Once more, an initiative from Instituto de Empresa alumni has attracted the attention of a prestigious magazine such as Business Week.
Four graduates from IE Business School International MBA program have launched Smart Wine Selections (www.smartwineselections.com ), a business project centred on the export of Spanish wines to Mexico and the U.S.
The founding of the company has appeared in Business Week on the 15th of February, in an article referring to the increasing importance of the wine industry and of career opportunities for MBA graduates that this industry can offer.
It all started last summer, when Juan Galí (IMBA05), one of the founders of the IE Gourmet Club, got the idea of creating this wine exporting company, taking advantage of the group´s contacts in the industry and the framework set by Instituto de Empresa with the AVE projects.

Juan Galí and Miguel Ángel Pérez from Spain, and Mexicans Isaac Ezban and Jerónimo del Villar, all of them IMBA05, decide to implement this project when they finished the International MBA. The team was perfect to set up a business related to wine: Miguel Ángel´s family has vineyards in Valencia, Juan Galí´s partner is American and works exporting Rioja to the U.S., and the Mexican graduates had good knowledge of international trade and contacts in Mexico who could help them introduce Spanish wine there.
Hence the 4 joined forces and decided to draw up a business plan for their company, Smart Wine Selections, with the help of professors from Instituto de Empresa Entrepreneurship Department. The company is now taking its first steps, offering a dual service to Spanish wine producers who are not large enough to have their own network in the U.S., and to American importers, to whom they offer what Miguel Ángel Pérez, one of the company´s 4 partners, describes as «a high-quality selection of wines and unique varieties of grape that would otherwise be extremely difficult to find, because they are only grown here in Spain«.
Miguel Ángel is confident that the US market is open to new flavours, and is demanding «wines that are a bit different from the usual cabernet-sauvignon, with a hint of cherry or a full-oak flavour» he explains. That´s were Spain comes into play, with its potential, its exquisite wine-producing processes and its different varieties of indigenous grape. «They call Spain ‘the sleeping giant’ «, he adds, «because we are the world´s third biggest wine producer and our quality is constantly improving, but we have a long way to go where the international market is concerned«.
Read the article in Business Week Download file
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