Nordmann Portugal calling!
How did you become the managing director at Nordmann Portugal?
Gonçalves: I successfully founded a distribution company in Portugal in 2008 and later sold it to an international group. Then, at the end of 2014, I was open to starting a new project and was contacted by a headhunter. Neoquímica – which at that time was the name of the company in Portugal that belonged to Nordmann – was looking for a new managing director. I received two other offers during the same period that were similar, but after consulting with some former colleagues in Germany, they were all unanimous in saying that Nordmann was the best choice. Now, seven years later, I can say that all the good things they told me have been fully validated! I’m very grateful to those who advised me to take the position.
What makes Nordmann special for you?
Gonçalves: Some of the most positive things about my work with Nordmann are the autonomy I have and the trust that I receive from shareholders, as well as the company’s commitment to growth and investment. Collaborating with my colleagues at headquarters is always excellent, and you can really feel the family spirit that thrives at Nordmann’s many international offices. “We Are One” is not just a slogan – it truly captures the culture of our group!
How has Nordmann Portugal developed over the years?
Gonçalves: In the last seven years alone, we have managed to triple our business in terms of volume and revenue. Our team has ballooned from 28 to 46 employees, and we’ve been able to gain a foothold in several new industries. In recent years, we haven’t lost a single one of our key partners and we’ve been able to acquire many new ones as well. These new partners are currently a big part of the company’s overall business, and we are confident about our future growth. I believe we have a fantastic team that can safeguard it as we continue forward. We have a very good balance of experienced professionals and younger employees, and I’m certain we have some of the best professionals out there in each position – not to mention people with excellent attitudes!
How were you able to convince your colleague Pedro Santos to join Nordmann?
Gonçalves: Back in 2016, we started the acquisition of Colorchem in the coatings and adhesives sectors. We enjoyed working with the partners we had there, but we also had our eyes on Pedro Santos. He now is at the peak of his career and has very good knowledge and experience in the market. He also has a desire to grow. After six years of working together, I can say that we have achieved all of the goals we’ve set together!
What sets Nordmann apart from other companies as an employer?
Santos: I can’t remember exactly how or when I first heard about Nordmann, but the company has always been connected to my work since I started my career in 1999. What makes Nordmann so special for me now is the trust and long-term commitment that I see in the company culture. This is made possible by the unique people, long-term strategies and ethical focus that have always been at the forefront for Nordmann.
What position do you hold at Nordmann?
Santos: Since I joined Nordmann, I’ve been working as head of the Coatings & Adhesives in Portugal. Previously, I also worked in plastics. My daily tasks include identifying the right portfolio choices and developing the right marketing strategies. One of the things I like most about my job is the contact I have with different people, and I also like helping to find the best solutions for our customers. That’s exactly what drives me in my work and what is the most enjoyable for me: contacting customers and suppliers, buying and selling, planning marketing strategies for the business unit.
How would you describe the collaboration between the different Nordmann offices?
Santos: I’ve only ever had great experiences working with the teams abroad. There’s always a great opportunity to learn other ways of dealing with familiar issues – and it’s fun besides! Collaborating with the other offices is always a positive thing, and I see the interaction as really progressive – something that makes us more of a Nordmann family.
Do you manage to keep a good work-life balance?
Santos: I’ve been working from home since 2009 and have become very accustomed to it. I try to maintain a healthy balance between work and home life, as I believe the two are very important for one another. Taking time off from work is thankfully never a problem, and there’s always a good reason to finish work at a reasonable hour when you have two kids! I find that having music as a hobby also works great for switching off and maintaining work-life balance.
What are you most looking forward to at the 2023 ECS?
Santos: The thing I’m excited about most is meeting people in person again now that pandemic restrictions have lifted. The ECS is the most important event for the coatings industry, and I’ve attended it every two years since 2001. The show is a good opportunity to meet suppliers, customers and colleagues; all of the major raw material suppliers showcase their latest innovations there. The ECS is the best place to get in touch with the global coatings industry as a whole, and this year will be even more special than usual – for sure! We’ll be able to see brand-new suppliers and colleagues that we never had the chance to meet in person before because of the pandemic. Now that things are different in 2023, we’re going to make up for lost opportunities!