Tina Alsted Grejsen, Director of Networks and Communities in SAP
What does the company do?
SAP is an innovative software company and I work in the SAP Commercial Sales Organisation in Barcelona. It's like a startup within SAP; even more innovative, energetic and dynamic. Our office in Barcelona has existed since 2006.
How long have you been part of the company?
I started my career at SAP in 2015, always in customer-facing roles, and for the past two years leading the Nordic sales team. Since May this year, I am working with external and internal networks to solve internal challenges and achieve strategic goals.
What do you like most about your job?
The flexibility of our working structure, all the great ideas that are always celebrated and the mentality of "the only mistake you can make is not to make mistakes" as this is how we learn and grow as an organization. Especially in Barcelona where the atmosphere is rather like a start-up than an almost 50-year-old company; there is room for innovation and piloting new things. This makes it a very exciting place to be and being able to see the results of what we do in our customers' businesses, is extremely motivating.
And what do you like least?
Being part of a large multinational has a lot of benefits, but you can also sometimes "get lost" within the big corporate processes.
What do you think your company is known for?
At SAP, anything is possible. Our cloud ERP solutions, powered by technologies like the Internet of Things, Big Data and more, make a real impact on the world. SAP helps companies revolutionize everything from cancer treatments to flood prevention.
What is your main challenge?
Attracting international talent to Barcelona: talent who are interested in making a career with SAP either locally or globally. People is our main asset and the basis of our existence in Barcelona as we need talent from many different countries both inside and outside of Europe. Especially for the talent coming from outside of Europe, the challenge often is achieving the necessary documents to work in Spain.
Where are you located? Do you know why this location was chosen?
SAP is located in Carrer de Josep Pla, just in front of the seaside in Diagonal Mar area with amazing views over the sea and the city. This location was chosen due to the @22 district of innovation which is in line with our company.
What do you like best about the place in which you work?
The innovative spirit with the other companies around, the Miami-look with the tall buildings in front of the seaside and the possibility to be active in your lunchbreak by exercising next to the sea front or in the water. The location clears your mind when you need a break.
How important if Barcelona for your company? para vuestra empresa?
Barcelona is a key part when it comes to attracting the right international as well as local talent to work in our company.
Which cities would you compare Barcelona to?
It is very hard to compare Barcelona to any other city as it has characteristics that are unique to the city such as the life-style, the food, and the location with both sea and mountains close although there are things we also see in other cities; as a Dane I am always looking at the biking set-up in each city, and here Barcelona has improved a lot probably seeking inspiration from Copenhagen or Amsterdam.
Which other cities should Barcelona learn from?
I think that the sustainability and environmental topics needs to be even stronger in Barcelona, there is a great possibility to look at this in various aspects now. Also, there needs to be a larger focus on the security of its people as the lack of this is something that Barcelona, unfortunately, also is famous for in Europe and as a company this is working in contrary for attracting international talent to the city. In general, make it an easier place to come and work as a foreigner to the city.
Which city do you think Barcelona could learn from?
Again, being from Denmark I am little objective here. I believe that Copenhagen is a great example of a modern city in Europe thinking of how to make the life of people living in the city worth living; green areas, the bicycle culture, the cultural life, the economic investments and the work-life balance while at the same time making it a space where both locals, new locals and tourism and can thrive.
How would you like Barcelona to develop in the future?
To become a place where talent and business is in the center of the city: a talent hub. Tourism will of course still play a large part in the city but not be what controls or determines the set-up of the city; this should be its people, its talent. This is how talent gets attracted and how talent stays which will make the city of Barcelona develop.