LEADING THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Portugal 2019 | FINANCE | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to José Gonçalves, Country Managing Director of Accenture Portugal, on the local market, cloud computing, and a partnership with Microsoft.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of Accenture's operations in Portugal?

At Accenture Portugal, we provide professional services from strategy and consulting to technology and intelligent operations, leveraging digital in all these areas. We work in the vast majority of the biggest national layers across all the industries. We are 3,000 people, with a strong focus in the local market while leveraging the export opportunity of services to our international clients. In fact, Portugal has a unique position in terms of talent and competitiveness to explore global markets.

What is the significance of the Portuguese market for Accenture?

We are a mature but small market in terms of business size for Accenture globally, but strategically we are very important mainly due to the increase of our international relevance, namely by exporting digital and technology services to our biggest clients worldwide. We also have a significant presence and penetration in the local market. Portuguese economy is improving, positive signs that are helping our business to growth. And therefore, Accenture has a unique opportunity to help organizations to be more efficient and effective by addressing the digital paradigm. It is clear now that Digital is a reality. Today, it's not possible to transform or create businesses without thinking in digital and technology since the very beginning.

The company continues to lead to the strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations services market. How have you done this?

Our DNA is based on innovation and value creation. We incorporate digital into everything we do across the value chain improving organizations performance. Transforming companies into digital and intelligent organizations is our focus. Accenture is a case study in its own digital transformation, having created create new offerings, solutions and services that became 60% of our global company's business. During this process our market cap multiplied by more than 10.

Aside from providing analytical software and consulting services, what other industries are you planning to target in the near future?

Our strategy in this market is to work within the biggest organizations in Portugal providing an end-to-end service, from strategy & consulting, technology and operations, always leveraging digital. We are working today with 70% of PSI20 companies. There are some industries where we have good opportunities to continue grow, such as banking, retail and transportation. But we have also a strong competitive position in the communications and energy industries.

With the implementation of machine learning via AI, how will cloud computing change the nature of business?

Accenture is the leader in digital transformation space. The challenge is to accelerate the digital transformation in Portugal, overcome the traditional digital strategies based exclusively in the customer experience. Now, we changed the focus and make organizations understand that the value is inside the enterprise and help them deliver the most competitive and relevant solutions.

You are partnering with Microsoft for the 'Building the Future' summit in Lisbon. How important is this?

Today Portugal is at the forefront of innovation and start-ups ecosystem. Web Summit will be in Lisbon for the next 10 years and that's a very good example of how innovation is increasing across Portuguese organizations. Thus, having a good ecosystem of start-ups and digital native enterprises in Portugal with a good entrepreneurial skill set, can make an important difference to start incubating businesses from Portugal. Intelligent organizations that think globally for international markets but based on Portugal and powered by Portuguese talent.

You were chosen as the top employer in Portugal for a third year in a row. How did you do this?

It's a strategic priority to be a company of the best talent. The culture of meritocracy we have attracts many talented people to work here. Additionally, an increasing amount of people want to be part of something with a sense of purpose to society. Working at Accenture means you want to make the change happen and actively contribute to improve the way the world works and lives. We also have been named the top company on the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index which recognizes the 100 most diverse and inclusive companies in the world. We believe that diversity is a source of innovation, creativity and competitive advantage and creates a workplace where everyone feels equally accepted with a real sense of belonging.

What are your priorities for the year ahead?

We have three. The first is to continue growing at double digits and faster than the market. It is a challenging ambition because the economy is growing at 3%. Second, we want to remain leaders in the digital innovation space; every time a client thinks about digital transformation, they think of Accenture and our global expertise and knowledge. The third is ensuring that high value nearshore continues to grow significantly, creating qualified jobs and “exporting" unique talent from Portugal.