Luís Mira da Silva is a partner of CONSULAI since 2003.
After getting a degree in Agronomic Engineering and Masters in Plant Science from Instituto de Agronomia (ISA), he obtained his Ph.D in Agricultural Systems from the University of Reading in UK, on Management and Planning under irrigation, more specifically the irrigation perimeter of Alqueva. Subsequently, he complemented his training with a postgraduation qualification in Management from INDEG/ISCTE and an MBA from London Business School/University of London, in UK.
He is currently an associate Professor in the Instituto Superior de Agronomia, in, Lisbon, teaching courses of management, innovation, marketing and entrepreneurship. He is also the President of the company INOVISA - Pólo de Tecnologias e Empresas, an entity related to ISA that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, technology transference and knowledge in agricultural, food and forestry sectors. In the past few years, he has coordinated, under the scope of ISA and INOVISA, several projects in these fields, both national and international, in the latter case in Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
Despite not having an operational role in CONSULAI, he has participated as a partner in setting the company’s strategic development, the creation of new business fields/new services and in designing some of the boldest projects that CONSULAI has undertaken.
He is married, father of three who never seem to grow so that he can finally read again by the fireplace on winter evenings. When he’s not working or with his family, he’s more likely to be running for a good reason, namely playing football, squash, or in physical preparation for one of these two activities.
Pedro Falcato has as degree in Agroindustrial Engineering from Instituto Superior de Agronomia and he is also a manager and founding partner of CONSULAI. He is currently responsible for the commercial management of the company.
After deciding to leave his functions in the Department of Production and Food Safety of the icecream factory IGLO - OLÁ, from the UNILEVER group, he took over, in 2001, CONSULAI’s commercial management, having held this position until the year 2009, in conjunction with the technical responsibility on some reference projects.
In 2010 he interrupted his full time dedication to CONSULAI to lead the general Direction of TERRA PREMIUM, a company established to internationalise traditional Portuguese gourmet products of a consortium of producers from different regions of Portugal.
In 2012 he returned to assume new functions in CONSULAI, contributing decisively to the development of the companies’ new business fields, such as Markets and Internationalization and consolidating the company as a reference in the elaboration of New Product Development projects, fact recognized through the winning of the award BES-Innovation in the Agroindustrial category, with the Olive oil for Spreading project – Olive oil texturing.
In 2013, framed in the process of internationalization of Fruits, Vegetables and Portuguese Flowers’ sectors, he led CONSULAI’s technical team in Portugal Fresh’s - Association for the promotion of fruit, vegetables and flowers - internationalization initiatives. This was one of the most professional and personal enriching projects that he has ever assumed.
A qualification postgraduation in Management and Information Technology in the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors from INDEG, which he attended during the years 2002 and 2003, brought him several skills that he has applied over the first decade in CONSULAI’s activity. The postgraduation in Management & Business Consulting from ISEG, which he attended during the years 2012 and 2013, brought him increased skills that will be applied in the future to support the growth of CONSULAI in Portugal and also its internationalization.
"Fortune favours the bold" is a thought that will certainly continue to be present in his day-to-day, allowing him to continue to be bold and be protected by luck, in order to continue to assist CONSULAI’s activity development in the coming years!
Rui Almeida is graduated in Agroindustrial Engineering at Instituto Superior de Agronomia. He is a manager and a founding partner of CONSULAI, currently responsible for the company’s operational direction.
He assumed the company’s technical direction since its inception in 2001, holding this role until the year 2009. During this period he ensured the technical coordination of the Quality and Food Safety and Planning and Projects fields, being directly involved in many reference projects.
In 2010, he embraced a new challenge with the company’s Commercial Management contributing decisively to the development of new business fields, such as the Innovation and Technological Development.
In the year 2012, he was part of the technical team that developed the first cross-border project: Evaluation of PEDR in Angola included in CONSULAI’s Internationalization process. This was clearly a professionally and personally remarkable and very rewarding project.
The postgraduation in Leadership & Management from ISEG, attended during the years 2011 and 2012, and masters in Business Studies, brought him increased skills that were applied in CONSULAI, in 2013, as operations director, coordinating all fields of the company’s business.
This coordination ability is also applied on a personal level, since he does not renounce those special moments with his three great loves: family, sports and the great BENFICA!
Pedro Santos is a partner and Managing Director of CONSULAI.
Graduated in Agronomic Engineering at Instituto Superior de Agronomia in 1998, where he earned a rating of 20 points in his Final Graduation Project. He began his professional activity with projects related to agricultural parcels identification and surface control.
When he held the position of General Secretary of the portuguese National Association of Maize and Sorghum producers (Associação Nacional de Produtores de Milho e Sorgo), he was challenged by Rui Almeida and Pedro Falcato to collaborate on a project to develop conservation technologies for fruit and vegetable products, which was the genesis of CONSULAI’s creation.
In CONSULAI he has coordinated and participated in several projects with companies from the agricultural and agri-food sector in Portugal, Angola and Brazil. Besides that, the was 80g’s - company producing fresh cut fruit ready to eat- administrator and founding partner of Terra Premium, an exporting company of genuinely portuguese food products.
The participation in the Masters for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, between 2001 and 2002, was an important contribution to his academic background. The post-graduation qualification in Management, from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, in 2010, was a very useful tool to improve the performance of his functions and enable monitoring the company's business growth and its organizational structure.
He is currently the Agromais group Administrator, an agricultural producer in the West of Lisbon, an associate leader in APAS FLORESTA, in AFLOESTE and in APMR&A and he is also coordinator of the post-graduation program in Agribusiness from IDEFE/ISEG.
Apart of his passion for agriculture, he’s a staunch supporter of the football team Sport Lisboa Benfica and a drooling father of three children.
One of the life principles he mostly sees himself is in the words of Albert Einstein: "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."
Export turns out to be an obvious answer for many entrepreneurs to face the challenges that are currently present in national markets. The search for opportunities to grow through differentiation, to achieve higher profit margins and to develop a strong partnership within the export market, leading business to an international perspective, are some of the factors that should be considered to define an export strategy for products.
Before setting the strategic approach to the market, it is important to make a business diagnosis in its different characteristics to reduce the risk of making wrong decisions that may lead to compromising actions. Note that a company’s internationalization is usually a decision that costs money and, if not successful, it may jeopardize the entire business. One should therefore carry out a careful diagnosis of the export potential, which may involve the assessment of the following:
- Products’ portfolio
- Skills and abilities
- Analysis of the competitiveness
- Critical success factors and competitive advantages
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