to the growth of the sector over the past year

Business and academic leaders have gathered at IESE Business School to share success stories and address the challenges and opportunities of the industrial sector. The event, promoted through the CELSA Chair of Competitiveness in Manufacturing, celebrated its 23rd edition and, for the first time, landed in Barcelona to present the Industrial Excellence Award in Europe.

Over a day that was attended by around 200 people, executives from companies such as Jeanología, HelloFresh, Héroux-Devtek, Infineon, John Deere, and Europastry shared their good practices and highlighted the importance that aspects such as sustainability, digital transformation and industry 4.0 will play in the future of organizations.

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

Along these lines, Rubiralta himself added: “According to the Global Footprint Network, this year 2019 has reached a sad record in terms of early entry into the phase of overcapacity of the Earth, ie the consumption of natural resources above the possibilities of regeneration of the planet. For this reason, at CELSA Group™ we are committed to models aligned with the circular economy and we produce steel products that are 100% recyclable, reusing scrap as the first material and using the most efficient and environmentally sustainable production systems. At this moment, we recycle more than 90% of our waste and aspire to reach 100%. All this has allowed us to consolidate ourselves as the first recycler in Spain and the second in Europe”.

 The winner of the Prize for Industrial Excellence in Europe, a prize with more than fifteen years of history promoted by prestigious business schools, to which Grifols aspired in this edition as the winner of the Spanish edition and Epta as the winner in Italy, has been announced.

Finally, the award went to Grifols, a pharmaceutical company specialized in the production and commercialization of medicines derived from human plasma for the treatment of rare diseases and chronic ailments. Founded by Josep Antoni Grífols i Roig in 1940, Grifols is has become an organization with a turnover of 4,487 million euros in 2018, employing more than 21,000 people and with a global presence 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.

In the words of Prof. Eduardo Calvo, director of the award in Spain: “Grifols’ success would not be explained without the entrepreneurial and global mentality of the company and its management team. We often see organizations with similar cultures whose approaches degenerate into irrational cravings for growth that end up deteriorating the competitive positioning, profitability, and morale of the people who make up the company. On the contrary, Grifols’ growth is based on healthy non-complacency and tireless effort to develop and acquire key assets and capabilities.

IESE’s CELSA Chair in Manufacturing Competitiveness aims to develop research, generate ideas and disseminate knowledge in the area of competitiveness in the industrial sector. As a result of this commitment and its concern for the country’s industrial decapitalization, the Chair develops powerful research on the industrial sector and its competitiveness. Likewise, since 2009, it has been awarding prizes to the best organizations in our country.

About CELSA Group™

CELSA Group™ is one of Europe’s leading steel industries in long steel products, the most diversified and vertically integrated. The multinational is made up of six large business groups with steel mills, rolling mills, transformer plants, distribution, service, and recycling companies. It ranks among the top 4 in the following categories: Corrugated, Wire Rods, Structural Sections, and Commercial Bars. It currently has more than 9,800 employees worldwide and is present industrially in Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

About IESE Business School

IESE is the business school of the University of Navarra. With campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York, and Sao Paulo, IESE adds new projects to its already innovative learning ecosystem that allows it to offer training for executives in Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Since 1958, the school has trained more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and managers, offering them a personalized and transformative experience. IESE wants to continue building tomorrow by training leaders who can have a positive and lasting impact on people, businesses and society. This effort has been recognized by the Financial Times ranking that for the fifth consecutive year has positioned IESE as the number 1 school in the world in executive education programs.

For more information:
Javier Gonzalez –
93 419 06 30 / 637 038 698

CELSA Group™ recibe el premio ABB a la mejor práctica en digitalización por el proyecto I-SCRAPCELSA Group nuevo tren de laminación