MOVERS & SHAKERS: PAULO GONCALVES

How did you get started in footwear? My connection to footwear is old: since I was born, I could say. My connection to APICCAPS and to the footwear sector began almost 18 years ago when my career led me to APICCAPS. I came to join a very professional and competent team made of people who had the ambition to make Portuguese footwear one of the major international references of the industry. Since that day, more than a job, working for APICCAPS became a natural passion and purpose of life.

What does an average day look like for you? I cannot say I know what an average working day is. I can be in Portugal at APICCAPS headquarters, but I can also be traveling, whether to meet the Portuguese footwear companies or to promote the Portuguese footwear industry abroad. This year alone, more than 200 Portuguese companies are participating in approximately 60 promotional activities across five continents. The activity of APICCAPS is very extensive and I'm always where I’m needed.
 
What duties are you responsible for? I am the person in charge of coordinating all communication activities developed by APICCAPS. I am responsible for the international campaign Portuguese Shoes: The sexiest industry in Europe. Within this campaign, I would highlight, for example, the Portuguese Soul magazine, the TV program What’s Up and the production of fashion editorials for international magazines (we have done over 80).
 
What do you love most about what you do? Teamwork. And I love shoes, naturally the Portuguese ones, as they are the world’s best shoes, and all I can do to prove the excellence of Portuguese footwear will always be insufficient.
 
What qualifications do you need to be great at your job? Knowing how to coordinate the work developed by our teams is always crucial. Setting goals and delegating the tasks in the most critical areas is essential. We have to recognize that those who have the technical competences are the ones more suited to put in practice the strategy we have developed. In fact, this has been the orientation of the association for decades. On a regular basis, APICCAPS sets its strategic objectives, by defining Strategic Plans (the first one is dated from 1978) and then it hires the best professionals who are able of make Portuguese footwear one of the greatest references internationally.
 
What have been some highlights so far in your career? The development of the Portuguese Shoes Campaign The sexiest industry in Europe has been crucial for the international recognition of Portuguese footwear. The fact that the European Commission have recognized it as one of the major projects at European level is a source of pride for everyone working at APICCAPS and in the Portuguese footwear industry.
 
What are some of the misconceptions of what you do? Although people tend to think otherwise, I’m not constantly surrounded by beautiful women and traveling to exotic destinations.
 
What advice would you give to those who want to work in the footwear industry? Anyone wanting to work in the footwear industry needs to travel and pay attention to what is happening in the world. They have to be able to present new, innovative and better products. There are still many opportunities to explore in an industry that constantly reinvests itself.