As we move into 2023, the business world continues evolving and adapting to new challenges and opportunities. Throughout this ongoing transformation, some leaders have stood out as particularly innovative and successful, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. These leaders are setting the standard for excellence in their industries, creating new pathways for growth and development.
Among them is Joao Ferreira, the Country Manager at Haier Group Portugal. With his unwavering dedication to his team and his commitment to excellence in all aspects of his work, Ferreira is a shining example of the kind of leadership driving the success of businesses worldwide. At Haier Group, Joao Ferreira oversees legal affairs, manages three brands’ marketing, and is the HR manager.
Despite these multifaceted responsibilities, he remains steadfast in his commitment to ensuring that his team is supported, valued, and empowered to achieve their goals. Thanks to his vision and leadership, Haier Group is well-positioned to continue delivering innovative solutions that improve people’s lives around the globe.
Early Days: Upbringing OF Joao Ferreira
Ferreira was born in Mozambique when the country was still a territory of Portugal. He was the third child in a family that lived comfortably in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) until the war for independence forced them to become refugees. In 1978, Joao Ferreira and his family decided to move to Portugal, where his mother was originally from, but the transition was not easy.
To help with expenses, Joao Ferreira and his brothers started working at a young age. Unfortunately, his parents eventually divorced, leaving Ferreira to look for a new direction at 15. He decided to move to Lisbon with his godfather, believing he would have more opportunities for a better future.
From a young age, Joao Ferreira was urged to pursue work and education simultaneously. After briefly leaving university to explore professional opportunities, he began his career at a family-owned company in the consumer electronics industry. He quickly became an autonomous worker, taking on a range of responsibilities.
However, after two years, he had to take a break due to compulsory military service in Portugal. Once he completed his service, he was allowed to work as a salesman at Sanyo Portugal, which he joined at 23. Ferreira had developed a strong desire to learn and grow in a commercial career, leading him to freeze his studies in sports for an indefinite period.
Inclined Interest in Management
Ferreira’s interest in management grew gradually, and after six years of working as a key account manager in various sectors, he was appointed the commercial team leader. This was a significant milestone in his career, and he remained with the company for ten years as a commercial director. In 1998, he left the company to take up a position as a commercial director at Panasonic, a small company in Portugal that only worked with independent retailers.
Joao Ferreira recognized the potential for growth by opening up the modern distribution channel and led the company from generating 5M€ (in current currency) to 26M€ in six and a half years, despite facing several challenges.
Ferreira took on a new project with a “new brand” called LG, which was just starting in the Portuguese market. He found the project very motivating and worked to grow the brand and the market for consumer electronics, leaving a personal touch on each project. After five and a half years of hard work, Ferreira was proud to see that the brand had become a leading brand in just over four years, with the company making around 80M€ in this area at the time of his departure.
Unfortunately, due to some changes in the company, Ferreira had to make the difficult decision to leave. However, he returned to a place where he had been very happy.
Time at Panasonic
After his successful stint with LG, Joao Ferreira returned to Panasonic as the General Manager of the consumer electronics and air conditioning areas. However, two years later, the mother company ended its contract with the brand’s distributor in Portugal, leading to Joao Ferreira’s unemployment. He actively searched for a job and landed the role of Country Manager at Candy Hoover Portugal, a company struggling with terrible results and an outdated management style. The company made 10M€ then, and Ferreira spent the first three years recovering and reversing the situation. In eight years, he managed to grow the company and make it healthy.
Four years ago, the company was acquired by the world’s largest group in large household appliances, bringing new challenges and growth opportunities. This acquisition turned the company from a large family-owned business into a Chinese multinational with a greater investment capacity and a special focus on product quality and other important aspects of business development.
Haier Group: Providing Solutions for a Better Life
Haier Group is a world-renowned provider of solutions for a better life. Established in 1984, the company has become a leader in manufacturing and distributing various products worldwide. Haier Group is focused on offering products and services that meet the needs of consumers on tailoring a “smart life” for users worldwide.
Haier Group was founded to provide consumers with the best products that meet their needs. The company envisions setting up IoT ecosystems in clothing, food, accommodation, travel, health, elderly care, biomedicine, and education. The goal is to provide premium, scenario, and ecosystem brands that offer a complete solution for consumers. The company is committed to working with its world-class ecosystem partners to ensure that the brands it offers are of the highest quality.
Products and Services: What to Expect?
Haier Group offers a variety of products and services, including refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, televisions, and more. The company is focused on creating ecosystems of products and has been a leader in the IoT space. By leveraging the power of the IoT, the company can better understand consumer needs and offer products that meet those needs. Haier Group is committed to producing high-quality products that are built to last.
Haier Group has invested significantly in European factories to produce better products and be closer to its customers. The company plans to launch new products, including dishwashers, ovens, dryers, and vacuum cleaners, that will be the top tier of shops in the near future. Additionally, the company plans to continue leveraging the IoT’s power to create ecosystems between products and services to help consumers daily.
Responsibilities & Key Achievements
Joao Ferreira has to shoulder multiple roles and responsibilities with a team of 22 people, including services, logistics, and others. He oversees legal affairs, manages three brands’ marketing, and is the HR manager. Joao Ferreira believes that taking care of his team is essential for achieving the desired results. He is committed to ensuring that his employees are supported and valued in their roles. Despite the challenges of managing a team, Ferreira is dedicated to ensuring that the company operates smoothly and efficiently.
