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BQ The History of Spanish Company
Pablo San José Villar
Jerome Hettiarachchi Perera
Abstract (P + J)
In this report we will try to find out more about the history of the Spanish company bq. We will
research...
Research method followed (P)
We have contrasted and resumed the information found in the following bibliography, and also ...
Background (J)
BQ is a Spanish company, which was founded in years of plenty, where economic health was
good. Bank gave lo...
Founders (J)

4
Alberto Méndez
CEO in BQ.
He didn’t get the University
Degree. Alberto’s life is
between China’s Factory a...
Beginnings (P)
How it was founded
BQ is the brand behind the company Mundo Reader S.L. This company wasn’t originally foun...
BQ and the smartphones
In the summer of 2012 bq began working on their first smartphone. The company wanted to aim to
this...
Graphs
● Number of employees (J)
#
Sources:
LARCOT, J. (2014) De vender pendrives en la universidad a facturar más de 100 ...
● Revenue (P)
#
Sources:
LARCOT, J. (2014) De vender pendrives en la universidad a facturar más de 100 millones de euros: ...
● Product lines (J)
#
Only represent representative products.
Sources:
JIMENEZ, M. (2016) BQ teme sufrir este año su prime...
● Smartphones sales (J)
#
Sources:
ORIHUELA, R. (2014) Can Spain's Home-Grown Smartphone Compete With Samsung, Apple?.
<ht...
3D printers (P + J)
During 2013 bq also launched their new 3D printer. This was the first bq
product 100% made and designe...
Future (J)
BQ status is beginning to change. One of the most significative points of this changing process, is
the avalanc...
Conclusions (P + J)
The company Mundo Reader and its brand bq are one of the best contemporary examples of how
a little st...
Bibliography
LARCOT, J. (2014) De vender pendrives en la universidad a facturar más de 100 millones de euros: esta es
la h...
RUBIO MAZAS, C. (2016) BQ no cumple expectativas, no actualizará los modelos Aquaris E5 FHD, E6 Y
E10.
<http://andro4all.c...
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BQ Report Homework for EPAC Universidad Politecnica

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  1. 1. BQ The History of Spanish Company Pablo San José Villar Jerome Hettiarachchi Perera
  2. 2. Abstract (P + J) In this report we will try to find out more about the history of the Spanish company bq. We will research about their founders and how the company became what it is know. Bq was founded in 2005. As Star TIC Innovations, they made custom pendrives for different companies. Suddenly they had so much success in this area they had to open their own factory. The company keep growing up. They launched their first electronic book, and they change the name to Mundo Reader S.L. This ebook was named as booq. When they began to produce tablets, they renamed the brand to bq. In 2013 they launched their first smartphone. After their success in the smartphone’s field, their purpose was to research about new business environments. One of these environments was 3D printers. BQ became the first company which designs and productions were done in Europe. We took data from different sources in order to make some graphs about the bq’s employees and revenue by year. With that visual information, we can see how bq has evolved. Also we included some more graphs about product line distribution and sales. Bq is a very important company in Spain and it grew up fast. We are going to collect and analyze some data about bq such as number of employees, revenue and sales. The data present in the following pages has been contrasted, keeping an structure to give an overview of the evolution of BQ, starting from their creation, and ending with their current situation. 1
  3. 3. Research method followed (P) We have contrasted and resumed the information found in the following bibliography, and also we represented it in different graphs that allow an easy view of it. We have searched information in the web, paying particular attention to news about the company and other articles that talk about its history. We searched also on current data about the company in press articles such as their growth, the revenue, etc… Also we have searched for interviews which may give us a view of the future and past of the company. Some of the data we collected in the graphs is not explicit in the articles we found. For instance, some articles in the web show the revenue of 2015 and they also say it was 20% higher than in 2014, but it doesn’t say exactly the amount for that year. So in this cases, we just made very simple calculations in order to get an approximation of the revenue of that year. Introduction (P) In this report we will try to find out more about the history of the Spanish company bq. We will research about their founders and how the company became what it is know. We analyze the first steps of the company from the beginning in 2005 when they sold pendrives as Star TIC Innovations. Then we will go through their first big projects: the electronic books and their first smartphones. Also we wanted to look into the bq key of success, investigating their actual greatest products. We will analyze the present of the company as well as give some data about the number of employees, revenue and sales. In addition, we have look for information about the near future of bq. 2
