Edenilso Rossi Arnaldi is a Brazilian businessman and the founder and CEO of Sial Engenharia, a construction firm based in Curitiba. Arnaldi has maintained a focus on construction throughout his career. He founded Sial Engenharia in the 1990s – at that time called Sial Construções Civis.
Arnaldi presided over the Western Paraná Construction Industry Union from 2000 to 2001, and chaired the State Chamber of Civil Construction, based in the capital of Curitiba, from 2003 to 2004.
Arnaldi served as State Treasurer of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in Paraná in 2012 and 2013, and was a candidate for Federal Deputy of the State of Paraná in 2018. He secured nearly 35,000 votes and was a substitution of the federal chamber.
Where did the idea for Sial Engenharia come from?
I got married in 1987. I was 27 years old and lived in Maringá. I was a small business owner, a proprietor with two other partners of an engineering company that provided services to other construction companies, applying cement management technology to their works. That said, given that I was familiar and identified with the engineering sector, I moved to Cascavel in the early ’90s and managed to start up Construtora Sial, though it was quite a small venture.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I like to get an early start! I always have… I arrive at Sial at 7:30 am, at the latest by 8 am, before or along with the employees, because I believe that dedication is the best example. I feel that I am more productive in the morning.
I begin my work by taking a look at my schedule and determining what the most important and pressing matters are, which need to be taken care of that day.
I’m constantly engaged, I call my direct employees, we assess the solutions which best apply to our goals and the issues we face, providing authorization and ensuring progress, as well as clarifying the logistics and the way that these tasks are to be done.
I normally have lunch at home every day because I highly value these moments with family, being that the daily routine of a busy life can really cut into these moments.
In the afternoon, I study medium and long-term projects, given that launching company works can be private or public, and first require a lot of study, documents, and bureaucracy before a development can get underway. We therefore need to always stay at least 1 year ahead of projects.
I try to be objective and to always focus on problem-solving.
How do you bring ideas to life?
First, I put quite a bit of study into the possibilities of success of a venture or an idea. I do so by studying similar cases and comparing what went right and what went wrong, which allows me to understand why and what should be done to avoid failure.
Although, if I find that I should continue with a project, I ask for the help and collaboration of my team,
because if there is one thing I’ve become certain of after all these years, it’s that all success is achieved through teamwork, focusing on a single objective.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Private investments, that is, the obtaining of funds, have caught my attention, given that, with control over inflation and the lowering of interest rates, the segments may converge towards investment in the real estate sector. As a startup that generates value, this means growing at an increasing rate without influencing the business model. Growing revenue but with costs that grow more and more slowly. This will cause the margin to be increasingly greater, accumulating profit and generating increasingly more wealth.
So it is necessary to be prepared to receive these funds with good projects so as to facilitate the return for these investors.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Getting up early every day, and whenever possible, at least once a month, visiting the work-sites in person to talk with the employees working on the construction, who really get their hands dirty, in order to stay connected with reality and conscious of human aspirations, fueling my professional as well as my personal life.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To be calmer and more relaxed. We ought to listen more, especially to our elders, who rarely go astray!
To further knowledge whenever possible by traveling, reading, or study, because knowledge is unique and yours forever.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Whenever I carry out a project, I keep in mind that the building will have a role to play in society. Profit is also a goal, but one needs to think about people and to respect the environment. It is possible to simultaneously achieve profit and have respect for people and for the environment.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
It is known that the success of a business requires a lot of work and dedication. It was no different for me; minutes of inspiration and many hours of perspiration!
I believe that an engaged, capable team is the foundation for everything. I have always relied on highly efficient employees who wear the company shirt, without counting the hours or efforts needed for our projects to achieve excellence.
And so, I delegated and assigned tasks without concentrating the company’s progress in my own hands, or in anyone else’s. Everyone had a very important role in this journey to success, 25 years in the making, especially Technical Director Armando Hiroshe, who is also my partner, one of few engineers, and we thank him for his responsibility and the quality of our constructions.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
With the advent of the Minha Casa Minha Viva (MCMV- My House My Life) program ca. 2011, we adhered to the program and built around 2,000 units precisely for the 0-to-3 minimum salary range, and the results were terrible, objectively negative. The situation occurred due to the extremely tight civil construction market, culminating in a lack of labor force and the increase of materials, while on the other hand these units were sold to CEF at a fixed price, without the possibility of adjustment.
We overcame this situation when we decided to build under the same MCMV program, but for a 3-minimum salary range, marketing directly to buyers. This allowed us to offset the loss and press on.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A beach tennis racket. After I started taking classes, I found the sport to be really enjoyable; it’s great being able to play with family and friends, healthy moments of fun to recharge my batteries.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
My team and I have been using SIENGE, which allows us to monitor our work-sites and compare results as well as the financial sector. Another tool we use a lot is Whatsapp, which lets us engage in instant communication with our workforce and employees from anywhere in the world.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
MAUÁ- EMPRESÁRIO DO IMPÉRIO (Imperial Entrepreneur) – Jorge Caldeira
I suggest it because this man, also known as Visconde de Mauá, transformed Brazil, putting the country on the track to industrial progress, development, and modernization; he is an example of entrepreneurship and resilience.
What is your favorite quote?
The Viscount of Mauá is my inspiration, and naturally, his words are my mottos and my favorite quotes. Here are a couple:
• “Difficulties were made to be overcome.”
• “The best economic government program is one that doesn’t hinder those who produce, invest, save, employ, work, and consume.”
- Dedicate yourself to your goals, and put in what you need to to achieve them. Whether this is waking up early or taking more time to focus on what has to be done.
- Build a good team and trust the people in it. It is vital to be able to delegate and trust people to grow in their own roles.
- Consider the impact of your goals, as opposed to simply considering profit.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.