Salvador Vidal | IE Business School

Salvador Vidal Gil

About me

A civil engineer by profession, Salvador’s background is in leading compre hensive construction projects across various sectors. He is driven, results-oriented and has a passion for self-improvement and continuous learning.

His ability to build a culture of transparency, discipline and ethics saw him receive the LEAN Best Practice Award for his pivotal role in developing infrastructure projects in Qatar. Now, he serves as the CEO of GATC, an international trade and development consultancy firm with a special focus on the Middle East. Salvador continues to carve out an impressive career in the business world.

One thing about him that may surprise people is what he calls a secret passion for art: he loves painting, crafts and playing music on his guitar. In his free time, he also enjoys hiking, sailing and traveling the world.

shapeSalvador Vidal Gil
case2CEO, GATC
studentGlobal Executive MBA
Salvador Vidal | IE Business School

"Understanding business fundamentals and continuously updating one’s knowledge is essential in the context of a global economy."

Salvador Vidal Gil

Tell us about yourself.

I gained my Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering in Barcelona before going on to earn my Master in Construction Engineering Management in Chicago. And now, I have completed my Global Executive MBA from IE Business School. 

Professionally, I focused the early years of my career on real estate and property development. I then spent over a decade in different management roles in civil infrastructure construction in Qatar—a country that is growing exponentially. More recently, I’ve shifted into business consulting and services.

Can you share more about your 10-year stint in Doha and the high-value projects you oversaw there? 

I was lucky to be in the right time and place that allowed me to participate in one of the fastest developments of any country in history. The sheer size and speed of the projects running in Qatar over the last decade has been remarkable. This allowed me to work on many interesting projects in a relatively short time, including the Emiri Guard army base and the ring road expressway, as well as a seaport and other mega-developments in a brand-new city.

How did winning the LEAN Best Practice Award change your professional life?

This award was a significant honor recognizing my team’s hard work and dedication on a complex project urbanizing a residential district in west Doha. The Qatar Public Works Authority was keen to implement LEAN Management principles across the country and we spearheaded the project. We were tasked with developing the standards later adopted by the Authority itself and shared with other companies. This opened doors to continued visits from other companies interested in learning from us, as well as numerous opportunities to speak in LEAN webinars hosted by the Public Works Authority.

What attracted you to the Global Executive MBA and why did you choose to pursue the program at IE Business School? 

The Global Executive MBA stood out to me for its international focus and world-class faculty. I also liked its innovative format and balanced curriculum, not to mention the fact it is such a highly-ranked program.

It was an incredibly valuable experience. Learning alongside such a top-level group of peers brought a diversity of perspectives and experiences into the class, which led to rich discussions and the ability to learn from one another.

Which accomplishments are you most proud of from your time in the Global Executive MBA?

I’m glad to have graduated with honors. However, what I’m most proud of is meeting and going through this program alongside such an amazing group of individuals. We continue to grow together and learn from each other, even after graduation.

I was invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma; it’s an honor to be associated with such a prestigious community. It’s still too early to tell how it will impact my journey, but I’m confident that being a part of this renowned honor society will greatly enhance my professional growth.

What skills do you need to succeed in top-level business? How did the Global Executive MBA help you gain them?

In my opinion, it takes a well-rounded combination of skills. Many will argue the first requirement is strategic thinking, allowing you to see the big picture and create a clear and compelling vision for the company. But I believe this goes hand-in-hand with your commercial ability to know your customer, plus excellent execution abilities to turn strategy into practical actions that deliver results.

Leadership skills are also key to inspiring and motivating people, building strong teams and creating a positive company culture. Financial acumen is also fundamental as it allows managers to make informed decisions that drive business value and support long-term success. You also need a combination of critical thinking, problem-solving, resilience, adaptability and political skills to navigate through the stress, adversity and unforeseen changes that come with running a company. 

The Global Executive MBA exposes you to all these elements. It certainly helped me gain new skills through its combination of coursework, real-world case studies and my peers’ practical knowledge. 

Any advice or recommendations for current or future students on the Global Executive MBA?

Be ready to work hard. Plan your routine to make the most of the program and develop new skills, but don’t miss out on opportunities to build relationships with your classmates. 

Be open-minded—it’s a transformative process, so be open to feedback, new ideas, new perspectives and cultural backgrounds. Embrace diversity and seek feedback throughout your learning experience.

And most of all, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the journey!