HD Interview - Fernando Araña


Managing Director of Grupo HD's Real Estate and Hotel Divisions

Fernando Araña is, as General Manager, the person responsible for the management and administrative direction of the hotel and real estate divisions of Grupo HD. But beyond his important role in the development of the company, Fernando Araña is a person full of values and very much loved by his team

A friendly and good-natured man, he is always willing to listen and to value new ideas. A patient and cautious strategist, he is considered by those who know him as an extraordinary financier with a “brilliant mind” and an open and innovative business vision. What those who deal with him on a daily basis highlight most about him is his temperance, his serenity and his approachability.  

Fernando Araña.


5 Questions to Fernando Araña

How did your career in Grupo HD begin, and what steps led you to the General Management of one of the largest business groups in the Canary Islands?

My career started in July 1994 when I was only 25 years old, now it is no less than 26 years ago. That is to say, I have been working in Grupo for more than half my life. Curiously enough, I was interviewed and selected by Javier Puga to take over the administration and financial management of the BhS franchise, which basically sold fashion and household goods and was based in the Las Arenas Shopping Centre. They needed a graduate in Business AdministrationManagement who spoke English, and this is where I landed until today.


Subsequently, I took over the financial management of Yudaya after the retirement of my predecessor. I have experienced first-hand the main events of the Group in recent years, such as the sale of the food business in 1996, the acquisition and development of hotel properties, the start of the direct operation of hotels by the group in 2004, the expansion of CC Las Arenas in 2007, the purchase of Hiperdino in 2012 and the development, development, marketing, and management of CC Alisios until its opening in 2017.
As for the keys to my appointment as general manager, I am perhaps not the best person to highlight them, but if I had to sum it up in a few words, I would say that it is the result of perseverance, trust, proximity, and proactivity.


What are the main challenges for a CEO in a family business?

The challenges are not very different from those of any other type of company. As a family business, in recent years, we have carried out a process of transformation in the group's decision-making bodies, coinciding with the generational handover in which we are currently involved. A larger board of directors has been set up, whose meetings are held on a monthly basis, so that much more information is available on management indicators and decisions are taken more quickly. As for the management committees and teams, I can say that we have been able to surround ourselves with the best professionals and, undoubtedly, this is a key differentiating factor. We have recently organised and organised the frequency, attributions, and follow-up of the committees. Both the board of directors and the company's team of professionals are key to achieving our main long-term objectives, which are as follows:

  • Solid and secure growth in the tourism and real estate sector, either with our own projects or through the management/leasing of third party properties. 
  • Innovation and digital transformation of all our processes until we reach an optimum that allows us to maximise our efficiency.
  • Consolidate our commitment to Canarian society and to the preservation of the environment.


What are Fernando Araña's objectives for the next five years?

On the one hand, my personal objectives are to continue to enjoy good health in order to face the challenges ahead of us with maximum energy. On the professional side:

  • To save as much as possible the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our activity. 2020 has been a very complex year, in which we have seen everything that was previously taken for granted shaken. So far, we have been able to anticipate and make the right decisions that will allow us to be better prepared and face the future in better conditions.
  • Successfully completing all the important projects we have underway, which fill us with motivation and enthusiasm.


Could you tell us an unforgettable anecdote that you have experienced in Grupo HD? 

There are many, but perhaps the most unforgettable was that on the first day I joined the company in July 1994, when one of the brothers met me, he literally said to me “welcome, you are going to be the future general manager of the company”. That's where I left off.


Another was seeing the first vehicles enter the Alisios car park on the morning of its inauguration on 23 November 2017. It was the culmination of several years of hard work. It was also very emotional when the Town Hall of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria dedicated a street to the Domínguez Brothers.


And finally... What advice would you give to the young talents of Grupo HD to grow and develop professionally in a company like ours?

When we allow ourselves to give advice, it is a sign that we are getting older. From my point of view, anyone with the necessary preparation and attitude can achieve the goals they set themselves. With perseverance, dedication, a desire for constant improvement, a capacity for sacrifice and a love for what you do, the results will come. It is only a question of time and waiting for your chance.


I encourage all the Grupo HD team to have this attitude to pursue their professional development.

Fernando Araña

General Manager Yudaya

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