A look on Brazil issues

Respect for local culture.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on November 23, 2008

Brazilians are enjoying a series of posts about India in the blog

This is a very good initiative as the so called Brics should really know each other better.

Last post was on India tradition of arranged marriages, still real for this country. In India culture a pre-planned marriage is a symbol of love.

PepsiCo respected the local scent and made a TV ad on its product Kurkure in the middle of the presentation of the groom to the family. The bride’s father analyses the groom and think that he is apparently very “delicate”. The groom eats Kurkure and starts performing a real “macho”, then convincing everyone. See the ad below.

That’s why PepsiCo leads the Indian “cola” market instead of Coca Cola. Coca Cola’s ads follow the world campaign and do not pay attention to local culture.

The reading of this post on PepsiCo respect for local culture in India reminded me of the recent movie The Hulk (2008) and its disrespect for Brazil’s “guarana”, a local soda. Guarana drinks and sodas are very popular in Brazil (where guarana is considered to be a health tonic), almost as popular as cola-based sodas. Sweet, carbonated guarana drinks include the popular brands Guaraná Antarctica, Guaraná Brahma, and Kuat (from Coca-Cola Company).

The first scenes of Hulk are located in Brazil, at the Rocinha (favela) and at a factory that produces “guarana”. Some errors are made at these scenes in Brazil. Movie’s enthusiasts already have noticed it: 1) packages of guarana bottles where ‘Brasil / U.S.A’ is printed on the side to show its destination. However, while Brasil is depicted with its Portuguese spelling, the acronym for the United States of America in Portuguese is ‘E.U.A.’ for Estados Unidos da América, not ‘U.S.A.’. 2) During the Brazil chase scene, the time of day appears to change from night to day and back to night again.

These are not the main mistakes however. The idea of a country whose native product, the so called guarana, is produced under so bad circumstances that a drop of Hulk blood falls into a bottle is an incredible (Hulk) mistake. Brazilian Guaraná is distributed in 1 million points of sales in Brazil and it is the third major world market of sodas. Today, the guaraná flavor is the 4th most consumed in the world and Guaraná Antarctica is among the 15 sodas most sold in the planet. Of course you will see Coca Cola in a lot of scenes of this movie. Bad marketing.

Hulk script is not just disrespectful to Brazil culture but also to people’s I.Q.

See the good PepsiCo Indian movie made by JWT ad agency in India.


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While some are recognized for their world peace effort…

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on October 11, 2008

Today Brazil, among other countries in the G20 team, is discussing with industrialized G7 countries what has to be done to rescue the financial industry. It is very interesting to see how difficult is to the countries to put their different perspectives together.

The French finance minister, Christine Lagarde has said yesterday: “Don’t imagine that we’ll have a harmonized response that will be the same for everybody because you can’t apply the same method to different market situations.”

Japan is concerned about damage the financial crisis not of its own making (italic is ours) can provoke in its industry and, consequently, in its biggest banks that heavily lend to industry. Italia asks for a tougher plan or they will not sign it.

Germany is reluctant, fearing that an agreement to nationalize banks would end up bailing out the banks of its neighbors. Britain demands coordinated guarantees and waves to other countries deposits (hey, come here, trust me, and come to our British-style guarantee of loans…).

Outside G7 or G20, the same conflicts. Inside USA, McCain starts the campaign “Chicago way” denouncing bad partners of Obama, as terrorists leader, another corrupted person and so on, with the alert: “There’s more you need to know”. Are them trying to overcome crisis with another one? Inside Italy, a politic criticizes Berlusconi telling that the crisis is not a “disco” where he can say jokes.

Blogs are full of comments of ordinary people, in the same tune as London: “Why should we pay for their crisis?”, “I told you so”. Now the State will pay the bill which means that we, the people, will pay the bill with our taxes, while all this time just banks had profits. In Brazil, bloggers are criticizing Lula’s speech: go for a big Christmas shopping, my people.

All these scenes, initiatives, words and people should stop for a while and look to other side, other scenes, not so glamorous and poorly announced by media, but most important than these, in two steps.

First: we should change our position from critics to respect and support. What about the Japanese traditional salutation to start this change?

Second: we would have to listen to the men that are being celebrated this week for their work on peace among nations.

The first one is Kofi Annan that received Westfalia Peace Prize in German and that also received Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. His words: international financial markets are guided by an old-fashioned system that must be changed.

The other is the Former President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, who has worked to end conflicts in troubled spots around the world for more than three decades, and that won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. He had an important role helping to resolve disputes involving delicate matters of ethnicity, religion and race. After knowing about his indication as 2008 Nobel Peace Prize he said: “I hope this… tells about our society and what is important to us.”

Many have been said about peace.

