When the doors began to close and anxiety took hold of many families, the solution, to save condemned projects, lay in her and her entrepreneurial strength. A law graduate, Margarida Almeida found an opportunity in the economic crisis to set up a hotel management company. With a simple structure, it offered solutions and created a market niche able to meet the requirements of the most demanding hotels. While operating in this segment she has picked up companies in the throes of bankruptcy and attracted new clients. Over the years, she has created a portfolio that contains many luxury hotels and houses that have a story to tell.
You had failed businesses in your care; how did you deal with the process?
I was an administrator of a company that developed tourism projects, when the crisis that occurred between 2009 and 2011 knocked on our door. As I had a legal background, I realised that there was no way other than bankruptcy, no matter how much the financial partners hoped otherwise. But the clients of these businesses did not feel that burden. We did everything in a very organised way and prepared the workers for what was going to happen. The whole process was not easy; there were exchanges and tense moments. We had to explain to the people why they were going to lose their job. I was in the same situation, but I would be the last one to leave.
«Nothing is done without luck in life»
And you created a new company: Amazing Evolution.
At the end of 2012, to my great surprise, one of the international financial institutions that was supporting one of the projects, that we didn’t let go down, asked me to send a proposal because they liked the approach we took in the process. I understood that I did not have a business to make the proposal. It was all a bit of a rush and, in the process of setting up the company, the name Amazing Evolution came up. I remember thinking it would be too ostentatious, but a friend who works with brands liked the name and I became convinced. I asked her to create a logo with a clover, because nothing is done without luck in life.
How did investors find out about your business?
At the banks, many private clients started wanting to develop hotel projects, fully aware that they didn’t know anything about hotel management. We started with a Portuguese family office, then came the second and third. Today we have sixteen hotels in operation, five more in the planning stages and more than 50% of our assets are from private investors.