THE SOURCE OF INNOVATION

Portugal 2019 | TELECOMS, IT & MEDIA | INTERVIEW

Though small, the Portuguese market for exporting digital and technology services to some of the firm's largest global clients is only growing.

José Gonçalves
BIOGRAPHY
The country managing director of Accenture Portugal, José Gonçalves was previously responsible for utilities in Portugal. He graduated in systems engineering from the University do Minho, and has several certifications in management, logistics, and technology. He joined Accenture in 1994 and has more than 15 years of experience in the oil and gas and utilities industries. Throughout his career, he has led several complex consulting and information technology processes focusing on business transformation, organizational design, process reengineering, and IT implementation.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of Accenture's operations in 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 every industry. We are 3,000 people with a strong focus on 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, though strategically we are extremely important due to our increased global 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. The Portuguese economy is improving, and positive signs are helping our business growth. Therefore, Accenture has a unique opportunity to help organizations be more efficient and effective by addressing the digital paradigm. It is clear now that digital is a reality. Today, it is not possible to transform or create businesses without thinking in digital and technology from the get-go.

The company leads 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 to improve organizational performance. Transforming companies into digital and intelligent organizations is our focus. Accenture is a case study in its own digital transformation, having created new offerings, solutions, and services that became 60% of the global company's business. During this process, our market cap increased by more than 10 times.

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 and consulting to technology and operations, always leveraging digital. Today, we are working with 70% of PSI20 companies. Though we have good opportunities to continue growing in banking, retail, and transportation, we have also a strong competitive position in the communications and energy industries.

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

Why were you chosen as the top employer in Portugal for the third year in a row?

It's a strategic priority to be a company of the best talent. The culture of meritocracy we have attracts many talented people. Additionally, an increasing amount of people want to be a part of something with a sense of social purpose. 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. 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.