MBA students from our Barcelona campus headed to the corporate offices of Garmin Iberia in Barberà del Vallès on the outskirts of Barcelona, where they were greeted by the managing director, Salvador Alcover. Alcover began the visit by explaining the history of the American multinational from its beginnings producing nautical radars through its expansion into the sectors it is most known for today, automotive, sports and recreation.
His presentation included a look into its new wearable technology, fitness bands, smart watches and action cameras. Garmin prides itself on innovation and new technologies, and made a name for itself with its military grade handheld GPS devices, still in use today for their reliability. Garmin uses a vertical integration business model, which keeps everything from design to manufacturing in-house. Alcover also explained how the company managed to have such great success in virtually every market they entered, although that’s a well-kept secret that he asked us not to share.
The Garmin office in Spain was named the best satellite office of the year for its high productivity. The team contributes their success and productivity level to the independence given to senior management. This freedom allows them to choose how they run their offices in Spain and since then, management has implemented flexible work schedules so that staff members are able to make the most of their time while at work and achieve a healthier work-life balance.
All About Garmin Ltd.
- Founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao
- Current CEO, Cliff Pemble
- Headquartered in Olathe, Kansas
- Initial public offering on NASDAQ in December 2000
- 11,400 employees worldwide
- Total revenue of $812 million (2nd quarter of 2016), up 5%
- Gross margin of 57%, up from 54.2% in 2015
Students were lucky to be able to ask questions directly to senior managers and dig deeper into the business concepts learned in their classes. To conclude the visit, Alcover announced that Garmin will give a free watch to the MBA student who writes the best report about the company visit! Good luck!