EMG recently spoke with Alberto Andreu, Head of CSR & Reputation for Telefónica, to find out more about how cultural diversity is managed and how are they keeping up the relationship with suppliers and customers?
I like to say that we are a Spanish-born company, but we have an international mindset. We are a company with a huge presence in Latin America, but we are also in the UK, so we incorporate values coming from there as well as from Germany, Ireland or wherever we are based. What we usually say is that we are Brazilian in Brazil, British in the UK, German in Germany, Mexican in Mexico and of course Spanish in Spain. In this way, we like to define ourselves as a ‘multi-domestic’ company, rather than a ‘global’ company. However, speaking ‘globally’ for a moment, we are trying to define a common policy for Telefónica all over the globe, particularly in terms of ethics code and integrity, supply chain, privacy and data protection, safer internet for children, human rights, electromagnetic fields and energy consumption. In terms of thinking ‘locally’, every market where Telefónica exists should be able to capture real business opportunities in its own area, especially in digital inclusion topics such as education and financial services, and green ICT including smart cities, etc. This ‘multi-domestic’ company culture is quite different from most French national companies, for example, and we are also quite different from Anglo-Saxon multinational companies. I think it is a very good approach to the market, because it allows us to be global while also respecting the local identity of our company wherever it is based.