Saioa Lana: “Investment in innovation is essential in a world that is moving at breakneck speed”.

With the strong conviction that effort, willingness, seriousness and transparency are the necessary requirements to achieve success, the director of Integralia’s Management Area tells us how they do it in their different projects.

Saioa Lana (Pamplona, 1976) likes to travel in the minibus seat on the left-hand side of the T-ONE entrance. From this perspective, the director of Integralia’s Management Area can witness what is happening on the road on which the vehicle is travelling while she enjoys the scenery. With a degree in Business Administration and Management, Saioa has been working in Integralia for two decades. Her responsibilities in the company include managing the human, financial and material resources needed to design and build the minibuses.

How did you start your professional career? 

I combined my university studies with occasional jobs in which I came into contact with other professions, such as hotel chambermaid. As for the automotive sector, I got to know it better before joining Integralia, thanks to a six-month scholarship at the Volkswagen Navarra factory.

Do you remember what your first day at Integralia was like? 

I don’t remember much about that day, but I do remember the feeling in my body: it was like an excitement that filled everything.

Who were your mentors on that new journey? 

My brothers, who are more than my mentors, I consider them to be a reference for me. Integralia is a family project. Our purpose? To do things differently with a great deal of effort and enthusiasm.

Did you encounter many curves and obstacles to start Integralia? 

We were twenty years younger and we knew the theory well, but in practice it was very different. Throughout these two decades we have learned a lot, but still the day-to-day work provides us with great lessons. During those first years, my mentors insisted a lot on conveying the requirements for success: effort, determination, seriousness and transparency.

What are the objectives that the financial and economic manager of Integralia must achieve? 

I like to sum up the commitments of my position in the company in an action that is simple to express, but more complicated to execute: to bring the economic vision to the management of the company. 

What is Saoia Lana’s favourite thing to do in her day-to-day work

I love to see how new ideas emerge as you pull the necessary levers to move forward. I am amazed to see how projects feed back into each other. The professional team that we have been lucky enough to form contributes a great deal of creativity and it is spectacular how they work to achieve their goals. The satisfaction I feel is enormous. 

Could you define your spending philosophy? 

You have to invest resources in everything you need, but you have to work to earn them. As far as investments are concerned, at Integralia we aim for a quick return, even if it is sometimes a bit abstract.

Which area of the company is currently calling for more investment? 

In a world that is moving at breakneck speed, right now the innovation department is the one that needs the most funds to position us at the forefront of the sector. The decision to invest so many resources here involves some inherent risks. From my point of view, it would not be possible if I did not blindly trust the team in this area. I rely on the whole process, from the vision and management’s sense of where we need to go, to the execution to get the projects off the ground.

How have you dealt with the economic uncertainty experienced in recent years? 

On the business side, I have had to distance myself to be able to take perspective and decide with coolness and serenity everything that my heart has allowed me to do. Personally, I have tried to surround myself with family and people who support me.

Do you think there are lessons to be learned from a crisis? 

Yes, you have to look for the positive side of difficult times. I think we would be foolish if we didn’t look for that side of situations as complicated as the ones we’ve been through. On this occasion, I have taken the opportunity to delve into the roots of the company with the aim of being stronger when things are going well, working to be ready at the time when we can overcome this more complex period. 

In the twenty years of your career at Integralia, what responsibilities have you had to assume within the company? 

Our company is very family-run, so in my day-to-day work I have had all kinds of roles depending on the needs of the moment, from sales to purchasing, including warehousing. However, I remember some functions that I have had to take responsibility for despite not having any previous knowledge, such as when I had to set up the company’s stand at the first FIAA (International Bus Fair).

Is there any key moment that you remember with special affection in your career at Integralia? 

Above all, without a doubt, the most shocking was the one I experienced nine years ago, when my water broke in the office. Perhaps ignorance played a trick on me, I was a first-time mother and I was not aware of what was happening. In my second pregnancy, I was more vigilant to make sure that I was out of the office at the time. 

ONE ON ONE WITH SAIOA LANA

Favourite seat in a minibus? 

Any seat at the front so I can see the road. If possible, at the window.

Which film would you choose for the route?

Up by Pixar.

What would you eat on a minibus journey? 

Pancakes. 

What do you do when you travel?

Enjoy the landscape.

What do you do in your free time? 

Rest. Most of all I love spending time with my family. They are my favourite hobby, especially my children aged three and nine, who take up a large part of my day outside of work, but I like to spend time reading and walking whenever I can.

Do you play sports? 

I love skiing.

What is your favourite dish?

Spaghetti carbonara.

What is your favourite drink?

I have recently become a fan of kalimotxo.

What is the last series you have seen?

La Casa de Papel’.

What book has marked your life?

El Tiempo entre Costuras’ by María Dueñas.

Do you get dizzy when you travel?

No.

How far have you travelled by minibus?  

All the way to the Alps.

Any pending destinations?  

Many, but I don’t want to miss seeing an aurora borealis.

What is comfort? 

Good company. 

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