Now it is time to remember the actions, plans and words of those who performed peace through all these years of neo-liberal policies, in order to bring harmony to the mind of the people that led our countries economy and decide about the money energy flow in the world.

1st picture: Luke McGregor/Reuters. “Demonstrators clashed with police in the financial district of London on Friday” (on New York TImes article from Oct 10th, 2008).

2st picture: Takeo Nakazono, center, president of Yamato Life Insurance, at a conference Fryday in Tokyo. Kyoto, via Reuters. (on New York Times article from Oct 10h, 2008).

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Nova Jerusalém

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on March 22, 2008

paixao_de_cristo_pe_08_f_007.jpgpaixao_de_cristo_pe_08_f_012.jpgpaixao_de_cristo_pe_08_f_011.jpgThe biggest open air event in the world, according to Brazilian press, is the Holy Week celebration at Nova Jerusalém, a city located in Pernambuco, a northeast Brazilian state. 2008 is its 41st edition and about 80 thousand people are supposed to watch the spectacle this week, that involves a thousand artists among main charaters and others. The open air theather has 100 thousand square meters. Artists move thru diversified scenarios during the death and ressurrection of Christ, while assistants follow their steps, watching the presentation. The presentations started March 15th and go thru March 22nd. A real and astonishing religious effort of everyone that is involved.

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Holy Week

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on March 21, 2008

seville.jpgThousands of  people participate these days in the moving religious processions, remembering Christ´s suffer carrying the cross. I was looking to Seville (picture at the side of this post) religious movement this week and started reflecting on the diplomatic conflicts Brazil and Spain are facing these last weeks because of the deported Brazilian students from Spain, as they were not accepted by the Spain´s custom procedures.  

Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs declared that Spanish people cannot eat the whole cake, all the time, meaning that they are buying a lot of business in Brazil and should care about building a relationship too, and not just profits. Spain is the 2nd biggest investor in Brazil – 1,6 billion dollars invested up to August 2007. The recent behavior of the king of Spain with Venezuela´s President, telling him: “Por que no te callas?” (“Why don´t you shut up?”) in a public debate, does not favour Spain ceremonial in Latin America. 

This is not the real issue however. Brazilians and Spanish people are just now carrying decorative floats adorned with statues of Jesus carrying the cross through the streets. By doing this, they are  making a public demonstration of karuna, compassion, the desire to free all beings from suffering. Is all that just a rethoric? I would prefer to quote Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S.: “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

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Blog change!

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 26, 2008

This blog was imported on Feb2008 from coachnadiva´s weblog. The idea was to improve its purpose and characteristics. Hope you enjoy it and go on being part of it.

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Brazil is seduced by technology

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 16, 2008

Brazil is completely enchanté with technology. Campus Party has just happened here (february 2008) and everyone feels like Bill Gate´s son, trying to make a blog, to increase posts and so on. Everyone is asking everyone: how do you do that? what is technorati? what is rss? It came to my mind the video where a monk introduces another one to what is a book…

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A lesson to learn: hot to hijab

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 10, 2008


Summer travel season lasted 36 days in Brazil this year, against the average of 60 days in previous years. It seems that anyone can have excellent prices for hotels and all that is connected with tourism in February. As Carnival was anticipated, you can find prices from off season travel – Season´s Discount Travel Packages (minimum 15%), without problem now. Summer is spectacular; the beaches are all there, fully prepared to receive tourists in their best way: good food, excellent hotels and so on.

On the other hand, Carnival is a big business down here. Around 700 thousand people came just for Carnival party in Rio, where summer will end with 2.5 million tourists from December 2007 to March 2008, and income of US$ 500 million.

Besides the great business perspectives, we have to regret how many women get naked for nothing during these days. It shouldn’t be that way, if not for a self-respect concept, at least for a business idea. Maybe we could balance with some weeks of how to hijab, just two months before Carnival, in order to neutralize these raw ingredients that account for our country culture and costumes. But this is just a free thinking exercise, not a solution at all. Thanks God, we have a free society, with happy people and splendid nature. Let’s free women to be naked and enjoy. Maybe when they become to have higher income, seriously considering entrepreneurship, leadership, culture and the real business Carnival is, they will choose other behaviors.

Carnival is not just Rio. Salvador received in 2007, around 420 thousand tourists and the State moved R$ 500 million during the six days of Carnival. Not just beaches have their share in this big business. Minas Gerais was expecting around 500 thousand tourists; it means the double of 2007 figures. One could exercise strong numbers like that in other areas of the country.

Carnival in Brazil is not just tourists. The production line connected to Carnival – produce clothes, allegoric cars and so on, is heavy too. A 2000 study, updated for 2006, indicated, just in the city of Rio, that Carnival moved R$ 685MM, being R$ 298MM just for people involved in this productive chain, that had around 265 thousands job positions and 470 thousands employed people during carnival period.

