Orlando Pinto, the journey of a go-getter

By Camille FratiMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

CEO and founder of the construction company Sopinor, Orlando Pinto is a model of professional and cultural success. Meeting with a boss who is as passionate about his company as he is about his role as a bridge between the Portuguese community and Luxembourg.

Eyes riveted on his phone, Orlando Pinto leaves his office. Naturally cordial, he is clearly not at ease in interviews. Could this be because this man of action and ambition is not the type to dwell on his career path and even less to dwell on the difficulties he may have encountered? If you listen to him, life has led him smoothly from his first dig on a construction site to the foundation of his own company twenty years ago. "When I started the company, it wasn't difficult because I knew the business from A to Z and the customers followed me", he says.

The reality is less simple and linear. Driven out by the employment crisis in Portugal, Orlando Pinto arrived with his family in Luxembourg in 1982. At the age of 22, he joined the construction sector like many of his compatriots and started at the bottom of the ladder on a building site, "with a shovel and a pickaxe" he says and climbed the ladder little by little, attending evening classes to obtain the mason's certificate of aptitude.

But in the late 1980s his ambitions were dashed. "After the death of my father, I went back to Portugal to manage his business, unfortunately the fires that had completely destroyed the core business of this company – the resin of the trees – were a blow", he says. "You feel helpless then, these are aspects you can't control and that demoralized me a lot."

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