Weakness vs. opportunity: Companies that turned the crisis into their greatest ally
24 de January de 2020
24 de January de 2020
Take the lead of these companies and convert the crisis into an opportunity to keep moving forward
Starting the new year is not always easy. The holidays are over, you get back to the routine and work, and you may have overdone it with the Christmas celebrations. The cold doesn’t help much to lift your mood either. However, we have to start 2020 on the right foot with positive energy, striving to turn weaknesses into opportunities! That is precisely what we will be discussing in this post: how 5 companies did not let the 2007 crisis hinder their growth but rather, just the opposite, they converted it into a financial springboard. Let’s find out more about them!
1 - Mercadona
In 2007, Spain faced the onslaught of one of the worst financial crises in its history. Since then, hundreds of companies have had to make staff cuts and, in the worst cases, they have been forced to close their doors for good. However, one part of the commercial sector has managed to convert their weaknesses into an opportunity by embracing innovation and technology, and carrying out revolutionary initiatives that have not only enabled them to ride the storm, but they have also strengthened them.
One such case is the renowned retail company based in the Community of Valencia, Mercadona. Currently with over 1,635 supermarkets and more than 74,000 employees, the company focused on implementing a strategy from 2009 onwards that would enable it to withstand the devastating recession. How did it manage this? In two words: Consumer First. The company’s plan consisted of enhancing its value proposition and setting itself apart from its commercial rivals by taking a more solidarity-based approach towards consumers in the face of the economic meltdown. Lower prices, a strategic reduction in costs, and adapting to the delicate economic conditions made it possible for Mercadona to make it through the crisis, and it has gone on to become one of the largest retail companies in Spain today.
2 - Inditex
Other companies opted for internationalization and perfecting their production processes in order to tackle the crisis. One such case was Inditex, Amancio Ortega’s textile group which, in 2009, developed an innovative supply chain that enabled the company to manufacture and distribute new garments much faster, specifically every fortnight. Moreover, perfecting the franchise system and retailing in different countries enhanced the companies stability and enabled it to withstand the drop in consumption and financial instability. Inditex now has over 171,000 employees and more than 7,000 stores.
3 - Viscofan
The group originally from Navarra and specializing in the production of packaging for the meat industry is another example of reinvention. In the case of Viscofan, it was internationalization and discerning growth that enabled the company to weather the storm. Firstly, it strengthened its commercial links with Asia and Latin America, while at the same time establishing a solid growth strategy through the rigorous use of resources, coupled with agile and dynamic organization. Viscofan now operates in more than 100 countries and is considered one of the most important leaders in the sector.
4 - OHL
One of Spain’s biggest construction groups OHL, focused in 4 key guidelines for tackling the challenges of the recession: internationalization, diversification, financial prudence and anticipation. By implementing these operational guidelines, the company with a history dating back over 100 years managed to weather the complex crisis of the 21st Century and continue growing. The company now has more than 26,000 employees.
5 - Prosegur
Internationalization and technology were once again key factors in the case of the private security company, Prosegur, which, in the years after the crisis erupted, managed to grow to become one of the largest security companies in the world. Nowadays, Prosegur has over 170,000 employees and has consolidated its status as a world leader in the field of security.
As we can see, these 5 companies managed to transform the greatest financial challenges into opportunities to expand their markets and position themselves on the global playing field. Internationalization, innovation and adaptability were their greatest allies and remain the key factor in their growth and prosperity to this day. As Napoleon Bonaparte said, “success is not a matter of always triumphing, but rather never losing heart”. Bring on another week!