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Pedro Couto

Chairman of the board of directors of Telhabel

He is still young and is chairman of the board of Telhabel, a renowned construction and public works company operating for more than 40 years in Portugal and abroad. However, he was even younger when he was forced to consolidate and grow the company that was bequeathed to him, much earlier than anticipated, due to the unexpected death of his father. There is no denying the success of Pedro Couto. He has a degree in accounting and is a born entrepreneur. Along with the Telhabel, he has connections to several companies in various sectors, such as real estate, health, tourism, education and leisure.
Pedro Couto
What challenges do you face as chairman of Telhabel?
The greatest challenge is being an entrepreneur, engineer, innovator, human resources manager and financial manager all the same time. Every day we have to reinvent ourselves, while keeping the image we have built over time. We have to see construction as an innovative process, taking advantage of improved technological knowledge of materials and equipment; continuously specialising our human resources; being able to create more environmentally friendly products and including in our strategy social responsibility towards people.

How is it that in just over 40 years of activity Telhabel has managed to secure itself a strong position in the construction industry?
Telhabel, through a strategy based on opportunity, investing at the right moment, in the most diverse areas of engineering in which it has operated, has always been at the forefront. Today it is a construction and public works company with a vast CV of constructed works, some of them distinguished with prestigious awards.

How much of the company’s total workload does the rehabilitation market represent?
Telhabel’s growth strategy also covered the opportunity offered to construction players by the urban rehabilitation market, in particular in major centres. Today this market represents about 40% of our order book.
«Telhabel expects to enjoy sustained growth in its turnover»
When did you first head abroad and in which markets do you operate?
In 2002 Telhabel took its first steps in internationalisation in the Spanish market, firstly in the areas of prefabrication and construction of industrial buildings and later in the construction area. The growth strategy has led Telhabel to look for new markets and, in 2004, we took our first steps in Angola. In Angola, we currently own three heavy pre-fabrication factories and at the moment we are one of the main players in the construction sector, boasting a vast portfolio of buildings, industrial buildings, urban infrastructure, bridges and roads.

What goals do you intend to achieve in the coming years?
With a view to sustainability within the rehabilitation market and taking advantage of the public investment plan in Portugal, Telhabel expects to enjoy sustained growth in its turnover. With more moderate growth prospects in the Angolan market, Telhabel expects to maintain its structure more efficiently, consolidating processes and preparing itself more adequately for growth.
T. Maria Amélia Pires
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