The Leaders had the chance to learn about Banco Santander’s Universities Department
The Indian Leaders had the chance to learn about Banco Santander and its commitment to education during a visit to the bank’s Santander City corporate campus in Madrid and have lunch with Antonio Escámez, Chairman of the Spain India Council Foundation and the Santander Foundation. The meeting was also attended by Mohan Chainani, SICF’s Vice-Chairman, José María Robles Fraga, Head of International Affairs at Banco Santander and Luis Otamendi, Legal Counsellor of Banco Santander.
Salvador Medina, Head of the Universities Department, gave an overview of the bank’s commitment to education, pointing out that “what sets us apart from others is our commitment to higher education.” The reason behind this commitment, he said, is that education is a very important sector in the market, with a huge impact on the economy; it is positioned between the food and telecoms sectors. To this end, Santander has created a specific division which, in 16 years, has invested one billion euros, has over 2,000 employees and has signed 1,122 agreements with universities in 20 countries.
The Head of the Research Department at Santander, Alejandra Kindelán, gave an overview of the Spanish economy and its role in the global economic crisis. In order to tackle the recession, changes have been made in the form of adjustments to the private sector and structural and financial reforms, such as the reform of the country’s savings banks. One of the key adjustments in Kindelán’s opinion was the labour market reform undertaken, which was “one of the most complicated sectors and a long-term challenge.” After those reforms, the situation changed completely and “Spain is now on the path to a sustainable recovery.”
After a speech by José María Robles Fraga explaining the workings of the European Parliament and analysing the results of European elections, the Leaders had the chance to talk informally with the speakers. R. K. Shevgaonkar asked about the bank’s strategy for business incubation and its prospects in India, and Salvador Medina replied that India is a priority for Santander Group and encouraged the Leaders to work jointly to find synergies.
The participants in the Programme also visited the Visitors’ Centre at Santander’s HQ and were given an overview of the Financial City project, a 250-ha city in Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, which boasts two data processing centres, a training centre, a residence, a crèche, an auditorium, several sports tracks and a wide array of restaurant options. This campus is currently among the world’s best corporate headquarters and Santander was the first European company to receive the ‘Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award’.