China - Francisco Henriques

Bailliage China
Shanghai, July 15, 2021

A passion for the wine business
" I enjoy the amazing atmosphere with members, wine and gastronomy "

Born and raised in Ourem, Portugal, Francisco went to university at ISEG in Lisbon followed by ESC Reims in France for two years. Living in the Champagne region was a beautiful part of his life. He met his future wife there and discovered his passion for the wine business.

Porto was the next destination where Francisco discovered an amazing world of great products in Port and Douro wines. Francisco studied in Bordeaux for a Master’s Degree to quench his thirst to learn more about wine. Another world opened up for him. Returning to Portugal, he worked in Borba in the south where the wine exports to China were just beginning.

Discovering China in 2003 Francisco was impressed and dreamt of living there. Five years later he moved to Shanghai and started a new life in wine distribution with China Wines & Spirits Ltd.

Francisco joined the Chaîne in China in 2017 as a Professionnel du Vin with the Bailliage of Shanghai. A friend in Shanghai had invited him to attend events on a several occasions. As a result, Francisco discovered a world of amazing friends and passionate people.

Steven Weathers
Chargé de Presse

To explore further Francisco’s thoughts on the wine industry and the Chaîne, these questions were put to him:

Have you always wanted to work in your industry?
Working in the wine industry was not in my plans at the beginning. Finance was the plan. But quickly my family’s wine roots became stronger, combined with the inspiring and passionate people I met during my first experiences.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge managing a business in your industry in China?
Finding the right passionate people is the biggest challenge. The second is accessing working capital in our industry. I believe the first one makes the real difference. The second one helps how fast you can grow the business.

In terms of leadership style, how would you describe yourself?
When I invite people to join the CWS (China Wines & Spirits Ltd) team, I definitely trust them. I like to share responsibilities to enrich the whole team spirit so that we follow the same goals. At CWS my team knows one of my key points is if, or when, we commit, then we really have to follow it through and make it happen.

What would you say is your biggest contribution to your company since joining?
Being part of the transformation of a small business into a medium size company, with presence in six major cities in China and a very nice portfolio. And the challenges are just starting!

What do you like most about being part of the team and your own role in your company?
The diversity of backgrounds, experiences, personalities of CWS team makes it challenging. It’s also a unique management experience every day.

Do you enjoy the Chaîne des Rotisseurs and what do you like in particular?
I enjoy the amazing atmosphere with members, wine and gastronomy. It’s a real example of Shanghai dynamism and diversity.

Are you aware of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ global community and are you planning to make use of this global family?
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic we are not discovering much as we could. Once we are free to travel again that’s definitely in my plans.

Would you like to say something to other members of the global Chaîne family?
It’s the chance to be part of the Chaîne family. Having the possibility to share common gastronomical goals all over the world despite cultural differences.

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