What is your business?
INOV Insurance is an insurance broker business based in Barcelona and fully licensed from the Spanish Ministry of Finance. We are neither an insurance company nor an agent of an insurance company. We are totally independent and represent our clients. Our job is to find them the best offer by comparing the products.
Where did the original idea come from?
After working 15 years in the insurance industry and being CEO of insurance companies in different countries, I decided to launch my own business.
How long did it take to get your business off the ground?
In 2003 with a few colleagues coming from the insurance industry, we explored the potential of the expat community in different countries and found that Spain was one of the best locations. INOV Insurance was created in 2004 with €55,000 of private capital.
What are the positive aspects about having a business here?
For our business, Barcelona is very positive in the sense that it hosts many foreigners. More generally, despite difficult times, we can feel certain optimism in the way people see the future and a smile is very often the best way to solve issues.
And the negative aspects?
Are there any other useful contacts, tips or information you think would be useful to other foreign entrepreneurs in Barcelona?
There is nothing really different to other places in Europe: to have a sound business plan, to propose an interesting product for the client. And take the risk of launching your business, figures and plans will never replace dynamism and courage. We network in different places: Chambers of Commerce, Afterworks, Professional meetings, Rotary. The objective of this networking is not only to make business; it is as well to understand the place we live and sometimes to support colleagues, friends or people who need our help.
You also have a group on LinkedIn called “English in Spain". Can you explain the purpose of this group.
This group is for English people living in Spain who want to have information: professional contacts, leisure activities, administration, help for settling in. We are leading another group –“Français en Espagne”- composed of more than 400 members. Our experience is that people not only share information. They do business together as well. For example they decided to improve their referencing in Google by exchanging links and asked one of the members who is a specialist in this area to coordinate this.