Dentist from the North establishes in Europe
Clipal has already several clinics between Vila Nova de Gaia and Santa Maria da Feira and has set a plan to enter the German, English and Luxembourgian market.
Clipal is precisely the result of this tendency and the investment of dentist Manuel Pinto de Almeida. “I felt the need to open new horizons and ways in order for the clinic to walk the path that had been traced”, he explained to the Negócios newspaper. It began in 2002 and at the moment, there are already “around 20 people working in four clinics. All in the North region, in Vila Nova de Gaia and Santa Maria da Feira”, he referred.
The dentist also revealed that he is investing in more units. “We are going to open three more clinics and we intend to increase the number of people working with us” stated Manuel Pinto de Almeida.
Clipal will then have seven clinics concentrated in the north, but the businessman does not plan to expand his business to the rest of the country, only abroad.
“If we are able to grow with Portugal in the situation it is at the moment, we can analyze other markets in which the economic scenario is much different than the Portuguese one and take a chance in those countries”, stated Manuel Pinto de Almeida.
This strategy is, for the time being, oriented for the European market. “We are studying Central Europe, maybe Luxemburg, Germany and England. At this stage we are making contacts”, stated the businessman.
Manuel Pinto de Almeida acknowledges there are challenges for the internationalization in the region he chose. “The challenge is to start everything all over again, check the legislation in force in those countries to know the market and within the limitations each one of them has, apply a winning recipe”, referred the dentist. Clipal already has experience abroad, in Cape Verde, however, it’s an occasional project. “We have a partnership with a clinic in that country. We have been presented to an interesting case that has everything to move forward and that was how it happened” explained the businessman.
Among the new plans, the group is working on an initiative for the younger ones. “We are going to develop a project for children, establishing protocols with entities in order to do follow up” explained the businessman. Manuel Pinto de Almeida referred that “oral health, if not early treated, has heavy long term financial costs”.
Clipal’s objective, in this case is to start with the patient as a child and following up on his/her evolution. With these investments we are going to increase the number of jobs in the company”, he referred.
You can tell there is a difference regarding the concern of the Portuguese population in general with oral health.
Manuel Pinto de Almeida – Founder of Clipal and dentist
INVESTMENT REACHES 850 THOUSAND EUROS
X-ray of the company in 2015 and forecast for 2016
Last year, Clipal reached 700 thousand euros of invoiced sales, a 40% increase in relation to 2014. The group shall reach 30 workers, an increase in relation to the 20 reached by the end of last year. The company shall invest about 850 thousand euros this year, in relation to the 500 thousand applied in 2015. On average, the clinics from the group treated 40 patients per day in 2015.
EXTERNAL BET IN ASCENDING MARKET
Clipal has a consolidated presence in the north and Manuel Pinto de Almeida wants to drive the business to central Europe. The uncertainties around the national economy are the main threat.
Manuel Pinto de Almeida has worked for many years in this line of business that he knows very well.
. In the north, the company has already a well-established network of clinics, which is now in expansion, in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia and Santa Maria da Feira
. The clinics are only concentrated in the north and the dentist does not plan on expanding to the rest of the country, despite the growing number of patients.
. The markets in Europe that Clipal has chosen are already mature.
. The Portuguese worry more and more about their oral health and that is a good sign for the companies of the sector.
. Despite there being more and more clients in the national market, Portugal starts to be saturated in this area. And the biggest opportunities are in the external markets, more precisely central Europe in Clipal’s case.
. “I think the uncertainty that hovers in the air in our country is a threat. We watch the news everyday with not so favorable news and that puts us into a defensive situation” referred the businessman regarding the main threats to the business.
THE ENTREPRENEUR’S 3 LESSONS
To be persistent, to believe in your business and to do a serious job, is the advice given by Manuel Pinto de Almeida.
Manuel Pinto de Almeida referred that, first of all, any recent entrepreneurial or businessman has to be “persistent” with their project. “In Portugal it is not easy to invest, the legislation changes constantly”, referred the dentist.
For the entrepreneurial-dentist, you need to believe in the business you are investing in. Any entrepreneurial that commits to a business that does not believe in, has a bigger probability to fail the project.
Manuel Pinto de Almeida believes that another essential characteristic to be successful is “do a serious job”, one condition to capture and keep the clients in any business.