// Past Events
Business Breakfast 29th April 2014
The Business Breakfast of the Hellenic Spanish Chamber of Commerce took place on Tuesday the 29th of April (09:30 to 11:00h) at Stratos Vassilikos Hotel,
Myrina hall (114, Michalakopoulou str., 11527 Athens)
European Family Businesses-GEEF is the pan-European umbrella federation for national associations representing long-term family owned enterprises, including small, medium-sized and larger companies. The federation’s objective is to promote a full understanding of the key role of family-owned enterprises in Europe’s economy, to press for policies that will support the creation of a level playing field for family businesses compared to all other types of companies, and to ensure recognition of their contribution
to the entrepreneurial culture and social cohesion in Europe. In addition, European Family Businesses-GEEF represents and supports the next generation of
Instituto de la Empresa Familiar is the most influential business organization in Spain. Founded in Barcelona in 1992, IEF is an independent, apolitical, non-profit institution, and does not receive public funds. Among IEF’s one hundred members we can find the main companies in the country, leaders in their areas and with presence in the main international markets.
Mr. Casado shared with us his ideas in his speech, The Hidden Champions”, "What are the keys behind the success of the hidden champions, companies ranked top in the world in their own industries. Often, but not always, they are family owned companies.”.
Previously the President of the Chamber Mr. Clemente Pinedo welcomed the speaker and presented his curriculum. Coming on stage Mr. Casado said that the aim of his association is to promote Family Businesses which are categorized as Small and Medium enterprises, mentioning that having being so successful in their fields these enterprises have being called "Hidden Champions". There is an idea to create a similar association in Greece as well. Together with Professor Simon they developed and categorized each company being in the first and up to the third position in their field of activities, recognized as such either in Europe or worldwide, having a turnover over 3 million Euros without being very well known. Mr. Casado mentioned several examples such as companies in Island dealing in fishery or in other fields in several countries being leaders without being
known. Today 1300 of these Family Businesses are in Germany, 366 in the USA, 220 in Japan, 11 in Spain and so on. All are middle sized companies, best in their sectors and mainly exporting. Mentioning exports, Mr. Casado said that China is world's number one, followed by USA in second position, Germany at third and Japan as number four.
Germany owed this position due to its "Hidden Champions". Germany has strong capacity, important industry and most of the German companies want to be globally present.
Although made in Germany in the very beginning was not a positive label, today it means high quality standards.
"Hidden Champions" are companies which create jobs, have massive ways of innovation, give values and have ambitious goals, willing to stay at the top. They do not focus on diversification but on their products and clients. These companies produce one product but it has to be the best one.
Research and development is also a very important issue. They create export opportunities and 75% of these companies which dispose the above mentioned characteristics are family companies. These companies are devoted to their clients maintaining close contacts with them. Concerning their leadership these Hidden Champions have a particular leadership being very careful in taking risks, relying mostly on self assets, not depending very much on bank loans.
They also do much more with the less possible employees who are committed to their company. Mr. Casado finished his interesting presentation saying that these Familly businesses are efficient working in a totally different way than the big multinational. "They do things in a different way using close and down to earth models. Their CEOs remain in general for more than 15 years in office. About 59% of them are still managed directly by the family and their challenge is to pass the ownership from generation to generation" Mr. Casado said concluding his presentation.