One day at Semco Partners

by SSI International

July 28, 2021

An interview with André Cicarelli


When looking back at the history of the Semco group, aside from  the famous transition nearly 40 years ago, one can see that a lot has changed for both the company, and Ricardo alike.

In the 90s and 2000s, the Semco Group expanded into diverse markets within the manufacturing and services industry. Today, Semco Partners is a holding company that forms multidisciplinary teams comprising internal and external players to get new businesses started. During the expansion phases, the company worked with various technology partners to develop a sophisticated joint venture model that combines Semco management practices with partners’ expertise and product lines. This fusion of skill sets has given way to a business model that has proved successful.

In 2012, Semco Partners transitioned into a partnership model featuring six directors who have worked together for many years — The Semco Partners holding. As one of the directors, Ricardo is working on getting new companies and their development started. Ricardo is also still active in most organizations Semco Partners has shares in, such as the Semco Style Institute and Lumiar School.

Through this interview,  we explore what it’s like to work at Semco Partners today, as ‘Semco Style’ has its roots here. We wanted to know how Ricardo and the team practice ‘Semco Style’ in their daily work routine, and thought a fresh face would be able to evaluate this the best. André Cicarelli, analyst at Semco Partners, joined the company a year ago, and was happy to share his experiences. In this short chat, he shares great insight about the vibe at Semco Partners, as well as the personal development he has seen within him. Curious? Scroll down and enjoy reading!

First and foremost, what is it like to work at Semco Partners?

“Working at Semco Partners is kind of weird, but in a good way! For me, personally, it has been an amazing opportunity. Every day I am around great people (like Ricardo himself) and I learn a lot from them. Since I do not have a very specific role, the work changes all the time, allowing me to grow in very different directions. I feel much more prepared for the market, even in my own ventures, now that I have been working for Semco Partners. I expect to continue learning during my time here.”


What, according to you, has changed within the company in the last two decades or so?

“I can’t tell for sure, since I have been here only for a little longer than a year, , but I have a feeling things haven’t changed much. Back then, the ‘home office’ was already a thing at Semco, so no changes here. The main change I can see in our Semco Partner environment. By that, I mean that technology and our business models have evolved with time and experience. However, the ‘Semco Style’ is timeless and as solid as possible.”


What is the most rewarding part about working at Semco?

“Like I said before, it has helped me grow a lot. Since Semco Partners is very small, I have close proximity to the CEO, CFO and COO – I interact with them on a daily basis. The work is rewarding too, everything I make, from a presentation to a market research, is used by the company and in their decision-making.”

How would you describe the team dynamic?

“Basically, the team is the company. We have a very flexible dynamic where everyone gets a vote and has an opinion. I feel very lucky, because despite being the “lowest” in the “hierarchy” ladder, I’m listened to at all times. The team is very good at integrating skills – everyone has an area of speciality, which translates to a better-prepared team. We form small multidisciplinary teams to solve different problems. For example, a team composed of me, the COO, the CFO and a few external contractors, focused on solving a specific problem regarding the taxes for instance. Many of these mini-teams are formed for various projects.”


In what way exactly have you personally changed/grown since you started to work at Semco?

“I know that several of my skills have improved drastically. Before joining Semco Partners, I never had to do work on negotiation and managing. For instance, now I feel confident to manage a few different projects at once and delegate tasks or requests to others. Apart from that, my organizational skills are way better now, which translates to a more organized personal life and better relationships.”


Want to find out more about Semco Partners, their business model and the history of the company? Click here to visit their homepage or read more about the company founder Ricardo Semler!


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