Villas&Golfe Angola
· Manager, Managing director Kinda Angola  · · T. Maria Cruz · P. Edson Azevedo

Tiago Carlos

«Our clients are at the centre of all our decisions»

PMmedia Adv.
He heard about Africa from an early age, particularly about Angola. He was captivated by the vibrant spirit of this «promising, fertile land with an easy smile». He graduated in Geography, although he has yet to work in this field. But he acquired knowledge and skills that have served him well throughout his working life. He later gained an Executive Master’s degree in Visual Merchandising & Store Design. Tiago Carlos entered the world of retail and has since become a ‘retail lover’. He arrived in Angola seven years ago. Among the various projects he has taken on, in 2022 he was offered the challenge to lead Kinda Angola, a leading name in the furniture and decoration segment. And here he is. The managing director gives us an insight into the brand’s ten-year history, a brand present in Luanda, Lisbon, Oeiras, Oporto and Madrid. 

Who is Tiago Carlos?
When I was 18, I joined the Arts Faculty at the University of Lisbon to do a degree in Geography, one of my great academic passions, although I have never used it professionally. But I acquired knowledge and skills that I will carry with me for life – our professional career doesn’t have to be characterised by the degree we choose, but by what we are passionate about. While I was studying, I had my first contact with the retail world, when I worked for one of the big fast fashion multinationals on the market, which allowed me to gain great resilience and drive, more than just paying for my studies. That’s when I became a ‘retail lover’ and realised that this business would dictate part of my professional life.
Having finished my degree in Geography, and in search of stability as a retail manager, I did an Executive Master’s in Visual Merchandising & Store Design at IADE, in partnership with IPAM, in Lisbon. It’s been nearly 15 years of career, so far. Seven years ago, I headed to Angola entranced by new professional challenges and also very much driven by childhood memories and references. Along the way, I qualified in coaching: enabling development and talent in people is probably my ultimate purpose – life will tell. In Angola, I was responsible for the operations of several fashion brands, founded my own company, focused on training and developing people and, in 2022, I was invited to lead Kinda in the country. 

What changes has Kinda recently been through in Angola?
Kinda is ten years old this year. These ten years have enjoyed an incredible, very successful journey. It started out in Luanda and gradually spread to other countries. There are currently nine shops, including Luanda, Lisbon, Oeiras, Oporto and, more recently, Madrid. The last year has been marked by the rebranding of the brand, much more in line with its positioning in the markets, where we stand out for a competitive difference in our products’ design curating and extremely trustworthy service. This step in the brand’s positioning brings us closer to the B2B segment: we are probably the most frequent choice of designers, interior decorators and architects looking for partners in Angola to bring their clients’ dreams to life. This client segment not only sees Kinda’s ability to deliver in a partnership relationship, but also pieces being curated with a high standard of design and quality.   

How many physical Kinda shops are there in Angola at the moment?
We have four shops in Angola, all in the greater Luanda area: the first shop was in Viana, on the Estrada de Catete, which opened in 2013, and that’s where it all began. Later, the Xyami Nova Vida and Xyami Kilamba shops opened and, in 2021, our most recent shop in Angola opened in Belas Shopping. Viana has the largest showroom, with around 4,000 m2 of carefully decorated rooms: probably one of the largest decoration, furniture and interior design displays in the greater Luanda area and, for this reason, the favourite of professionals linked to the creative industry. Nova Vida, Kilamba and Belas Shopping are local shops, sought after by the B2C segment, which is our core business. This is how we started and how we’ve grown.

«It started out in Luanda and gradually spread to other countries»
What kind of services do you offer Kinda customers?
Naturally, we provide the usual services for our business segment and target audience: home deliveries with assembly, as well as a customer service area working from 9am to 6pm, seven days a week, to guarantee excellence throughout the experience of our customers. This team is available by call or via the chat service on our website: This is also the area responsible for measuring customer satisfaction: above all, we look at the NPS (Net Promoter Score), which measures the degree to which our customers recommend us to their friends and family, and we are very pleased with the results. 
But we do more than all this: we have a creative team based in Angola and working on interior design projects in our studios. The process begins with a client briefing, in which tastes, preferences, requirements, must-have items, etc. are noted; this is followed by a visit to the premises by our technical team and we then proceed to draw up the proposal with a mood board, 2D and 3D plans and budgeting. In the final phase, our assembly team joins forces with the creative team and both make the dream happen in our clients’ homes. We’ve had incredible reactions. 

Do Angolan consumers still prefer to shop in shops or have you noticed that online shopping has also become an option?
Our customers know our products well and have a high level of confidence in the range we offer to the market, so yes, buying online is already a very viable and accepted option. Also, because we don’t have a physical presence outside Luanda at the moment, it’s a very valid resource for those in the provinces. We have an equally inspiring website, which is not far behind the physical shop, and easy to use. 

Is design, as well as exclusive furniture, increasingly a constant focus for the company, in order to respond to the needs and demands of today’s consumer?
At Kinda, our customers are at the centre of all our decisions. The Angolan consumer is sophisticated and has exquisite taste. As in other countries, our customers in Angola want the best that the market can offer them in terms of design and interior decoration. This is combined with an African culture of hospitality at home and when dining, where a large, beautifully set table to welcome the family is a must. There are other factors to consider when choosing the range we offer, such as the fact that we live in a country with many summer months, which means we need to make the most of our gardens, terraces and balconies.  

Tell us about your strategy for the coming years, what you envisage in terms of growth, premises.
At Kinda, every decision we make is geared towards a high level of service and an excellent product range, whether in Angola or anywhere else in the world. This is the premise that has allowed the brand to internationalise and, naturally, it will continue to do so. We maintain a firm presence in Angola and are attentive to the opportunities that the market opens up for us, whether through growth online or by opening more physical shops.
We also have a very clear role to play in promoting national production and product development in Angola. Kinda has been encouraging the Angolan community to promote debate around design and the creative industry, an example of which was the By Design project, developed by Ndongo119 – Creative Embassy, in partnership with us. Throughout the month of March 2023, events, talks and workshops took place around the topic of design, where an ecosystem of sharing was fostered between different players in the market: designers, decorators, architects, students, etc. It was a very fertile moment in which it became clear that creativity is buzzing in Angola. 

Complete: The Kinda client is a client who...
Knows that any choice they make with us will always be an excellent choice!
Maria Cruz
T. Maria Cruz
P. Edson Azevedo