Ferreira notes that the Haier group has experienced rapid growth in recent years, becoming a relevant player in several sectors of the Portuguese market. The company has achieved an 8% share in Built-in and a 15% share in washing machines, the two most important market areas. Despite the remarkable results achieved, Joao Ferreira emphasizes that the company has remained humble and focused on reaching out to more consumers and working closely with other brands and top players. Joao Ferreira is proud that the company has achieved its growth ethically and with limited resources.
Standing Out: Success Factors
Haier Group differentiates itself from competitors by offering products and services tailored to consumers’ needs. The company is focused on ecosystems of products, and the IoT is a key characteristic of its products. By using the power of the IoT, Haier Group can better understand consumer needs and offer products that meet those needs. Additionally, the company is committed to producing high-quality products built to last.
Haier Group’s success can be attributed to its commitment to consumer needs. The company is focused on providing high-quality products and services that meet the needs of consumers. Additionally, the company is committed to building ecosystems of products that offer a complete solution for consumers. Haier Group’s success results from its commitment to quality and innovation.
Take on business leadership.
According to Joao Ferreira, the approach to leadership in business has undergone a significant shift in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pre-pandemic and post-pandemic eras differ greatly in managing remote employees and creating optimal working conditions for all team members. However, various technological limitations have made achieving these goals challenging for many businesses.
Joao Ferreira notes that managing in the current climate is much faster-paced, and the digital world has made it clear that companies must prioritize the opinions of their consumers. This emphasis on customer feedback is more critical now than ever before. As the Country Manager of Haier Group, Joao Ferreira’s insights offer valuable perspectives on the current state of business management and the changes that have occurred in recent years.
Joao Ferreira believes being a “people person” is a crucial trait for any leader. A good leader should have excellent management skills and a clear vision for the company and its employees. Leaders should provide their teams the necessary space and tools to be creative and successful. According to Joao Ferreira, a leader should also be able to wield authority responsibly while recognizing that the experience of leading varies depending on the sector or branch within a company. Tailoring one’s leadership approach to the business and its people is essential.
Ultimately, a leader’s goal should be to equip their team members with the resources they need to succeed individually and as a team. Joao Ferreira’s insights on leadership provide valuable perspectives for business leaders looking to improve their management skills and create a thriving work environment.
Beliefs & Results
Ferreira believes life is about maximizing the resources available at a given time. He acknowledges that his challenges have varied based on his life circumstances, but he has overcome them through constant adaptation, patience, and willpower. Joao Ferreira’s approach to life has allowed him to navigate different challenges successfully.
Ferreira has achieved a turnover of over 50M€; his team has had the most consistent growth for the last six years. Despite not completing his university studies, he has pursued executive courses at esteemed institutions like Universidade Católica , Nova SBE, and McKinsey, focusing on areas like Six Sigma, Go-to-Market strategy, and Exponential Business Administration. He attributes his greatest professional achievement to the teams he has worked with over the past 34 years, stating that they have helped him become a better person and a greater leader.
Ferreira draws inspiration from his mother, his first role model. He admires her strong work ethic and ability to respect others, regardless of their background. Additionally, Joao Ferreira looks up to Ayrton Senna and Bruce Lee, both from the sports world and the silver screen. He is inspired by their unwavering focus and dedication to their goals, which allowed them to leave a lasting impact in their respective fields.
Moreover, Joao Ferreira’s leadership style has been shaped by the teams he has worked with throughout his career. He acknowledges that he has learned a lot from them and with them, ultimately influencing his approach to leadership.
Keeping Up with the Change
Ferreira notes that he approaches changes in business by adapting and overcoming challenges. He recognizes that management models have evolved in response to new realities and emphasizes prioritizing consumer needs when updating products. Joao Ferreira believes that getting to know consumers and their desires is crucial to creating products that satisfy their requirements. Overall, Joao Ferreira’s approach to staying updated with the changing business environment focuses on customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
A Tight-knit Family
Ferreira states that he has the best team in the world and emphasizes that everyone is committed to achieving the company’s objectives. He notes that the team is like a tight-knit family, with a shared sense of ownership over professional and personal victories and defeats. Joao Ferreira also highlights the company’s “zero distance” approach, emphasizing a close customer relationship. Overall,Joao Ferreira’s approach to looking after his employees fosters a strong team culture focused on collaboration and shared goals.
Ferreira acknowledges that achieving a perfect work-life balance is not easy, and he admits that for a long time, he neglected his family in favor of work. However, he has realized his mistake and is working towards balancing the two aspects of his life more effectively. In terms of hobbies, Joao Ferreira is passionate about sports such as football, martial arts, and motorsports like karting, motorcycling , and jet skiing. He enjoys sharing these hobbies with his friends and family, as it helps him bond with them even more.
Haier Group has earned the trust and confidence of its customers through its commitment to quality and innovation. The company’s customers appreciate the high-quality products and services it offers. Also, Haier Group’s customers appreciate the company’s commitment to understanding their needs and providing products that meet them.
“Business is made by people, if you don’t know nothing about people you don’t know nothing about business”