  4. 4. Background (J) BQ is a Spanish company, which was founded in years of plenty, where economic health was good. Bank gave loans and society didn’t think twice to spend money in useless whim. In short, the perfect environment for the growth of new businesses. During this years BQ have found dynamic environment, specially in the technological field. In its early years the state-of-the-art was to get the cheapest, the smallest and the fastest way of data storage. Pendrive was the word that was on everyone's lips, and BQ took part in it. One of the newest technologies was the Ebook; at that time, it sounded strange. Its reception was not very kind by the writers, who hardly agreed to publish in this new environment due to copyright licenses. BQ and their partner Luarna Ediciones worked together to create booq, BQ’s ebook. With the growth of Apple and Samsung, smartphones industry looked like David vs Goliath for businesses like BQ. But nothing is finished till the bell sounds: small companies started to grow in the low-range and mid-range smartphones, giving the average user an excellent tool for their average use. Nowadays, a dynamic, growing and changing market is developing. Even the greatest companies also need to adapt their strategies to this market. One of the main problems ahead is the production that comes from Southeast Asian markets, which smartphone production could compete hand-to-hand in functionality and offer a lower price than the western markets. 3
  5. 5. Founders (J)
 4 Alberto Méndez CEO in BQ. He didn’t get the University Degree. Alberto’s life is between China’s Factory and the main office in Spain. Ravín Dhalani CTO in BQ. Rodrigo del Prado Managing Director in BQ Adán Muñoz Head of Product Development in BQ. Iván Sánchez Head of Research in BQ David Béjar CFO in BQ.
  6. 6. Beginnings (P) How it was founded BQ is the brand behind the company Mundo Reader S.L. This company wasn’t originally founded like this. It was an evolution of Star TIC Innovación, created by six colleges in 2005 who took advantage of the great economic situation in Spain in those years. This group met in the Escuela Técnica Superior en Ingeniería de Telecomunicaciones of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. They offered custom made pen sticks to big companies for marketing purposes. The business was going well for the new pen drive startup. They weren’t able to accomplish the delivery time for the orders. The solution was to buy the pendrives in China and custom them in Spain. They kept on growing up until in the year 2009, when they bought their own factory in China. Electronic Book Luarna Ediciones was a Spanish company, owned by Antonio Quirós, which was the first one in Spain to get only digital distribution rights for books. They bought those rights in order to sell them in PDF. By this time there weren’t many devices to read digital books. So Antonio Quirós, father of one of the main partners of Star TIC Innovation, asked them to do a collaboration. That was the beginning of the new association of this two companies. Together they created Mundo Reader S.L. Their first product, an electronic book, was named booq Classic. Thanks to that product, the company got an important part of the electronic books market. In 2010, they aimed to new products, the tablets. But if they moved on with different kinds of products, there was no reason to keep the brand named as “booq”. So they took the “o”’s away. Now bq was officially born. 5
  7. 7. BQ and the smartphones In the summer of 2012 bq began working on their first smartphone. The company wanted to aim to this new market because the main telephone operators were starting to remove their terminals subvention programs and the interest among the users of having a good cheap smartphone grew. In Spain there was an important competition in this market because companies such as Huawei and ZTE hadn’t an important presence in the country yet. Bq had by that moment a lot of experience in tablets and electronic readers distribution so they took the step. In 2013 bq launched the bq Aquaris 4.5 smartphone which had an incredible success in the spanish market. Nowadays (P) In order to compete with the biggest brands in the market, bq has invested in two main things since its creation: good price quality ratio and a great customer service. Bq keeps the prices low by making all their mobile devices in China and working with low margins in their benefits. Also, the company doesn’t spend any money on advertising. This tactic gives bq a huge advantage in terms of price over its opponents in the market as Samsung for instance, whose brand spends a lot of money on marketing. The customer service was always important for bq. But as Rodrigo del Prado told in an interview: “With a customer service you can ruin yourself one of two ways, a fast one and a slow one”. The fast one is by giving the same customer service level forever. It is easy to run out of money because the benefits aren’t enough to cover the past problems. The slow one is decreasing the customer service level so the clients gets mad because you don’t repair their products. They’ve been aware that with cheap products there was a lot of possibilities of something going wrong, so bq invested in giving their clients a great support. However, as they began doing smartphones and having more options on the personalization of their products, the cost of maintaining their products decreased. So bq started giving the same customer service but with less people, saving a lot of money there.
