First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Adrián Ortiz: Very good, thank you. I hope yours is great too. We are coping with this new normality in a very humble and respectful way but with a positive attitude and willingness to continue to work hard and keep growing in this new context.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Xtraice
Adrián Ortiz: I have a degree in Business Administration and Management, with an MBA to his credit, and speaks 3 languages at negotiation level. I’m an entrepreneur from birth; I have created more than 15 companies. My main success is Xtraice, an international company with rinks installed in more than 95 countries and a multidisciplinary team of more than 30 workers. Xtraice is a family business with 17 years since its foundation. My father was the creator, but he soon delegated me to finish promoting the project.
How does Xtraice innovate?
Adrián Ortiz: We always focus on innovation. It’s our main difference with our competitors. We have 2 ways to innovate. The first one is listening to our customers and trying to adjust our products to their needs. The other one is trying to lower the price of the products without losing quality.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Adrián Ortiz: At a first moment and with the lockdown in mostly all the world, we put our efforts in the home business line, and it worked. Many people needed to keep training at home during the lockdown, so our synthetic ice solution was the best option for them.
Nowadays we are working very hard in conveying confidence for the leisure market. Our products are highly recommended for this kind of situation, 99% of the locations are outdoor rinks, and the maximum capacity gives more than 5m2 per person.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Adrián Ortiz: All of us were used to working from home; the most challenging thing is to share the company’s culture to the new employees and to keep the team’s self-esteem high.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Xtraice in the future?
Adrián Ortiz: We had yoga’s lessons at work, and that helped us deal with stress and anxiety. I’m sure (sooner or later) everything will go back to normal, the only question is when. So, the only thing we can do is wait and be prepared for the new future. We’re working hard while the situation changes.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Adrián Ortiz: We have a lot of competitors, and all of them are very small. Also, they compete in price when we try to give quality and service. Fortunately, the size of the company matters and we have a lot of savings and have reached several financing deals.
Your final thoughts
Adrián Ortiz: It’s a disgrace that nearly a million people have died. Nowadays, everybody thinks that anything is possible and (as always in life), those who best adapt could survive and finally will be stronger after that.