José Ángel Blanco explica nuestros propósitos para la segunda mitad del 2021

August 1, 2021

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GNGRUP forges ahead with its strategic plan for 2020-2023.
José Ángel Blanco, Project and Construction Management Director, shares his view of the current situation and explains how the company plans to grow.

Metros2: After managing international projects in several countries, why did you decide to work in Mallorca?

José Ángel Blanco:
After extensive experience in Asturias, Spain and America, in 2013 I joined the RIU hotel chain in Mallorca. Following several professional experiences on the island I came to GNGRUP at the beginning of 2020 of GNGRUP.
Some of the projects in which I’ve had the pleasure of working on over the years for different companies are:

Santa Lucia Insurance Building in Plaza de la Escandalera, Oviedo.
We worked on a comprehensive rehabilitation of the building (built in 1904). In Ponferrada, León, the Torre de la Rosaleda project remains the tallest building in Castilla León with a height of 108 metres over 30 floors. It houses offices, a hotel and living accommodation.

On the international front, Los Faros de Panamá A multidisciplinary project in the heart of Panama City. The main tower is 346 meters high (with 85 floors) and two other towers of 295 metres In addition, there was a 33,000 m2 city centre plot to house a project with 450,000 m2 * of built area, divided into homes, offices, a hotel, shopping center and parking area.

Another project is AAK-BAL (initially Campeche Playa, Golf, Marina and Spa Resort ). A resort in Mexico, commercial champion state, sports marina, 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, 2,600 meters of beachfront, including an urbanization with 11 kilometres of roads.
In the city of Madrid, Salamanca Class, on López de Hoyos street, 3
. Salamanca Class was considered the most expensive development in Spain in 2005. 20 high-end homes were built.

And from there many hotel projects, such as the five-star Hotel RIU Tequila in Playa del Carmen; RIU Plaza New York Times Square; five-star RIU Palace Jamaica hotel in Montego Bay: or the five-star RIU Playa Blanca hotel in Panama.
Here in mallorca, amongst other hotel chains I’ve worked with Iberostar, and the emblematic and unique Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar alongside the Rafa Nadal Sport Center, in Manacor, Balearic Islands

Metros2: Why did you choose GNGrup?

José Ángel Blanco:
Challenges motivate me, but above all people The first moment I met Pep Grimalt, CEO of GNGrup, we immediately connected, we have the same vision, we share the same values, and above all, we are both passionate about our work, project management. I also liked that the person who founded and heads the company is an industrial engineer like myself and also PMP..

Metros2: What are the strengths of the group?

José Ángel Blanco:
GNGRUP is highly specialized in hotels and high-end residential buildings. Specialization is one of our strengths. The company was born in Mallorca, practically the entire team has grown up between hotels and the hotel construction boom of the 80’s. Family and friends are hoteliers or work in the industry, the openings that start the season, the arrival of tourists and the closings mark our own calendar. We carry it in our DNA, we are one of the most specialized companies in hotels, particularly working within a seasonal timetable.
Apart from specialization, most of our team has at sometime worked on site, meaning they have experience in the construction industry and its promotors. This, alongside our project management training gives us a 360-degree vision.

Metros2:Is specialization so necessary to carry out good project management?

José Ángel Blanco:
For our way of understanding project management it’s fundamentalnot only in the world of construction but even more so when working on hotels and high-end residential. Our clients not only call us to manage a job, they call us to share their business case and be able to advise them even from the point of view of returns. All this helps us greatly in understanding the definition of project success. . But for this, you need an in depth knowledge of its ecosystem, and believe me it is not easy, benchmarking here is, let’s say, a bit opaque, unlike LATAM or the US, you have to be one of them, the G.O.P, ADR, etc. it is very confidential information.
Many of the projects we manage, especially comprehensive hotel renovations, are what we call high-risk projects . The formula to succeed is a combination of specialization and a finely tuned management system minimising risks for both ourselves and shareholders, fundamental here in the islands due to such diverse idiosycrancies from the administrations issuing licenses to the neighbours where you’re working. Our manual of lessons learned, built over 22 years in the business is pretty extensive and a great assett And finally, the involvement and dedication of our entire team, we will never lose our personal, artesanal and professional way of carrying out a project..

“Amongst other hotels we highlight the Iberostar chain alongside the emblematic and unique Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar and Rafa Nadal Sport Center, in Manacor, Balearic Islands”

Metros2: What is your forecast after the summer?

José Ángel Blanco:
The hotel season is dubious, bookings are up and down. Despite this we believe investment will continue much the same without major changes, , in the short term we´re not looking at “Next-Gen Funds”, but we do believe that the strong financial players will continue with their firm commitment to investment in the hotel sector and we will see quite a few transactions. We are already experiencing a large increase in construction in the high end sector, and some of these transactions are breaking the mold.

Metros2: What are the company’s plans in the short and medium term?

José Ángel Blanco:
The hotel season is dubious, bookings are up and down. Despite this we believe investment will continue much the same without major changes, in the short term we´re not looking at “Next-Gen Funds”, but we do believe that the strong financial players will continue with their firm commitment to investment in the hotel sector and we will see quite a few transactions. We are already experiencing a large increase in construction in the high end sector, and some of these transactions are breaking the mold.
In short the forecast is good for our industry. After having gone through the downturn caused by the pandemic,GNGRUP has taken advantage of the time to further and improve our training.
At the moment we have to consider another important factor influencing our industry, that of the increase in prices and construction costs in recent months, mainly materials but also labour. At the moment this is more acute in Ibiza and is starting to be worrying.

Metros2: What are the company’s plans in the short and medium term?

José Ángel Blanco:
We have landed on the Costa del Sol, and we are closing a strategic and contractual joint venture with an excellent company, well established in Malaga, and directed by fantastic people with whom we fully share vision and values..
The medium-term plans are to continue being one of the most specialized companies in hotels and residential high-end, and prepared not only to manage projects in sustainable or sustainably built environments, but to guide our clients towards sustainability.

Metros2: How are you managing to move towards sustainablitly?

José Ángel Blanco:
It is a new essential requirement in the design and construction of buildings. I myself am accredited as a sustainable construction specialist by LEED and BREEAM.
We started as specialists in sustainable construction to be able to manage in this environment, but our commitment to sustainability is such that we already have accreditations to be able to certify buildings with the WELL and Green standards. We firmly believe in the need for construction to evolve towards sustainability. We have also developed a corporate social responsibility management system under the standards of the IQNET SR: o standard and certified by AENOR. This recent certification makes us as the only company in our industry throughout the Balearic Islands that has this seal. We must not forget that social responsibility is one of the three levers of sustainability.

“Our management is not a simple automatic process applied systematically to a multitude of projects. Our management is always adapted to each and every clients personal needs ”.

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