“The fundamental thing is to always have an open mind, be curious, listen, ask intelligent questions, always starting from the hypothesis that anything can be done”, said, in 2009, Belmiro de Azevedo, who died almost four years ago.
It is precisely this teaching of the former Sonae leader that can be read at the entrance to the space dedicated to education and training at Sonae Campus, the group’s headquarters in Maia.
This space has now been renamed “Belmiro de Azevedo Learning Centre”, which includes the “Belmiro de Azevedo Auditorium”, in an area of 500 square meters and capacity for 300 people, dedicated to the personal and professional development of the employees of the group’s companies.
“The objective is to pay tribute to the legacy of the entrepreneur in the leadership of Sonae and highlight the values and principles that he instilled in the company and that continue to be central to its DNA”, explains the maiato group, in a statement.
“To promote and perpetuate these values within Sonae companies, ensuring that they are transmitted to future generations of employees”, a statue of the entrepreneur was also inaugurated at the entrance of Sonae Campus.
The work of the German sculptor Bernd Stöcke was inspired by a photograph that shows Belmiro in the early days of his career at the Efanor laminate factory, today in the Sonae Indústria universe, “where he leads the way with energy and confidence”, emphasizes Sonae.
The group currently led by their sons Paulo and Cláudia Azevedo emphasize that “the area of education and training was a constant concern for Belmiro de Azevedo, who has always promoted investment in people, providing employees with access to the best national and international management schools , as well as the creation of an internal school that continues to serve more than 50 thousand employees”.
As a result of this long-term commitment, Sonae guarantees that it annually provides more than one million hours of training to its employees.
“The most valuable gift we received from Belmiro de Azevedo for our companies was the strong set of values, namely ethical and social responsibility, as well as the ambition, innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, education, rigor or independence that we immediately and directly associate to his character and personality. It is these values and beliefs that drive us to intensify our action in times of change and uncertainty, and they give us confidence to face the challenges we face every day”, says Paulo Azevedo, president of Sonae.
The largest Portuguese private employer also emphasizes that “Belmiro de Azevedo’s concern went beyond Sonae’s borders, leading to the creation of a ‘think thank’ dedicated to Education and the emergence of Colégio Efanor, which is today the leader in the ‘ranking ‘ of schools in Portugal”.