2023 AmChamSpain's Christmas Party

On November 30th, we celebrated the traditional Christmas Cocktail of AmChamSpain, the most significant networking event of the year. There, we had the opportunity to acknowledge the Chamber's achievements and welcome Christmas with the top representatives of our member companies, as well as our collaborators and friends.

In his welcoming words, President Jaime Malet expressed his gratitude to the partners for their collaboration and participation throughout the year. He took the chance to greet distinguished members of the government such as Jordi Hereu, Minister of Industry, and Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, the entire diplomatic team from the US Embassy led by Julissa Reynoso, US Ambassador to Spain, and other important personalities such as Javier Solana, Former Secretary-General of NATO, José Montilla, Former President of the Generalitat, or Eduardo Serra, Former Minister of Defense.

The Ambassador, in turn, joined the President's words of welcome, emphasizing the close relationship and common goals of the Embassy and the Chamber, highlighting the collaborative work and joint efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Once again, we extend our sincere appreciation to all our partners for their constant support throughout 2023, along with our best wishes for 2024. Finally, we want to thank the sponsors who made the celebration possible: Abertis, Amazon Web Services, American Express, Amgen, Atlantic Copper, Banco Sabadell, Bristol Myers Squibb, Cisco, The Coca-Cola Company, Costco Wholesale, Damm, Delta Air Lines, Dow, Gilead Sciences, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Nippon Gases, and Santander.

Happy holidays to all!

04 Dec 2023

Interviewing José Luis Vallejo, Founder and President, Sngular

This week, we had the pleasure of having a conversation with José Luis Vallejo, Founder and President of Sngular. 

Tell us briefly about the history and mission of SNGULAR.

Singular People was founded in 2014 in Spain, bringing together a group of companies specializing in various technology services (software, AI, cloud, ecommerce, digital marketing, etc.) to meet the growing demand for comprehensive digital transformation projects in businesses.

In 2015, the SNGULAR brand was established, merging the teams and capabilities of all these companies into a single organization. There is a common culture among them: the development of talent and the ability to carry out relevant and multidisciplinary projects.

Between 2016 and 2018, other specialized teams were added (Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, Advanced Interface Design, Big Data, etc.), and through the combination of these innovative competencies, increasingly relevant and transformative projects were initiated in new sectors and for major clients. Our mission:

  • To develop a constant flow of innovative and impactful challenges and projects that attract and retain talent, fostering and facilitating the advancement of the professional careers of our people. In short, to be "The Best Place to Grow."

Tell us about your professional trajectory and your current role at SNGULAR.

Born in Villanueva de la Serena, Extremadura, I completed my Telecommunications Engineering degree in 1992 with the ambition to work in a company that solved complex problems. I worked for several years in two small companies as an employee, but by 1995, I was also self-employed in the evenings and had various jobs with different partners. Those were the beginnings of what is now SNGULAR.

The growth of my own company led me to need complementary studies to engineering. I became interested in economics, finance, marketing, human resources, and in 2005, I studied at IESE. All other subsequent studies have been for hobby, but over time, they have also turned into businesses that have intertwined with each other. One of the most well-known was BuyVIP, which was eventually acquired by Amazon.

In 2011, at the age of 43, I enrolled in a Biomedical Engineering master's program because I saw that, 20 years after finishing 'Teleco', I could not only update many of the knowledge but also, thanks to the advancement of science, apply them to much more relevant objectives. The mathematics that in the 90s allowed the transmission of multiple audio or video signals through a single cable now allow reconstructing three-dimensional images like those in magnetic resonance imaging.

SNGULAR is the business culmination of the conviction that companies in this century differentiate themselves by the ability to attract and develop talent. In our case, technical talent. To achieve this, one must be willing to change and adapt quickly, to try and take risks, to trust and let much of the company's strategy and priorities come from the team itself. One must think long-term and strive to build positive personal relationships with the team and clients. Even someone who seems to be your competitor may actually be your complement.

My role at SNGULAR is a combination of Founder, main shareholder, Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and I also like to add that I am a Junior Programmer (because that part of my technical career was hindered by the other roles that were added). I like to summarize my day-to-day as providing stability to the company so that it looks to the long term and continues to invest in creating a good environment for the development of technical talent.

What is the element that sets you apart or of which you are most proud in your company?

One of the differentiating elements that we are most proud of is the people who make up SNGULAR, their high capabilities, and qualifications. A staff primarily composed of excellent individuals technically and personally, the majority of whom are engineering and computer professionals. I have long summarized it as "a company formed by good people who are also good individuals."

