From software development to sales and consultancy, Alexandre Leiria today heads up the Life Sciences, Healthcare, and Manufacturing arm of digital-focused consultancy Capgemini in Portugal. He discusses Capgemini's role in advancing digital transformation in the Portuguese healthcare sector. Despite progress, challenges remain, such as the need for further investments and strategic initiatives, and Capgemini aims to collaborate with the Portuguese hospital system to enhance digital integration and technology advancement.


How has your career led you to your current position as Head of Life Sciences, Healthcare and Manufacturing at Capgemini Portugal?

My career journey has been a fascinating evolution, shaped by a blend of my love for technology and an unexpected discovery of my passion for sales. Starting as a software developer straight out of university, I immersed myself in the world of programming, embracing my inner nerd until my 30s. It was during this period that I stumbled upon a new facet of my skill set – sales.

Transitioning from a technical role to sales marked a significant turning point in my career. I found immense joy and fulfilment in building relationships with clients and navigating the intricacies of sales and consultancy. This shift not only broadened my perspective but also ignited a newfound passion for understanding and meeting the unique needs of diverse clients.

The journey has been nothing short of an adventure, filled with continuous learning and personal development. Every day, I strive to enhance my skills, especially in gaining a deeper understanding of the intricate business landscape of life sciences and healthcare.

My experience includes working closely with numerous hospitals in Portugal, and I’ve had the privilege of serving on the board of consultants at three hospitals. These experiences have provided me with invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities within the healthcare sector, allowing me to bring a holistic perspective to my role.

In February 2021, I made the strategic decision to join Capgemini, a move that aligns seamlessly with my career trajectory. At Capgemini Portugal, as the Head of Life Sciences, Healthcare, and Manufacturing, I continue to integrate my technical background, sales acumen, and in-depth industry knowledge to drive innovative solutions for our clients.

This role not only allows me to leverage my skills but also presents a platform for contributing to the transformative work Capgemini is known for. I am excited to be part of a dynamic team and look forward to furthering my journey of professional growth, learning, and making a positive impact on the intersection of technology and healthcare.


Capgemini is a big global company. What can you tell us about its operations in Portugal, particularly after the purchase of Altran?

Capgemini’s operations in Portugal have undergone a significant transformation, particularly following the strategic acquisition of Altran three years ago. This move not only marked a pivotal moment in our growth but allowed us to expand and enhance our portfolio, positioning Capgemini uniquely in the market.

The integration of Altran into our organization brought a specialized and dedicated offering, setting us apart from other consulting companies. Altran’s unique capabilities in various dimensions of specialized engineering empowered Capgemini to present a distinctive market positioning, providing our customers with innovative products and services.

Although the integration process posed operational challenges, managing a new portfolio and an ecosystem of 4000 consultants in different areas of technology, consultancy, and engineering in Portugal, we successfully navigated through these challenges. Today, I am pleased to share that the integration process is completed, and Capgemini in Portugal has emerged as a mature and sophisticated company.

Our teams are now uniquely positioned and focused on delivering products and services with high added value for our customers. The synergy between Capgemini and Altran has not only strengthened our capabilities but has created a powerhouse of expertise that allows us to address the evolving needs of our clients in a comprehensive and innovative manner.

This strategic integration has not only broadened our service offer but has also positioned us as a leader in specialized engineering and consulting in Portugal. We are committed to maintaining this momentum, delivering excellence, and continuing to be a trusted partner for our clients, offering them cutting-edge solutions and services tailored to their unique requirements.


What does Capgemini offer that differentiates it from other consultancies in the healthcare space? Who are the firm’s main clients?

At Capgemini Portugal, our distinction in the healthcare consultancy space is rooted in our unparalleled experience and a proven track record of successfully driving digital transformations for public and private hospitals, as well as regulatory bodies. Over the past 25 years, we have been actively engaged in the most substantial projects in the Portuguese healthcare sector, making us a trusted partner for organizations seeking innovative solutions.

What sets us apart is not just the depth of our experience but our unique ability to leverage this extensive history. Our long-standing presence in the healthcare domain equips us with an unmatched understanding of our clients’ businesses and operational intricacies. This allows us to interpret challenges swiftly and uniquely, providing us with a competitive advantage that directly translates into added value for our clients.

Critical to our success is our commitment to preserving the knowledge gained from previous projects. Capgemini has excelled in maintaining and building upon our base of expertise, ensuring that the valuable know-how acquired over the years remains integral to our approach. This steadfast dedication empowers us to deliver optimal responses to our clients’ challenges, fostering a dynamic and continuously improving consultancy practice.

Furthermore, our position as pioneers in various technological domains, coupled with a unique positioning that emphasizes staying at the forefront of technology and innovation within the healthcare sector, cements our reputation as leaders in the field. This approach ensures that our clients benefit not only from our experience but also from cutting-edge solutions that drive sustained success.

Capgemini Portugal stands out through its rich history, unwavering commitment to knowledge retention, and a forward-thinking approach that keeps us at the forefront of technological advancements. This unique combination positions us as a trusted partner for healthcare organizations seeking transformative solutions.


As a company, you are focused heavily on software, so in your expert opinion, where do you place the Portuguese hospital system in terms of digitalisation and the advancement of technology?

I have had the opportunity to closely observe the landscape of the Portuguese hospital system in terms of digitalization and technological advancement. It’s evident that the Portuguese healthcare sector is making significant strides in embracing digital transformation, but there is still room for growth and enhancement.

