On Friday 18th May Zaragoza Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services announced the winners of the 2017 Export Awards in recognition of the international activity of Aragonese businesses. This year’s edition marked the 40th anniversary of these awards.
Araven won the award in the category of medium-sized enterprises. The other winning companies are Zalux (large enterprise), Sismoha (small enterprise), Soluciones Luminiscentes (export entrepreneur) and Ebroacero (international achievement award). The awards are to be presented in a ceremony that will take place on 7th June at 19.00 hours.
The Chamber of Commerce Export Awards, with the collaboration of Ibercaja, CESCE and JCV, are a way of acknowledging the success of companies from the province of Zaragoza in international markets and also a means of boosting the internationalization of Aragon’s production fabric. The long track record of these awards and the objective criteria that are applied in judging the prize-winners make them the benchmark business award in the Autonomous Community of Aragon.
At the presentation to the media, Mr José Miguel Sánchez, General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Nieves Ágreda, International Area Director highlighted the “enormous effort Araven dedicates to foreign promotion.” “In such a competitive industry where there are countries that offer very low prices, Araven has successfully established itself thanks to its strategy of innovation that is highly valued by the target sectors”.
At the award presentation, the Chamber of Commerce of Zaragoza recalled that Araven was founded in 1976 by two entrepreneurs with a background in the plastics injection industry. Araven now manufactures and markets a wide range of products for the foodservice and retail equipment industries. It provides food storage and handling solutions as well as equipment for transporting shopping and purchases for the retail sector.
In its decision, the Chamber of Commerce drew attention to the fact that the company started exporting to various European countries in 1990 where its products for the large consumption market were very well received. When it opened its subsidiaries in Mexico and the USA in 2005 the company embarked upon a new stage during which it consolidated its position in the international market, currently having a network of around 30 branch offices.
Araven is a member of the International Club of Chamber of Commerce. In 2017 it reached a turnover of more than 26 million Euros and exported 70 percent of its production. Its attendance at international shows is one of its main marketing tools and last year the company was present at shows in Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Slovakia, France, Sweden, Germany, the UK, the USA, Italy, Turkey, Poland and Chile.
Javier Layus, Araven’s Commercial Director of Retail Equipment Exports was present at the press conference in which the winners of the 2017 Export Awards were announced, and on behalf of the whole company expressed his “satisfaction and pride” at receiving the award and stated: “It is an acknowledgement of our daily work. At Araven we are proud to say that we are from Zaragoza rather than from Madrid or Barcelona; we represent our city, our region and our country abroad”.
Mr Layus recalled that it was in 1990 when Araven embarked "with bows and arrows to explore the foreign market and ten years later it was present in 36 countries and its exports accounted for 42 % of its turnover".
Araven’s head of exports highlighted the Aragonese company’s commitment to quality and design and to innovation and internationalization, which have become its two main cornerstones and the firm’s hallmark. On this journey into foreign markets Araven has shown its “chameleon-like ability to blend and adapt to with our surrounding environment.”
With reference to the challenges and difficulties that internationalization entails, Mr Layus stressed that: “It is very important to carry out a self-assessment of your company to judge whether it is able to actually undertake it. It is not a question of opportunism; it has to be vocational and you have to work hand in hand with bodies such as the Chamber of Commerce or the ICEX. It is also important to remember that results are not achieved in the short term, you need patience and to trust in work of the people at home and abroad”.
Last year 71% of Araven’s turnover came from outside of Spain, with the company’s international presence in leading hotel and restaurant establishments and important retail chains now extending to 74 countries worldwide. At the same time, the company grew 26% in Spain and the national marketplace became one of the most important ones for Araven, together with France, UK, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Holland, Poland, Belgium and Turkey.