Success stories

Opening a new branch in Valencia – in the middle of the pandemic

The Liechtenstein-based software company phios AG values decentralized growth. Establishing new locations abroad is a way to both strengthen software development for projects in Liechtenstein and to build international teams. Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) provided support for phios in its search for an initial location. In this interview, Klaus Studer, Chief Executive Officer at phios, talks about what he expected from S-GE – and what he got.

Team phios

What were your needs when you came to S-GE?
Klaus Studer: In spring 2020, we revised our strategy and decided to expand the company through decentralized growth. We contacted S-GE for support in selecting locations, implementing our plans and networking with local contacts.

What was S-GE able to offer you?
A business trip to Spain. The Swiss Business Hub (SBH) Spain helped us arrange a custom fact-finding mission in the summer of 2020. We had the chance to evaluate two possible locations in the provinces of Valencia and Galicia and have on-site meetings to exchange knowledge with other Swiss IT companies. We also made some interesting contacts with government authorities, universities and the Honorary Consul in Valencia.

Did the trip meet your expectations?
Every one of them! What we were hoping for was competent guidance, help with networking and support with organizational tasks – and we got all of that.

Did you get support from others as well?
During the selection process, several local and regional institutions also helped out. Financial assistance was provided in the form of an export check from the Liechtenstein Office of Economic Affairs. 

How did you find out about the export checks? 
S-GE informed us that the Liechtenstein government offers this kind of export promotion. Then we searched online and found information about the general conditions and modalities, and we got in touch with the contact persons.

How was the cooperation with the Office of Economic Affairs?
We were able to put in the application for the export check without any problems through the online interface. Then we clarified the few remaining open questions directly with Margarethe Hoch from the Office of Economic Affairs. The entire process was very pleasant and the export check was paid out promptly.

What are the plans for the medium and long term? 
We're already increasing the size of the team in Valencia, since we're getting a good amount of orders. We can also envision setting up a second location in Spain – possibly in Galicia. And we've initiated plans for expanding further with a Competence Center in Vienna. 
It seems that the cooperation with S-GE has paid off...
Absolutely, from both a business and a personal perspective. We were able to benefit from SG-E's expertise and its strong network – not only in establishing the new location, but in developing our company in general.

What advice do you have for other companies considering a location abroad?
Our advice is to do information procurement in the target market – about customers, employees, administrative issues etc. And we would definitely recommend S-GE as a partner for that process.



About phios

phios AG is an expert partner for implementing intelligent software systems in industrial and commercial enterprises. Founded in 2007, phios has almost 15 years of experience in the areas of digitalization and consulting in the IoT environment. During this time, the Ruggell-based company has built up a highly qualified and motivated team of around 25 employees.