Nuno Nunes, Deputy VP Europe & Senior Manager IT Strategy & Digitalization
Nuno Nunes and his family took little more than a toothbrush, credit card and air mattress with them when they moved from Lisbon to Hamburg in the summer of 2022. Via LinkedIn, the Portuguese native had found an exciting job as Senior Manager IT Strategy & Digitalization at HPC. Friends were shaking their heads: "How can you give up your career at 40 to start over with two children in a place you've never been and without language skills?" For 15 years, Nuno Nunes had managed technology investment and development projects for Portugal's national airline. He was looking for a new professional challenge and switched from aviation to sea freight - even though he is "afraid of water."
"Seaports are unique," Nuno enthuses. He emphasizes that the mix of geographical, transport policy and administrative conditions is different every time. On top of that, he claims digitalization to be less advanced in the industry compared to aviation and expects that, as a consequence, there will be a lot to do for him "in the next 20 to 30 years". As part of the HPC Cluster of Excellence on Digitization, he supports customers in the implementation of their IT strategy, digitization planning, system implementation and automation. With his routine project experience, he was able to get involved in projects involving challenging aspects of investments, port development and operational optimizations after a short training period.
On international assignments, Nuno dives deep every time. As a Project Manager in India, he coordinated five teams of experts to analyze the potential of twelve seaports, inland depots and cargo stations. At first, he was fascinated by how "alive" the culture was. But it soon proved challenging to reconcile his Western-structured "project thinking" with common local business practices. He quickly learned that things tend to work anyway: "The world is too big for only our way of working to achieve success." When cultures clash, the troubleshooter stays on top of things: "The more difficult something is, the calmer I remain."
Thanks to this trait and a lot of discipline, he also manages to pursue an MBA in International Business alongside his job and family. At HPC, he can work flexibly. "With clients scattered all over the world, we naturally work remotely, either from home or from the office. The latter definitely beats working from home when it comes to short-range communication, brainstorming and networking." In his new home port of Hamburg, the digitalization specialist is surprised by "how much everything is still paper-based here." He needs thick binders for letters from the authorities, salary slips or doctor's reports. With the clear-eyed view of someone who has just moved here, he sees "potential savings worth billions if these processes were digitized."