A conversation with Eng. Luís Simão
A conversation with Eng. Luís Simão
'[Egis intends to] provide the best service to customers (...), in a sustainable way and protecting the environment, fostering growth (...) and betting on innovation as a differentiating factor'
You hold the position of General Manager at Egis Portugal. Tell us a little about your current career and functions.
With a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I started my professional career at the Petrotec Group, where I stayed for 7 years and acquired different apprenticeships in production management, works, services and even general management of companies, experienced in different geographies and socio-economic environments such as Portugal, Cape Verde and Mozambique. Then I collaborated on the Porto’s Subway project for Transdev, where I stayed another 7 years, also playing different roles in Porto and Madrid. I was in the Operational Department when I was challenged to become General Manager of Egis Portugal. My roles at Egis are extensive and very motivating, highlighting the interaction with internal management teams and clients, business development and specific missions in other international projects of the Egis Group. They are exercised in different areas of knowledge and cultural environments, and my professional career has been relevant to empower me with technical, cultural and emotional skills, which I use on a daily basis to manage and create more Egis. I relate to the team in Portugal, national and foreign clients, as well as colleagues from different cultures and nationalities. It is common to speak four languages on the same day about different areas of knowledge. Another very attractive factor is the importance of establishing long-term relationships with stakeholders in Egis’ business areas, demanding respect for personal values that are very important to me. Providing the best service to customers, aiming at their satisfaction and that of infrastructure users, in a sustainable manner and protecting the environment, fostering growth in the O&M area of transport and energy infrastructure, investing in innovation as a differentiating factor. We intend to diversify into other transport and mobility infrastructures. We are also increasing our support to other BUs in the Egis Group. Regarding geographies, we would like to extend our activity to Spain and increase support for the Group in other regions, namely in Africa. In addition to the O&M activity on the A24 motorway, since 2000, and which is the main pillar of Egis’ development in Portugal, we are also shareholders of the Concessionária dos Estacionamentos de Viseu and provide services on other motorways, highlighting O&M of Marão’s Tunnel. In the field of photovoltaic energy, we acquired a company that owns self-consumption facilities.
How does Egis conduct its business sustainably?
The Egis Group views sustainability with great concern and is the main component of its Vision and Vocation. The team in Portugal is very committed to sustainability, from an environmental, economic and social perspective. Actually, this concern translates into certification in environmental management and a set of results in actions to support the local community, in addition to initiatives to reduce the ecological footprint in line with the objective of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050. Egis always had a great concern with the efficiency of resources and reduction of consumption, measured through strategic objectives. The actions implemented – led lighting, ecodriving, electric vehicles, digitization, photovoltaic energy, etc. – have allowed a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. We invest to anticipate customer expectations and then we have to be competitive in tenders, complying with Egis guidelines and commitments to preserve the planet.
How has BETAR contributed to your projects?
Betar is a long-term Egis partner, which delivers a service of excellence in its range of skills that are so relevant to those, like Egis, with a long-term sustainable asset management perspective. Betar stands out in a unique and personalized way to our needs, always with a very positive, welcoming, effective and competitive attitude. It has already collaborated with Egis on innovative experiences, which add significant value to Egis’ service chain. In the area where Egis and Betar’s activities are located, I foresee a very challenging future. Infrastructures must exist to provide utility, comfort and sustainable well-being to its users, preserving the planet for future generations. Organizations have to overcome themselves to be competitive in future trends: economic (global economy, mega-urbanization, sustainability), technical (connected world, technological acceleration, data management and artificial intelligence) and human (demographic changes, knowledge economy, identity and human behavior issues). They will also have to be prepared for the volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity of our times, promoted by social and environmental changes, or even unknown ones, which can change paradigms overnight, such as the one we are currently experiencing (Covid-19).
This interview is an integral part of Revista Artes & Letras # 135, November 2021
Partially automatic translation from portuguese: some expressions may differ from their actual meaning.