At 38, Víctor Salamanca Cuevas (Madrid, 1975) is the CEO of AUXADI, an independent Spanish firm that is the leader in outsourcing accounting and taxation services. A graduate of Harvard Business School (OPM45), and with a Master’s in Tax Consultancy from the Instituto de Empresa (2001), Víctor has always specialised in process automation and optimisation in finance-administrative departments, helping more than 300 companies in their transactions in Spain, Southern Europe and South America.
- Where does internationalisation rank among the priorities in Auxadi’s strategic plan?
Internationalisation is key to Auxadi’s growth. Since the company was founded, 95% of our customer base is multinational clients who also require our services in other countries. We currently have nine offices of our own in countries in Europe and America; and of the growth targets we have set ourselves for this year, 80% of them concern the international area.
I joined Auxadi in 1997 and the following year we began to explore international markets. We began by participating in Infodesk but have been carrying out projects in South America since 2004. Today our goal is to become the gateway for European companies wishing to enter the region and vice versa.
- How important is the brand in the company’s strategy?
Through our brand, we convey and emphasise what Auxadi is: a company with the slogan “making life easier for our clients”, which offers accounting, taxation and human resources outsourcing services of high added-value; always aiming for excellence, ethics and to exceed the expectations placed in us. This is the message we try to convey in each service and through our visual identity.
- With regard to your presence in Europe and South America, what is your competitive advantage over other international groups?
Auxadi is able to provide comprehensive solutions wherever the customer is located, which we manage through a single point of contact, the International Account Manager, who coordinates every aspect of the customer’s project, no matter how geographically disperse.
For matters that require particular knowledge of the country, we have local experts in Madrid, International Desks, and teams on the field where all the work involving compliance with local labour obligations and keeping abreast of any changes in legislation is logically carried out.
With this model we are able to ensure ongoing and specific communication with the customer, as well as a guarantee that our services are provided in accordance with the same processes and quality standards we demand of our own company.
The quality of our services is without a doubt the key to our strategy, and what sets us apart. We have created a flexible model that can be tailored to each customer and which guarantees the soundness of Auxadi wherever we operate. We remain very close to our customers, listening to them and accompanying them as they grow.
However, the model could not be sustained without the heavy investment we have been making in technology in order to develop processes and systems for our products and have a standard work methodology. This is the secret to being able to offer the same service and of the same quality in such diverse markets as France and Brazil, for instance.
- What markets currently have the most weight in Auxadi’s overall business mix and what are the markets of the future?
Spain is definitely our strongest geographical area: we have been here for the past 35 years and it is here that our headquarters, which employ more than 150 people, are located. We are finally beginning to be able to gauge the impact of our recent forays into international markets and we are seeing that the results in Mexico and Colombia, among other regions, are excellent, even better than we had expected. In addition, we have just commenced operations in Peru, where we recently purchased a local office, because we are convinced of the huge potential this country has to offer. We also believe that Panama, Chile and Miami are very promising markets for the future.
- What promotional strategy is the brand pursuing in international markets?
We are associated with the Spanish Chambers of Commerce in various countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, which affords us a direct line of communication with the companies we wish to target.
In Colombia, throughout March and April we gave courses and organised talks on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), taking advantage of their implementation in the country. And we will be repeating the experience at home and abroad with talks focused on the successful implementation of accounting, taxation and employment standards.
In Spain, we took part in the IMEX Impulso Exterior trade fair, devoted to the internationalisation of SMEs, on April 23 and 24 in Madrid, as the main contributor. These kinds of events are essential for raising our visibility and positioning in the niche market we are targeting.
- What are the challenges facing the company over the next five years, and what markets do you think have the most growth potential?
In our strategic plan, we set ourselves the goal of doubling in size within five years, basing this growth – as we have done up to now – on the provision of a consistent and quality service wherever our customers operate. While we currently have our sights set on South America, we are always open to new opportunities. Indeed, flexibility is a vital component of our expansion policy, which is why new emerging countries, like those in the region of North Africa, are also beginning to gain prominence in our international expansion plans.
Right now we are focusing on Europe and South America, including our office in Miami. Our long-term goal is to be the leading provider of accounting, reporting, tax compliance and payroll solutions in the international arena, and this is what we are working towards.