Q&A with Grifols VP HR NA, Miguel Li Puma

Grifols is a fourth generation family run global healthcare company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. It is the leading producer of plasma-derived medicines that treat rare and chronic conditions and also manufactures diagnostic testing equipment and hospital pharmacy products. Founded in 1940, the company has been operating in the United States for more than 20 years, but in the last 10 has grown dramatically, including through acquisitions, and now employs approximately 14,000 people in the United States across more than 47 states, including offices in California and North Carolina.

Gatti: What are your priorities for your North American workforce?

Li Puma: Given the incredibly competitive hiring environment for the bioscience industry in the U.S., talent management is my top priority. We must attract, develop and engage our professionals, scientists and technicians to keep Grifols innovating and growing. And, we are well aware that we are not only competing for employees in our industry, but also across industries. Take our manufacturing talent, for example; leading companies are interested in our employees and we want to provide our employees with satisfying growth paths within Grifols.

While our company’s headquarters is in Spain, 70 percent of our revenue is from the U.S. and we are expanding rapidly in Asia. Consequently, it is critical to Grifols’ success that our employees cultivate a global perspective.

Gatti: How are you developing truly global leaders?

Li Puma: Working with two business schools with global presence—ESADE Business School in Barcelona and Georgetown University in D.C.—we recently launched a four-month Senior Leadership Development Program for both European and North American executives. Colleagues spend a week in Barcelona and then in D.C. and in between work on real projects in cross-functional teams. Our CEO opens and closes the program in Spain and the U.S. to demonstrate our commitment to being the best global company we can be.

We also realize the importance of on-the-job experience to develop global talent, so we encourage long-term assignments, short-term projects and even permanent reassignments between the U.S. and Spain.

Gatti: How do you keep the spirit of a family-run Catalonian business now that you are a public multinational?

Li Puma: It is definitely a challenge, especially as we acquire businesses, but we are proud to combine the company’s Catalonian heritage with our global growth. For example, we celebrate the Catalonian holiday Sant Jordi in our North American locations, giving each employee a book and each women employee, also a rose. Finally, we recognize high-achieving salespeople with the opportunity to visit Grifols headquarters in Barcelona and plan to expand this incentive across functions.