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Interview with Gisela López Rosado, Norvil CEO

Given that year we celebrate Norvil's 40th anniversary, we want to take this opportunity so that you can get to know us better and find out who the people behind each email or phone call are. To do this, throughout the upcoming months, you will find a monthly interview with each of the Norvil employees.

We started this series of interviews with Gisela López Rosado, CEO of Norvil. We hope you enjoy reading it!

Where and when the company was born?
In Lugones, a small town in Asturias in March 1980!

How the company got started? What did the company sell at the beginning?
At the beginning We only sold very basic shirts for the work wear market. Some of those models are still being sold. In those days everything was very simple, every product manufactured would be immediately sold and selling and marketing actions boiled down to basically trust and the power of your brand that, from the beginning, was always synonymous with quality and seriousness. There was hardly any imported product and competition was less aggressive.

Main milestones
There have been several across these years. I remember when in 1988 we launched the first women's shirts and blouses. Also, when we started our international journey in the 90's, but especially when in 2002 we started to make other products. Everything was new for us, it was a great challenge, but thanks to that decision, Norvil has now the current position in the market and the capacity of creating any type of uniform.

What was the biggest challenge for Norvil?
We cannot tell just one, throughout these years we have constantly faced great challenges; going from managing a local firm to an international one could be one of them. Deciding that the strategic focus should be put on design and quality instead of price, was another important decision because that meant a whole internal revolution and led to constant changes in culture that implied flexibility and adaptation to an uncertain environment. We are fighters by nature.

What is Norvil's greatest success?
It is to have been able to maintain the trust of many of our clients for 40 years. That is the result of a daily effort. 

How and when did you start working at Norvil?
In September 1987, I came to stay for a few months, but something allured me and I decided to stay. I still keep the same enthusiasm of that time.

What motivates you the most when you come to work every day?
I love my work, but above all I like new challenges. At Norvil you are never bored, there are always new projects to develop.

What do you do in your free time?
I am passionate about traveling, learning about new cultures and sharing different ways of understanding life. I also really like reading and growing my own vegetables and flowers, that makes me disconnect.

What is it that makes you feel most proud as an entrepreneur?
The human team that I lead. They are very capable and committed people. We are like a great family.

The happiest day in the company.
It was surely the entrance of one of my children to the company and to a project that we both have in our blood. The new employee generations are standing strong, they are highly educated people and a source of fresh air for our company.

The most difficult day in the company.
Difficult moments at a strategic level have always been there, but without a doubt the ones that impacted me the most are those that have to do with Human Resources. Probably, when we made the decision to do a temporary layoff as a consequence of the crisis that we all suffered in 2008. Fortunately, that decision later served to preserve the company and regain our position in the market.

The greatest fear as an entrepreneur.
Not getting my decisions right. It is a huge responsibility to have so many families depending on your company.

Looking to the future, how do you see Norvil in 5 years? Priorities for the immediate future?
Although the current situation is not mark by a sense of optimism, I see it as an opportunity to improve our weaknesses and refocus our activity. We have to be able to observe, analyze and plan well our future actions at all levels, to place ourselves in a leadership position at an international level.