Carnival business area, different from women, is modest and does not expose its astonishing performance. It should be necessary to discuss and organize the area in order people could invest and profit. Maybe in 2008 we had a coup de grâce in this direction. One of the “samba schools”, called Vai Vai, composed its song inspired by a play written by a Brazilian big shot (Antonio Ermirio de Morais, Votorantim group): “Wake up, Brazil!” This will call attention of business communities from Brazil and other countries. It is a first step to unveil this big business area down here. The other subject brought by the song was education – a enormous area of investment in Brazil.

“Hello Brasil, our people wants more education to be happy!”

(one verse of the Vai Vai song).

See the performance:,,GIM778923-7822-N-VAIVAI,00.html

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Posted by Nadiva Olivier on January 2, 2008

2008 starts in a very good shape for Brazil. Los Angeles Times (Dec 31st, 2007) changed their mind about Brazil being the “country of the future”, with its article “Brazilian economy is finally coming of age”, by Chris Kraul. Brazil Leads Way in the Americas” is another article on the same subject, dated Jan 2nd, 2008, where Antonio Regalado (The Wall Street Journal) makes evaluations and comparisons on Brazil and other Latin America countries.

Some points they outline must be listed for a more clear vision on the subject:

– Brazil Economic growth will come in at 5.3 percent for 2007, lower than the hemisphere’s 5.7 percent, but quite a feat for a country that over the previous 10 years averaged only 2.5 percent annual expansion.

– Geoffrey Dennis, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets, says investors are putting money into Mexico as they take profits in Brazil, but in 2008, “he sees shares again advancing strongly in Brazil and Peru, and he has a neutral rating on Mexico.”

– Petrobras announced it had discovered what may be the world’s largest oil find in 25 years in Brazil’s offshore Tupi field. Tupi could propel Brazil into the ranks of significant oil exporters.

The good scenario is not exactly a coming of age, however. This country did not have a rite of passage that could justify that. It lacks a lot of decisions and actions concerning infrastructure, education and so on. Business community has to deal daily with the perspective of lack of energy, lack of logistic support and other old problems like workers’ policies, law profile on education, etc.

If there is not a rite of passage, so how could we come to this point? To be in the great world investors flows is one of the factors to be considered. Others factors were already commented in last post – good people, that deals gracefull to the lack of a lot of important things and succeed, huge stock of resources and a strong demand for a lot of things. Brazilians are not that big as China or India consumers (both over 1 billion people) but most of Brazilians are “real consumers”. They are hungry for any innovation they can afford. And banks, oh! They are so happy offering credit down here and profiting a lot with the highest interest rates in the world.

Conclusion: a country to be evaluated with enthusiasm in 2008.

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Posted by Nadiva Olivier on December 31, 2007

le-ballet-des-grandes-aigrettes.jpgAt this December 31st, 2007, as always happens when the year ends, we are in the mood to make reflections, to establish our wish list and to evaluate the value of the year that is ending.  

Business… There is a great future for this country – Brazil – although it is still the last GNP among the BRICS. Some countries and groups are already connected to main stream that brings venture capital or solid investments to Brazil. Our growing taxes are around 5%  this year. Ok, ok, it is not 11,5 like China or around 7 like India and Russia but it is very much more promising than the around 2,6 for UE or 2,1% to US. It is obvious that 2,1 for US is much much more than our 5 but, when you consider vitality index, this is something to think about. 

United Kingdom is a good example. Its representatives decided to double economic relations with Brazil in the next two years and some decisions are already planned. Two commercial missions are still planned to North and Northeast.  Brazil’s Real State area is supposed to double the estimated GNP rate in 2008. Prudential Real State Investors, that manages assets of US$ 60 billion, had just landed here through the partnership with a local engineering company. Those who track trends can tell you about a lot of other areas with intriguing opportunities down here. 

If someone asked me why invest in Brazil and not in China and India, promising countries among the BRICS, I would say: try our people. They are really good partners. Entrepreneurship and a diplomatic way of being are special qualities in this world in constant turbulence. Other reasons? Resources. We are not supposed to have natural resources, we indeed have them and they are of a special quality. We lack of technology and research investment. But you have it, right? So come on, baby! Let’s dance a real mambo together…excuse me: I mean samba! Forget about beautiful women, Carnival and all those childish factors we are so naively proud about. Think about the gift that is a land with a people that has grown up surrounded by all these abundant resources and that is fond of life. Still. Try our people and our land but please respect both of them. Do not bring alien ideas. Experience the richness that we have here. You will do well for you and for us. And the world will profit of it. This country is so invigorating for the uncommon variety of choice selections you can have here.  