What role does innovation play within SNGULAR?

At SNGULAR, innovation is our distinctive hallmark, and that's why our clients choose us. Our innovation extends beyond the technical realm; it is our different way of working—unconventional, non-conformist, and disruptor (in a constructive sense). In my opinion, it is not technology that leads innovation, but the passion and will of those behind it. Therefore, at SNGULAR, our top priority is people.

How is diversity promoted within SNGULAR?

At SNGULAR, we advocate for equal opportunities, as reflected in our company's mission, vision, and values. Specifically in Spain, our Equality Plan reinforces this aspect and proposes measures to work on for continuous improvement, making SNGULAR a company with equal opportunities.

We encourage the integration of professionals with disabilities into our teams, seeking to enhance and develop their talent and providing equal opportunities to the entire SNGULAR staff.

SNGULAR operates in a sector where the majority of professionals are in engineering and computer science, disciplines in which, historically, female representation has been, and continues to be, very low. Nevertheless, at SNGULAR, we collaborate with various organizations that promote the employment and inclusion of female talent in technology-related careers.We have sponsored, since its inception in 2021, the "Female Founders Day" organized by the Female Startup Leaders association, focused on giving voice and visibility to female entrepreneurship. We also sponsor the SCIE-Zonta-SNGULAR awards, supporting female talent. Although these examples focus on female talent, when we talk about diversity and equal opportunities at SNGULAR, we always do so thinking about gender identity, origin, or situation.

Why did you choose to be partners with AmChamSpain?

One of the main objectives of SINGULAR in the next 3 years is the internationalization of the company. While it is true that we already have a consolidated position in the U.S. by developing projects for major companies, we want to continue this expansion by prioritizing sector diversification and talent acquisition. Our partnership with AmChamSpain is a great opportunity to build trust in the international market, drive new collaboration challenges with potential clients and suppliers, and accredit our longevity and service quality among U.S. companies.

11 Dec 2023

Interviewing Pau Contreras, VP of Solution Engineering at Salesforce

This week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Pau Contreras, VP of Solution Engineering at Salesforce and Leader of the Barcelona Hub.

Tell us about your professional background and your current role at Salesforce.

I've spent most of my career in the technology sector, balancing my professional endeavors with teaching at Esade Business School and engaging in various alliances and groups like the Cloud Security Alliance and the Big Data Center of Excellence. I joined Salesforce as the Vice President of Solution Engineering seven years ago and now, in addition to that role, I lead the Barcelona Hub. With the recent opening of the office in Barcelona, my responsibility involves spearheading the development of our operations in Catalonia. This extends beyond business to integrating our company within various social and institutional spheres. We aim is to have a positive impact on the communities we engage with, fostering an environment of trust, innovation, diversity, digital success, and support for sustainable initiatives. Therefore, we seek to transform our clients' digital ecosystem while collaborating with Catalan society.

What is Salesforce aiming for with the opening of an office in Barcelona? Why is the city important to the company? 

Salesforce was founded in San Francisco in 1999 to build bridges between businesses and their customers, revolutionizing the essence of interactions. We're a CRM company committed to innovation at the forefront of technology. Catalonia is a crucial pillar in our growth strategy, and with the inauguration of our new office, we're investing in talent development, diversity, and sustainability. Major technological advancements, like Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), demand new digital skills and talents. We recognize the potential and talent in Catalonia. Our priority is to support new digital skills and foster the development of local talent. Teaming up with Cloud Coachers, we've joined the Barcelona Digital Talent (BDT) alliance to foster these areas. Equality is one of our core values, and fostering female talent in digital skills and STEM careers is key to ensuring success. To achieve this, the Salesforce Women's Network, in collaboration with Women in Tech in Barcelona, will promote female leadership within organizations. We'll concentrate on educating girls and young women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills. Finally, we've introduced our 1 Trillion Trees initiative to Catalonia. It's a global project to plant one billion trees worldwide. With the support of the organization Plant for the Planet, we're committed to working towards reforestation in Catalonia and advancing towards a world with lower net carbon emissions.

Why did Salesforce decide to collaborate with AmChamSpain?

Investing in Barcelona means believing in its business ecosystem, its talent, and its potential. As members of AmChamSpain, we consider it vital to navigate this new phase alongside the Chamber to strengthen our presence in the city and drive our values and strategic pillars.

07 Nov 2023