If you can’t stop thinking of business ideas even when on vacation, you may want to check out some of these sites and take these guidelines into consideration.
“Brazil is not for beginners”
- Vinicius de Moraes
1 – Smile: When meeting someone for the first time for a presentation, or talking to secretaries on the telephone to arrange appointments, Brazilians will engage with you much more easily if you appear happy and enthusiastic. Too much seriousness will not usually help your progress.
2 – Patience: In Brazil things generally take longer to get accomplished. Even though many Brazilians have international experience in Europe and the US, very often they do not have the same sense of urgency you will be used to. When setting time frames and deadlines for decisions, be sure to build in lots of additional flexibility.
3 – Meet people: sure, Brazilian businessmen love their Blackberries and Palm-pilot PDAs as much as anyone else, however face-to-face communication is 100 times more effective here. Brazilians are big on building trust through personal contacts.
4 – Don’t assume all Brazilians have the same work ethic: Brazil is larger than Europe and each of the 27 states will demand a slightly different approach. As a general rule, the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Santa Caterina and Sao Paulo operate on similar standards to the USA and Europe. The Carioca businessperson from Rio de Janeiro is an entirely different negotiator.
A positive assessment would say he is a very friendly, warm, creative, witty entrepreneur with a large imagination, almost theatrical ability in verbal communication with a highly developed intuitive vision for making money. A negative assessment would state that punctuality and calling you back is not their strength. Given these two assessments, the main piece of advice is BE PATIENT!
5 – Never, ever, try to bullshit a Brazilian when doing business, particularly the Carioca: First of all, it will not work. Any attempt to pull one over on your potential partner/ customer will not only backfire but will also prevent any future dealings with this person and likely anyone he knows.
6 – Bureaucracy: One of the most frustrating aspects of doing business in Brazil. Be prepared to wait in line for long periods of time at government and administrative offices, banks and other services. Bring a book to read.
7 – Mobile phones: do not bother trying to get a post-paid subscription if you are not based permanently in Brazil. Simply buy a pre-paid chip at one of the many mobile operators: TIM, OI and Claro are the most popular. You can rent one.
8 – Bank accounts:
you will not be able to open a bank account unless you have a valid passport, a CPF and a 12-month residence permit. The CPF and residence permit must be applied for at the Policia Federal and can take months to be processed.
9 – Learn some basic Portuguese: it may seem obvious, but even if you make a lot of mistakes, your efforts will be greatly appreciated and progress will be quicker. Look for our language CD “Portuguese For Tourists”, available at:
10 – Trust is extremely important when closing a deal: be prepared to conduct several meetings before a final decision is made. Also, always go for the top decisionmakers: Brazil is big on the hierarchical structures and if the top guy wants something he will override all others.
“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”
- Frank Sinatra (also referring to Rio de Janeiro)
Brazil’s number one leisure tourism destination, Rio is also the most popular business tourism location in Latin America. Riocentro is considered the best and largest convention center in the continent. If you are looking to organize any incentive trips to motivate employees, Rio is the place. For more information on organizing such trips, check out this link:
For a more detailed look at doing business in Rio and the rest of Brazil, it is a good idea to check out the relevant chamber of commerce sites:
If you are thinking of quitting your job, selling everything and investing in Brazil, check out this site:
Marcelo Esteves (UK,ES)
Dynamic Portuguese School
Contact: Jose Hordones