Bensaude Group explains how it got to 200 years, in a book

13 May 21
Bensaude Group explains how it got to 200 years, in a book
An economic group lasting two centuries is a rare phenomenon. But this is the case of Bensaude Group, which in 2019 invoiced close to 500 million euros. When it began its activity in 1820, Portugal was still an absolute monarchy that held a vast empire, with its capital in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, the monarchy fell, the empire collapsed, dozens of governments fell, there was a civil war, two world wars, a colonial war, the country suffered several economic crises and pandemics, shrank, expanded, joined the European Union.

In 200 years everything has changed and all of this is normal in the course of history. What is extraordinary is that a Portuguese economic group has managed to remain active and prosperous for so long, operating in various economic areas, with its headquarters in the Azores.

But if it is surprising to discover that there are national groups that are 200 years old, it would be even more surprising to understand how they did it. What is the reason for such longevity? What is the secret? How is it done? There was only one way to find out. By researching their past, establishing a chronology and telling their story. Stories have something that facts and figures do not: the ability to engage us emotionally and make us draw lessons.

"High seas: brief history of Bensaude Group’s long life" (2021, WonderWhy Stories, 254 pages) is the book that came out of this project. It is the first time that the group's history is told from 1820 to 2020. But it is not a literal chronological narrative. The book is divided into seven epochs of transformation. Each chapter examines the conflicts that marked an era, explains how each leader dealt with it and how the Group looked after overcoming it. The final chapter summarises the various eras and gives an insight into what it all meant.

The work was created and edited by WonderWhy Stories (WonderWhy branding) at the request of the Group. It was developed by a large team of writers, consultants, researchers, designers, reviewers, fact checkers and graphic producers (M2), in close collaboration with the Communication and Marketing Department of Bensaude Group.

Therefore, the development of the book involved extensive research, using several interviews, consultation of bibliography and exclusive documents of the Group, visits to Bensaude properties and the library of the University of the Azores. The project took 21 months, from ordering to printing.

The work was dedicated by the Group to the Bensaude family, as well as to all its employees, both current and those who have dedicated themselves to its businesses and companies, since 1820.
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