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Antoni Ballester Gornals

SPAIN - Economy

Antoni Ballester Gornals

CEO, Estel Ingenierí­a y Obras

Bio

Antonio Ballester Gornals did his studies in telecommunications engineering at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona. He complemented his university studies with his first work experience in the hotel chain Melià. He completed an MBA at CEFEM in 1996. That same year, he co-founded Juniper Networks and later became a partner in Estel Ingeniería y Obras in 1997. In 2000, he was nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Currently, he is the CEO of Estel Ingeniería y Obras, which has 15 offices around the world and five lines of business.

With a history of over 25 years, Estel will focus on sustainability, digitalization, and the circular economy in the coming years.

Estel is a Mallorcan company with a strong international presence. What milestones have marked the growth of the company?

Estel was founded in 1995 as a telecommunications engineering company. Today, 26 years after its foundation, we are extremely satisfied and proud of our trajectory. It is a company faithful to its principles with a remarkable client portfolio. This has been possible thanks to the personalized treatment we offer to each of our clients. Our main objective has always been to adapt to their needs. Bearing in mind that we are a Mallorcan company, our growth has been closely linked to that of the large hotel chains in the Balearic Islands, such as Meliá, Excellence, Palladium, and Iberostar. Estel started working in the telecommunications installations of these companies. When these companies began their international expansion, they trusted Estel to carry out the installations of their new hotel complexes. This was a significant step for the company, as it meant entering a phase of internationalization. The first project we carried out in the Americas was in the Dominican Republic for Iberostar in 1999, and our growth has been continuous since then. In 2000, we started to expand into Europe with a presence in France and the UK through the Meliá Hotel chain. This period marked Estel’s new way of doing business. We are a company capable of adapting to new cultures and legislations. This ability to adapt is one of our main values today. At that time, Estel entered a phase of diversification to also provide electrical and mechanical services. We experienced strong growth in the Caribbean, starting to work with non-Spanish capital companies. With COVID-19, we have taken advantage of the drop in production to do internal engineering and reformulate the different business areas. Specialization, sustainability, digitalization, and the circular economy will be the basis of our business in the coming years. With this objective in mind, we have created three business lines: Esteldome, Estel Energy, and Estel Green.

What does Estel mean to the economy of Mallorca today, and how has the company helped the strategic sectors of the island become more competitive?

Our main strength has always been our ability to adapt. We try to anticipate the needs of the market, particularly in the hotel sector, which is our main client, and a strategic sector of the island. We are adapting to offer this sector the services that we know it will demand in the near future. Our strong specialization in the hotel sector has helped us to be pioneers in this field, and therefore, that hotel chains trust us to continue executing their projects. Clear examples are sustainability, the circular economy, and digitalization, which Estel has in its DNA. That is why we have been working for years on the brands launched in 2021, such as Estel Energy and Estel Green, which allow us to carry out the objectives set by the 2030 Agenda and offer what hotel chains need to optimize resources. These brands help them to be more efficient and reduce their carbon footprints. The implementation of automation and control systems is an example of services that will help make buildings more sustainable and therefore more environmentally efficient.

What are Estel’s priorities for 2022?

We are confident that 2022 will be a year of recovery of turnover figures to the preCOVID-19 stage. Our major client, the hotel sector, is resuming its activity and, therefore, also its investments, which are so necessary for our business. Our geographic diversification in countries such as Aruba, St. Martin, Barbados, and others should begin to bear fruit. The new brands, especially Estel Energy and Estel Green, should lead another major area of growth, designing and executing either power generation or industrial waste recovery plants. We therefore expect 2022 to be a year of growth, expansion to new horizons, and consolidation of the new business lines.

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