 6
  8. 8. Graphs ● Number of employees (J) # Sources: LARCOT, J. (2014) De vender pendrives en la universidad a facturar más de 100 millones de euros: esta es la historia de bq. <http://hipertextual.com/2014/08/historia-bq> [ Cosulted on April 10 of 2016] JIMENEZ, M. (2016) BQ teme sufrir este año su primera caída en las ventas. <http://cincodias.com/cincodias/2016/04/17/tecnologia/1460924678_353504.html> [Consulted on April 12 of 2016] MUCHA, M. (2014) Los chicos de barrio que han creado el 'Zara de los móviles'. <http://www.elmundo.es/cronica/2014/09/07/540b004922601d4f028b4582.html> [Consulted on April 17 of 2016] 7
  9. 9. ● Revenue (P) # Sources: LARCOT, J. (2014) De vender pendrives en la universidad a facturar más de 100 millones de euros: esta es la historia de bq. <http://hipertextual.com/2014/08/historia-bq> [ Cosulted on April 10 of 2016] MUCHA, M. (2014) Los chicos de barrio que han creado el 'Zara de los móviles'. <http://www.elmundo.es/cronica/2014/09/07/540b004922601d4f028b4582.html> [Consulted on April 17 of 2016] 8
  10. 10. ● Product lines (J) # Only represent representative products. Sources: JIMENEZ, M. (2016) BQ teme sufrir este año su primera caída en las ventas. <http://cincodias.com/cincodias/2016/04/17/tecnologia/1460924678_353504.html> [Consulted on April 12 of 2016] 9
  11. 11. ● Smartphones sales (J) # Sources: ORIHUELA, R. (2014) Can Spain's Home-Grown Smartphone Compete With Samsung, Apple?. <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-24/can-spain-s-home-grown-smartphone-compete-with- samsung-apple-.html> [Consulted on April 15 of 2016] MUCHA, M. (2014) Los chicos de barrio que han creado el 'Zara de los móviles'. <http://www.elmundo.es/cronica/2014/09/07/540b004922601d4f028b4582.html> [Consulted on April 17 of 2016] JIMENEZ, M. (2016) BQ teme sufrir este año su primera caída en las ventas. <http://cincodias.com/cincodias/2016/04/17/tecnologia/1460924678_353504.html> [Consulted on April 12 of 2016] 10
  12. 12. 3D printers (P + J) During 2013 bq also launched their new 3D printer. This was the first bq product 100% made and designed in Spain. It was called the Witbox and it has a DIN A4 printer size. According to “3D Printing Trends October 2014”, bq Witbox was one of the best 3D printers in the world. One of the approaches made was the investment in small companies dedicated to this field. One of this companies was Octoprint, whose main goal was to create a “perfect software for online printing and control of a 3D printer”. Nowadays the project was called off, and a crowdfunding campaign was announced. Current projects (J) BQ is going to come back to their beginning, launching the new Cervantes 3, an ebook whose price will be around 140€, and will have their new developed technology called “frontlight” and new intuitive interface. BQ is developing a new project in partnership with Telefonica. This project basically consists on the creation of a new smartphone with operating system a totally different from current ones. This project, called Cyanogen OS, is an open code operating system developed by Android and Google. Recently they presented a first smartphone with this OS called bq Aquarius x5, and more will be launched soon. BQ educational robot reached the sales figures of 20.000 last year. This project does not sell just the product, but also organizes summer camps for kids that mix entertainment with technological approaches, and created BQ Academy for the tennagers. BQ bitbloq, a programming environment for primary schools, allows kids to program with visual and intuitive icons so you don’t have to learn any programing language. 11
  13. 13. Future (J) BQ status is beginning to change. One of the most significative points of this changing process, is the avalanche of collective dismissals. In words of BQ, this is caused by the the fierce competition of the smartphone’s chinese brands, like Xiaomi. As a result of these, “sales” is the main word used by BQ, In the same area, some of the BQ’s flagships like Aquarius E5 FHD, Aquarius E6 and Aquarius E10 are not going to be updated and developed. According to BQ media sources, it is a problem related to Mediatek, their taiwanese smartphone chip supplier. BQ intends to invest in marketing like, for example, Apple and Samsung do. On the other hand, BQ needs to be profitable to pay this advertisement. For this reason BQ’s solution looks ambiguous. Some of the most attractive projects are being canceled, because the growth prospects are not profitable. For instance, nowadays BQ are cutting investment in the 3D printer sector. Overall prospects are not optimistic: BQ growth in 2015 was only 8,7% and for 2016 they are not expected to overcome it. Main goals (J) BQ main goals are up to improve their position in the global market of mid-range and low-range smartphones, allowing them to compete with some trademarks like Xiaomi, Huawei and other Southeastern Asian companies. Future prospects show that BQ goals are moving away from innovative products. That would allow them to survive this tough year. 12
