The Business Year

Francisco Pinto

ANGOLA - Real Estate & Construction

Francisco Pinto

CEO, Griner Engenharia

Bio

Francisco Alberto Dantas Pinto has an academic and professional background. He has been in his current position since 2009. His professional career was initially developed in the areas of design of underground works and dams. In the last 20 years he has held functions related to production and management in construction companies.

Having developed specialties in both construction and engineering, Griner Engenharia is now providing and delivering tailored solutions to its clients and using its know-how to provide more specialized services.

How would you define the mission and vision of Griner Engenharia?

In 2009, our main shareholder, the Angolan Investment Bank (Banco BAI) launched the task of developing an Angolan-based construction company. Initially, we were heavily focused on civil construction. In the second phase of this strategic project, we tried to obtain a mixed portfolio of projects, which comprised 50% buildings and 50% infrastructure. Two years ago, we entered the third phase of our program, the aims of which are to diversify the markets where Griner is located, avoid market concentration, and provide Griner with the expertise that enables it to not only take charge of EPC contracts, but also offer its clients financial structuring services. Our values have remained the same throughout these 13 years. In order to have an Angolan construction company, investment in Angolan staff has to be consistent and among the priorities of the day-to-day management. Intrinsically, this is a medium-term investment.

What significance do projects such as Museu da Moeda, Fortaleza Shopping Center, the refurbishment of the National Bank, the BAI Academy, and so on represent for Griner Engenharia?

The projects we have worked on to date have enabled us to prove Griner’s skills to the market. In recent years, we focused on adapting the organization to the modern, more competitive business environment. About 12 years ago, our commercial department was basically providing quotations. Today, our department is a modern business development department, whose main goal is to deliver tailored solutions for our clients. We must help our clients achieve financial structuring. And, finally, we have to develop services. We reformulated the organization by creating a set of new departments within the company to respond to this new market reality. Then, we proceeded to organize the business, splitting up the work between two large companies: Griner Engenharia and Novinvest. Griner Engenharia is responsible for construction activity in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, and Ghana. In 2022, we expect to expand into two more African markets. Novinvest, a subsidiary of Griner, groups together everything that is positioned either before construction or after construction. It manages the holdings of other companies in four fundamental areas, such as construction materials, just to name one. Beyond that, Novinvest also manages specialized construction services, for example, geotechnical or building maintenance services. Finally, there is the real estate sector, although this is comparably less relevant.

What is your view on the future of engineering projects in Angola?

First, we seek to grasp what the market wants from construction companies. The state wants greater innovation from the private sector in these next infrastructures, hence our reorganization strategy in order to respond to this challenge of greater involvement. However, it is necessary for the state to plan in detail what it aims to achieve, and it is also necessary to have a greater involvement of the private sector and the financial entities in such projects. Decisions must be better prepared and planned, so that we can also prepare ourselves. Second, the Angolan market will grow in the next few years, though few companies in Angola will have the capacity to work on these projects. Regarding the engineering part of the business, it will be more complicated for every company financially. The clients will be significantly more demanding, and the management of the infrastructure itself will be more difficult. The companies that have prepared themselves to provide this response may have challenges and projects for the future, and, consequently, these companies will grow.

To conclude, what are Griner’s goals for 2022?

Griner has a big goal for 2022, namely to improve the cash position of the company. We have a large exposure to the state, which, in turn, creates a significant delay in payments and generates many difficulties. We want to provide greater capacity to the company, so that we can better manage these terms.

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