First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Francisco Lúcio Rodrigues da Silva: Well, my position permits me to work on home office basis, but, it is not the same situation for my wife that work in the frontline at the hospitals. You may understand that in our case we have a bit more concern than the general public, We follow all the procedures and recommendation to avoid any kind of contamination. You can imagine that we do not have a social life, we have decided to avoid maximum as possible the personal contacts because we could also transmit the virus.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded AgriTrade.
Francisco Lúcio Rodrigues da Silva: I am a computer engineer graduate, teacher, commercial director and I have a long story in software and app development. AgriTrade is one more application developed by our HUB of innovation. Yes, we have a private hub, Agley, where we have developed a framework, ERP, marketplaces of agricultural products such as Coffee, Milk, Sugar and Ethanol, and other varied applications.
How does AgriTrade innovate?
Francisco Lúcio Rodrigues da Silva: As a HUB, we have different innovation initiatives in different sectors such as games, food, marketplace and sales. We are focused on creating new startups in partnership with other companies, to develop new solutions that the market has not even experienced yet.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Francisco Lúcio Rodrigues da Silva: As an IT company, we already have the culture of a home office. In the beginning, It ‘was quite normal, until some collogues caught the virus, and we started to face some difficulties to deliver the project on time. We work with lean structure, and micro teams for each project in order to have lower costs for developments. However, as a HUB, we had some backups to support the critical period.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Francisco Lúcio Rodrigues da Silva: It’s quite personal, but I had more than one case of COVID-19 in my family. It was not easy, but the projects, hub and the startups helped me to keep myself active. However, it was terribly difficult to overcome, but we have to move on.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Francisco Lúcio Rodrigues da Silva: It’s important to keep calm, do some mental exercises, to have some breaks during the day and have the discipline to stop working to take care of the domestic issues.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Francisco Lúcio Rodrigues da Silva: We do not have direct competitor, despite similar platforms, they deal with other products, or they have a different style of working. Some of these companies are; Grão Direto, E-ctare, CBC Negócios, Karavel, Node Commodities, and DeepCore.