The Portuguese hospital system has shown a commendable commitment to leveraging technology to improve patient care, enhance operational efficiency, and streamline administrative processes. All hospitals have implemented electronic health records (EHRs), digital imaging systems, and telemedicine solutions, marking positive steps towards a more integrated and patient-centric healthcare environment.

However, challenges persist, and further investments and strategic initiatives are essential to propel the Portuguese hospital system into a fully digitized and technologically advanced era. Interoperability remains a key consideration, and efforts to integrate various digital systems across different healthcare entities could contribute to a more cohesive and data-driven healthcare ecosystem.

Moreover, embracing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and IoT can unlock new possibilities for predictive healthcare, personalized medicine, and improved decision-making. Collaborative initiatives between the public and private sectors, along with partnerships with technology providers, can accelerate the adoption of these innovations.

Capgemini, as a global leader in technology and consulting, stands ready to collaborate with the Portuguese hospital system in its digitalization journey. Our expertise in developing and implementing innovative healthcare solutions, coupled with our deep understanding of the local market, positions us as a strategic partner for driving the next wave of digital transformation in the Portuguese healthcare sector.

In summary, while commendable progress has been made, there is an exciting opportunity for the Portuguese hospital system to embrace advanced technologies further. Through collaborative efforts and strategic investments, I am confident that we can collectively propel the healthcare sector into a more digitally integrated and technologically advanced future.


Portugal has received a post-COVID-19 injection of funds from Europe to digitalise its healthcare system. What are your thoughts on this and the progress being made towards digitalisation goals?

The process of allocating funds from the different European Post-COVID financing lines, namely the PRR (Recovery and Resilience Plan), began 3 years ago.

However, the pace of execution of the PRR is considered “Low and Critical” for 25% of investments.

A quarter of the investments and measures in the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), around 25% of the total, are registering a very low rate of execution and progress, “worrying and critical” compared to the situation that existed at the beginning of the year 2023.

The degradation in progress compared to planned is also notable in the Digital Transition in Health, which in February 2023 was going well and is now in a worrying situation.

The value defined in the PRR for the “Digital Transition in Health” dimension was 300 million euros and to date, only 52.4 million have been paid.

Given that the completion deadline is February 28, 2025, it is urgent to apply practical measures that improve the process throughout its chain.

Greater speed in evaluating applications is essential, ensuring compliance with the deadlines defined in the notices.

There must be an improvement in the IT platforms used in the different phases of project management, from applications to the submission of payment requests and information reporting.

As the projects are still in execution and development, it is not yet possible to value the improvements that these investments produced through technological projects.


Does Capgemini adapt its offering for the Portuguese market based on the local economy and available funds?

At Capgemini Portugal, while we are part of a global organization with a comprehensive suite of services, we understand the critical importance of adapting our offer to the specific needs and conditions of the Portuguese market.

Our global presence provides us with a wealth of expertise and innovative solutions that have been proven successful across various industries and regions. However, we recognize that each market is unique, and as the Head of Life Science, Healthcare, and Manufacturing Industry for Capgemini Portugal, my role involves tailoring our global offer to align seamlessly with the local economy and the available funds.

We leverage the global resources and best practices within Capgemini to bring cutting-edge solutions to our clients in Portugal. Simultaneously, we are committed to a nuanced understanding of the local business environment, economic factors, and budget constraints. This allows us to craft solutions that not only draw on the wealth of our global expertise but are also finely tuned to the specific challenges and opportunities presented by the Portuguese market.

Our approach is characterized by collaboration and flexibility. We engage closely with our clients to comprehend their unique requirements and adapt our global offer accordingly. This ensures that our solutions are not only effective but are also financially viable within the local context.

In essence, Capgemini Portugal seamlessly integrates the advantages of a global organization with a commitment to local relevance. We bring the best of both worlds to our clients – the global resources and expertise of Capgemini, tailored to meet the distinctive needs of the Portuguese market, taking into consideration the local economy and available funds.”


Where do you see Capgemini Portugal heading over the next five years?

As the Head of Life Science, Healthcare, and Industry at Capgemini Portugal, I am excited about the promising trajectory that I envision for our organization over the next five years. Capgemini Portugal is poised for dynamic growth and continued excellence in delivering transformative solutions.

Firstly, we anticipate further strengthening our position as a key player in the technology and consulting space in Portugal. Our commitment to innovation and our ability to adapt to evolving market needs will remain pivotal in this journey. We foresee expanding our portfolio of cutting-edge solutions, leveraging emerging technologies, and continuing to provide unparalleled value to our clients across the life sciences, healthcare, and industrial sectors.

Additionally, Capgemini Portugal is primed to play a significant role in fostering digital transformation within the Portuguese business landscape. We aim to be at the forefront of assisting organizations in navigating the complexities of the digital era, helping them harness the full potential of technology for sustainable growth and competitiveness.

Collaboration will be a cornerstone of our strategy. Over the next five years, I see Capgemini Portugal deepening partnerships with clients, industry stakeholders, and the broader community. By working closely with our clients, understanding their evolving needs, and co-creating solutions, we aspire to be not just service providers but trusted advisors contributing to the success of businesses in Portugal.

In line with the global vision of Capgemini, we are committed to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and continuous learning. This will not only enhance our capabilities but also contribute to the development of a skilled workforce in Portugal.

Furthermore, sustainability and social responsibility will be integral to our business practices. We aim to align our strategies with global and local initiatives, actively participating in the development of a more sustainable and socially responsible future for Portugal.

In essence, I see Capgemini Portugal as a driving force behind positive change, innovation, and digital advancement in the country. Our commitment to excellence, client satisfaction, and social impact positions us for exciting growth and influence over the next five years.