Apr. 23, 2021


Jose María Martínez-Amutio

Spain

Jose María Martínez-Amutio

Founder & President, Grupo Avalon

“About 50% of our clients are in the private sector, and the other half are in the public sector.”

BIO

José María Martínez-Amutio Prieto, has extensive experience in the world of technology, specifically in the ICT sector. He graduated in Computer Engineering, took a Master's in Business and International Management from the University of Deusto and a Master's in Advanced Technologies and MBA from Stanford University. He is a partner of the Employers' Association of Technology Companies Ametic. In 2004 he founded the Digital Transformation firm Grupo AVALON.




Founded in 2004, Grupo Avalon offers specialized consulting, technology, and operations services for different sectors. How has the company evolved over the years?

The company was founded with an international name and approach. We were established in Madrid, but immediately started looking into different ways to internationalize ourselves. We had offices in Tel Aviv, two offices in Latin America, another in Brussels, and others. About 50% of our clients are in the private sector, and the other half are in the public sector. We had to concentrate on our international investments and core business, which allowed us to survive during the 2008 crisis. Those were tough times, but it was one of the most important experiences of my career. We learned a hard lesson, but it helped us prepare for the future and the crisis in 2020. Last year, we grew around 18%, and we expect to grow by 21% in 2021 and around 20% in 2022. These are extremely impressive rates, given the crisis, and demonstrates we have prepared ourselves to respond to this recession.

Grupo Avalon has had an international vision since the beginning. Can you elaborate on the company's international plans?

We have always had an international spirit. We like to mitigate every risk that could arise and focus on being diversified. Spain is extremely stable, but economic recessions are global, and they affect some countries more than others. Thus, we want to diversify ourselves away from mature markets and seek many different opportunities. We have our commercial markets, which include the US. We have opened a consulate of sorts in Miami, through which we have started to explore some projects along with Spanish companies Iberdrola and Santander. Another market that we find extremely attractive is Europe. We already have two separate framework contracts for EUR45 million and EUR50 million with the European Commission. These contracts have motivated us to open an office in Poland. Another of our objectives is working for the UN, with whom we have experience working. All these should allow us to generate up to EUR300 million in revenue in the medium term. In the short term, we expect to generate EUR60 million in revenue. In the defense area, we are currently participating in bidding processes with NATO. Our goal is to generate 60% of our revenue abroad and 40% in Spain. Right now, we are generating 90% of our revenue in Spain, and the other 10% overseas.

Your clients include Iberdrola, Caser Seguros, Vocento, and the Ministry of Defense, among many others. Who are your most important clients, and what sectors are the most important for you?

In the public sector, there are four categories. The first is large multilateral organizations, which are public institutions. We also work with government agencies and ministries. Other categories are autonomous communities in Spain and the two autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, while the fourth category includes large city halls. We have done some projects, for example, in Italy with its food security agency, or many projects in cooperation.

What differentiates your company from your competitors?

We were born with a brand that differentiated us. We have always sought to be an independent brand, which means we seek not to be influenced by others. Another important aspect is our economic independence. When an investment fund holds a relevant stake, it might influence how the company is administered. So we are completely independent, and that independence has enabled our growth. We exclusively pursue customer satisfaction, because we want them to be satisfied. In 2020, we were the second-largest provider in terms of volume. Talent attraction is one of the most important areas for us. We want to attract and also retain talent in the company, which is why it is extremely important to keep our workers happy and satisfied. As a result of all these efforts, we have extremely high levels of employee retention.

What are your main priorities for 2021?

Right now, we are seeking to win a EUR5-million project that would last for two years. We expect extremely large growth for 2021. The goal is to satisfy all the agreements that we sold last year at the maximum quality. That is the brand that I want Avalon to have. We want our clients to repeat their business with us. Some of our clients are part of the IBEX35 group, so we want to provide them with the best service.