Manuel Gómez López - Arpa Quality Urban Aqua water filter system
Manuel Gómez is the director of the water filter company Arpa Quality Urban Aqua in Barcelona—he tells us how the company got started and his experience of doing business in Barcelona
Where did the original idea come from? I have always wanted to work in the water-filtration business as it is about my lifestyle. At home, we have a reverse osmosis system and a water softener. At work as well, we have our own Candi Model, which is our most advanced water fountain yet, which provides natural, hot and cold water.
How long did it take to get your business off the ground? It took approximately one year to get the business running on its own treadmill. Within the Group South Bay EDC [owner of Arpa Quality Urban Aqua], we have a general philosophy which is "if a business can not pay their expenses and taxes within three years, you don't have a business. If, by the fourth year, you have generated return-investments, then you do have a business".
What do you wish you’d known when you started? All of the information gathered was from years of successful sales in my other business (Group South Bay EDC), but we did not correct the information after the crisis. So it was difficult learning the new rules of the trade again.
How easy was it get the financing for your business? Financing is never easy, but it helped a lot that Group South Bay EDC has a good solid position in the industry that gave us confidence to establish another business.
Did you find the paperwork diffícult? I received help from my lawyers who were recommended specialists, so as not to have any difficulties in the process. In the end, you save time and money if you trust a professional.
What is your business experience / background / qualifications? We are business owners for more than 20 years. I am the Director of South Bay EDC in Spain. With the help of my partners in the United States, we have worked and continue to work for the US federal government, NASA and many others. Group South Bay EDC is a consolidated group of companies and leading market targeting the sectors of construction, installation, maintenance and energy management. The premise of the company is to offer comprehensive services in all areas of its activities.
What are the positive aspects about having a business here? With respect to Arpa Quality Urban Aqua, we are fully dedicated to the distribution and maintenance of reverse osmosis systems, water softeners and water dispensers. We are in a very important field, most importantly because only 5 percent of the Barcelona metropolitan area have a water-treatment system installed in their homes and/or offices. In other areas of activities, it has helped us as business owners to see how the system has had great results in other countries and we believe it will in Spain.
And the negative aspects? When the market isn't ready to receive the offer of your service/product. Even knowing that it's an important factor in life and in many other countries has proved successful.