Virginia Calvo, owner of Malaga gaming company

Virginia Calvo.
Virginia Calvo. / FERNANDO TORRES
  • Atlas Informática owns seven computer and gaming brand names including Ozone, BG Gaming, Drift and AK racing seats

Virgina Calvo realised that the world of gaming was about to become big when she and her husband José Ramón were running a cybercafé in Torremolinos back in 2003.

In 2019 she started to position the company to be at the forefront of this global trend and made sure her company was the first to introduce new gaming products the to Spanish market.

17 years on and Calvo is considered one of the most influential women in gaming in Spain. She is director of Atlas Informática, which owns seven of its own brands including high-end gaming accessory company, Ozone and BG Gaming, as well as making equipment for other companies.

She is also the founder of the national association of e-sports clubs (ACE) and runs Vodafone Giants; a professional e-sports organisation which has teams competing in games such as League of Legends, Call of Duty, FIFA, Fortnite, and Rainbow Six Siege.

Calvo runs her company from a warehouse in the San Luis industrial estate in Malaga. Three adjoining buildings house a shop and a series of offices for her 110-strong workforce. Her employees include engineers, IT, marketing and sales experts. "60 per cent of the departmental managers are women," Calvo says.

The company started off selling computer chassis in different colours and designs and began to import exclusive American brands "which revolutionised the market", the business woman explains.

Atlas Informática now has an annual turnover of 15 million euros and focuses on high-end gaming accessories which are sold all over Europe, in physical shops as well as online, including via Amazon.

Virginia explains that while she and her husband are not "big gamers" they understand the industry and "the ecosystem of gamers", which helps them to develop their business and respond to the demands of their customers.

She has also competed as a professional athlete and studied physiotherapy as part of her degree, so also understand the world of sport, which is why she is passionate about the e-sports aspect of the company.

Other keys to her success Virginia puts down to learning a business philosophy from her father who also owned a business. She says that "hard work" and a "passion" for what she does are essential as well as "intuition".

Victoria, who is a mother to two daughters, says that she has come up against sexism at work. "It's often micro sexism, for example you are the finance director but in a meeting people will talk to your male assistant instead of you." Although she points out that this is general and not just in her sector, which she recognises is male-dominated. "It is something that we have to fight against from director level through to employees and we need to support each other."

"I am the director of my company so I don't have anyone above me but society also creates obstacles," Calvo comments.

In the world of e-sports she has also noticed that up until the age of 12, girls and boys participate equally, but from age 12 girls' participation drops. "I think it's because they don't have references," Calvo says.

She adds that she teachers her daughters to "fight back" and "speak up" to people making sexist comments or behaving inappropriately.