The Team


Abílio Araújo

Executive Director

Joana Lobo
de Araújo

Chairman Abílio Araújo is widely recognised as one of the most successful businessmen in Timor-Leste, with a strong track record at both the national and international levels.

He was born in Aileu (18/10/1949) and graduated in Economics through the Universidade de Lisboa (1977), which he attended on a merit scholarship.

His business career has led him to work mostly in international trade and consultancy, establishing a trade network between Portugal and Portuguese speaking African countries during the late 80’s, while developing business relations in the ex-Soviet Republics during the mid-90’s and also developing joint venture operations in Indonesia. His business operations are head-quartered in Portugal where he has established his vineyards and wine business commercialised through the brand “Encosta das Cegonhas”.

He returned to Timor-Leste after the country’s Independence and went upon realising his vision for his nation's future through the development of the private sector, a key development pillar, by setting up different companies under “SACOM Grupo” and investing substantial resources in them.

Dr Abílio Araújo is also seen as one of the founding fathers of Timor-Leste due to his role in the political life of the country, as one of the leading members of the liberation movement FRETILIN and in the role of 3rd President of FRETILIN and consequently 3rd President of the RDTL.

He is also recognised as a leading intellectual through his work in developing Timor-Leste’s cultural life, through his music, research and writings on Timorese traditional customs, history and folk culture.


Executive Director Joana Lobo de Araújo graduated in Economics through the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (2004), with stints in Italian and Dutch Universities. In 2007 she continued her studies with an executive masters in Management with specialisation in Finance by the Faculdade de Ciências Económicas e Empresariais da Universidade Católica Portuguesa.

She started her career working for one of the biggest insurance companies in Europe, AXA, developing her marketing and sales knowledge, proceeding then to the hospitality sector by becoming an Executive Manager at a renowned Hotel chain in Lisbon, where she developed her operational and leadership skills.

Since September 2009 she has been working within SACOM as a Director, bringing her vast knowledge in Operations, Marketing and Sales, honed in Portugal, to Timor-Leste.

Her Timorese-Portuguese background has allowed her to adapt international standards of excellence to the Timorese context and culture.