  14. 14. Conclusions (P + J) The company Mundo Reader and its brand bq are one of the best contemporary examples of how a little start-up could grow with perseverance and innovation. Maybe we could say bq was very lucky but actually they just took advantage of what they had and they learnt in the university, and of the economic situation of the moment of their founding too. When bq was Star TIC Innovations, they were doing well with the pen drive business. They could have been just that until now if they hadn’t taken risks and tried to commercialize new products. Their e-books, tablets and smartphones are now well known in Spain. They have managed to offer great products with an excellent price quality ratio, and a really good customer service. Nowadays BQ suffers a slow down on their growing because the Spanish crisis and the above- mentioned competitiveness from Asian markets. For these reasons BQ has been forced to reduce their prices in order to increase their sales. It is just impressive that a company that has never advertised itself as many others do, has become as popular as the biggest smartphones companies in Spain. 13
  15. 15. Bibliography LARCOT, J. (2014) De vender pendrives en la universidad a facturar más de 100 millones de euros: esta es la historia de bq. <http://hipertextual.com/2014/08/historia-bq> [ Cosulted on April 10 of 2016] NOVOA, J. (2013) Diseñado en Las Rozas, fabricado en China. La historia de BQ. <http://www.xataka.com/analisis/disenado-en-las-rozas-fabricado-en-china-la-historia-de-bq> [Cosulted on April 12 of 2016] ORIHUELA, R. (2014) Can Spain's Home-Grown Smartphone Compete With Samsung, Apple?. <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-24/can-spain-s-home-grown-smartphone-compete-with- samsung-apple-.html> [Consulted on April 15 of 2016] BQ’s OFFICIAL PAGE <http://www.bq.com/uk/corporate-info> [Consulted on April 15 of 2016] NOVOA, J (2014) Is it possible to build a hardware startup from Spain? bq says yes. <https://novobrief.com/bq-investment-200m-valuation/> [Consulted on April 14 of 2016] WIKIPEDIA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mundo_Reader [Consulted on April 13 of 2016] MUCHA, M. (2014) Los chicos de barrio que han creado el 'Zara de los móviles'. <http://www.elmundo.es/cronica/2014/09/07/540b004922601d4f028b4582.html> [Consulted on April 17 of 2016] SANCHEZ, J. M. (2016) BQ se aferra a los lectores electrónicos con su nuevo Cervantes 3. <http://www.abc.es/tecnologia/informatica/hardware/abci-aferra-lectores-electronicos-nuevo- cervantes-3-201604192220_noticia.html> [Consulted on April 20 of 2016] JIMENES, M. (2016) BQ, una proeza local con retos de futuro. <http://cincodias.com/cincodias/2016/04/19/tecnologia/1461056843_425161.html> [Consulted on April 20 of 2016] GONZALEZ, C. (2015) BQ lanzará un nuevo móvil con el sistema operativo de Cyanogen. <http://cincodias.com/cincodias/2015/11/04/smartphones/1446654895_032498.html> [Consulted on April 21 of 2016] GARCIA COBO, J. (2016) Octoprint pierde la financiación de BQ y busca nuevo patrocinador. <http://www.hwlibre.com/octoprint-pierde-la-financiacion-bq-busca-nuevo-patrocinador/> [Consulted on April 19 of 2016] JIMENEZ, M. (2016) BQ teme sufrir este año su primera caída en las ventas. <http://cincodias.com/cincodias/2016/04/17/tecnologia/1460924678_353504.html> [Consulted on April 12 of 2016] BQ OFFICIAL PAGE <http://bitbloq.bq.com/#/> [Consulted on April 15 of 2016] MOVILONIA (2016) Bq facturó 244 millones de euros en 2015, un 20% más que en 2014. <http://www.movilonia.com/noticias/ventas-de-smartphones-bq-aquaris-en-2015/> [Consulted on April 20 of 2016] FORO MARKETING (Unknown) El futuro de BQ: el marketing estratégico <http://www.foromarketing.com/el-futuro-de-bq-marketing/> [Consulted on April 23 of 2016] 14
  16. 16. RUBIO MAZAS, C. (2016) BQ no cumple expectativas, no actualizará los modelos Aquaris E5 FHD, E6 Y E10. <http://andro4all.com/2016/04/bq-comunicado-actualizaciones-aquaris> [Consulted on April 10 of 2016] EL CONFIDENCIAL DIGITAL (2016) BQ despide al 15% de la plantilla. <http://www.elconfidencialdigital.com/dinero/BQ-despide-plantilla_0_2694330558.html> [Consulted on April 20 of 2016] 15

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