Polyglot Group has been doing business with international & multicultural companies based in more than 50 countries all around the world for over 20 years.

In celebration of these partnerships, we will be promoting bilateral trades by interviewing some of the key players. Keen to know more about the current challenges faced by the countries we are representing such as Latin America, Europe, Asia & the US, we are thrilled to share with you our interview with Miguel Barbudo, Director/Treasurer & Co-Founder of La Camara.


Could you please introduce your organisation?

La Camara is a not-for-profit organisation that creates links between Spanish and Australian companies. The organisation was launched by a series of individuals and businesses with a diverse range of experience, professional expertise and a genuine passion for promoting Spanish trade, business, communication and culture in Australia.

The aim is to establish La Camara as the preeminent point of reference for Spanish companies interested in investing in Australia, as well as for Australian companies willing to develop and expand their business in Spain. We ease communication and exchange between Spanish and Australian companies as well as provide a platform for them to meet potential customers, suppliers and partners.


What type of services can you offer Spanish companies looking for new business opportunities in Australia?

La Camara promotes exchange and communication between Australian and Spanish companies. In order to do so, we organise events such as business meetings, networking events and also seminars and conferences. These events provide La Camara members the opportunity to meet relevant individuals to create potential alliances, establish partnerships and even build relationships between customer and supplier.  We also offer events that are centred on training and provide an understanding of the market or issues that may arise when adapting their company to the Australian market.

All in all, we provide any service that may help our members work together and to learn more about Australian particularities and how to properly adjust for the market they are trying to join.


Are you subsidised by Spain or is your organisation membership based?

Our organisation is membership-based. We do not receive any funding from the Spanish Government.


How many members do you have?

We are proud to say that we have over 200 corporate members. We offer a range of different memberships to suit the need of our members and also offer individual and young professional memberships so as to include entrepreneurs and rising potential small business.


What are the organisation’s main accomplishments since you took office?

I was part of La Camara’s founding party, so in my opinion, its main achievement has been its establishment. Since 2011, we have generated over three hundred thousand dollars in revenue and have raised the profile of Spanish companies in Australia, especially by allowing them to organise and attend high-profile meetings.

We have also facilitated many a meeting between companies and relevant individuals or entities that can help them, who are often key decision makers in the Government and the private sector. I believe its establishment as a whole has helped hundreds of companies and individuals and I am very proud of where the organisation is heading.


In which industries/sectors of Australia do you see opportunities for Spain?

I see opportunities for Spanish companies in industries such as infrastructure, energy, technology (in enabling the partnership with established developers in Australia) and investment, such as Spanish investment funds, banks and financial institutions.


From your experience, what are the typical steps that Spanish companies undertake when expanding in Australia?

When a Spanish company first sends a team member or developer to register and establish their presence in Australia, they begin by doing a market study and researching potential customers and partners. From there, they aim to attend meetings and be introduced to more potential partners and customers. Based on the relationships and partnerships they create, the company’s representative starts to attend different events and collaborate on projects.

When they are able to generate a few sales or long lasting projects, they then look into establishing their identity in Australia. This leads to a slow and steady growth. Depending on the business, they may look at opening a warehouse, or if they are a project based company, they will consider having people in business development and other similar means of commercial expansion.

It may take longer for some, however it is completely worth the wait.


What are the main challenges for Spanish companies entering Australia in 2016 & what are the common mistakes that they do that you might have noticed?

I believe the main challenge for Spanish companies entering the Australian market is when a company’s expectations are not met, especially in relation to funding from the Australian Government. Large projects have suffered in the past from lack of funding, or funding being withdrawn which stops the project going ahead.

In addition, the economy fluctuating is also an issue to keep on top of. This is especially relevant for companies in sales or retail. The Spanish and Australian economies differ on this point, which makes exchange and export sometimes more difficult.


What are common mistakes that you might have noticed for companies that want to do business in Australia?

I believe the biggest mistake a company can make is trying to expand too rapidly. Australia is a very expensive market, so they need to progress in small steps to ensure that they are securing their place in the market before investing more money. Whether it is growth in staffing or investment: the company should take its time. That’s the key to success.

Thank you to Miguel for his insight and for taking the time to speak to us. If you are interested in knowing more on what La Camara provides and how the organisation can help you, head over to their website to find out more.


About the Author:

As Polyglot Group's Partnerships Manager, Alex dedicates his time to explore new business ideas and increase brand visibility. Particularly passionate about start-ups and scale-ups, Alex believes in the power of innovation and is always looking for ways to shine a light on those leading the way for change.
Read more about Alexandre Kohn.