Politics could be considered as a sort of risk in Brazil. Nevertheless, all noise made by Venezuela’s blasé clown Chavez, Colombia’s FARC and neighbourhood countries signs a frame of risky situations that can establish the perfect environment for our actual President take it desired place in the Safety Council of the UN, don’t you think so? So, don’t worry about it. He will play by the books. Just follow next two years facts and try to be next to the politicians in order to influence them in the safe and peace way they had already been. Consider another information: catholic bishops are very well received in Brasilia. They are working for a “continental mission”, as suggested by last coming of Bento XVI do Brazil, in oder to awake people and catholic institutions all over the continent on the need of an evangelization mission. So, God is at our side too.

No more business talking. Hope you have a good partner at your side to cheer with this night. Love is a great thing to live and nobody should miss the chance. Human beings are splendorous also. When all that fantastic fireworks enlighten the night in your city, in a “salute” vibe to 2008, think about how gorgeous is to find yourself still here, enjoying this magnificent world. Humans can offer real joy to each other when they are invited so. 

An astonishing 2008 for you! Salute!

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Sao Paulo: the 20th richest city in the world in 2020.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on October 29, 2007

Sao PauloI live in Sao Paulo and I am very aware of how rich and diverse this city can be. When I go to New York I feel the same. Diversity, a wide mix of different business, a big offer of cultural experiences, a brain stock that challenges all areas of knowledge, an ambitious energy that go for more every day. If you come to Sao Paulo and come back a year later, you will find a different city: new buildings made in a few months, new restaurants, new cozy places, new business trends, new seminars… It is the intelligent life itself happening here. People from every country in the world are coming here for business. 

A person that is not familiarized with the city and has not someone to help is really challenged to live and make business here. The city has no urban planning that has guided its growing in the past, so the first obstacle will be the million avenues and streets, and traffic signs. If someone that really knows the city is at your side, this will be easily understood in some days. There are business regions here and things start to become easier if someone make a business map for you in the first place. I will never forget the experience of a Cuban, a fellow in a Seminar in the northeast, which asked me to present him the city with the restriction that he had just three hours between two flights. It was a challenge that makes me discover a great solution: this business map. From that point of view, he understood quite well the whole city and its possibilities despite just visiting two or three places by car. 

If you are a business person coming to Brazil for the first time, your destiny should be here. Meetings with people in your business area can be arranged in order you can evaluate your possibilities and possible partners for the first steps. To give you and idea I have to mention similar job for Brazilian businessmen that wanted to be in touch with potential partners in Mercosul. I arranged meetings in Buenos Aires during 15 months, looking for at least four partners for each business. There is a big difference to do that in Buenos Ayres and in Sao Paulo. Let’s imagine that we are talking about furniture business. I can find two wholesalers, two or three retail proprietors and maybe an investor, in Buenos Ayres. In Sao Paulo, you will find a lot of wholesalers, diverse offer of different retail business, many investors and also different and exquisite strategies for you to start in this country.

The secret in Buenos Ayres is to have the right connections with a quite static business pyramid. In Sao Paulo it is important to have the right connections but most of all you have to look for the right approach, to define a strategy and then starting to build proper relationships with anticipation of a few months, before the meeting. That is why just come to an exposition, or a fair, doesn’t make a great difference for business targets. Be in a fair can be a good step but it is not the whole thing definitely. 

If you do not have time to prepare these steps and do not have time, you have to delegate it to someone here so you can build a good relationship with possible partners. I can give you an example. The CEO of a lipstick company came to Sao Paulo to evaluate her business possibilities in Brazil. She had a lot of meetings, no time for pleasure (what is a waste of time in a so rich and cultural city like Sao Paulo) and was really stressed when met us in our office. I started offering her a good explanation of the production and commercial chain for the beauty industry in Brasil, and the particular aspects of this business and product in Sao Paulo. She has a very good product and had added value to a very common product. The market as not used to the special and different product she had. She would have to invest in direct mail supported by viral marketing in order to allow people to know and test her product without expending a lot of money. She realized also that the travel should be more profitable if she had come two months before to participate in a beauty exposition that was held in Sao Paulo, and also organizing a business roundtable with five companies that would really appreciate the added value of her product. 

Sao Paulo is a dense forest that you have to approach as a clever hunter. A naïve or traditional approach is not appropriated. The projections for the future indicate that Sao Paulo is going to be the 20th richest city in the world in more ten years. It is a treasure you have to discover first. Plan your trip to this city in 2008 in order to enjoy the most interesting opportunities.

P.S. In the last State of World Population 2007 – 30rd UN report on this issue – it is written that “in 2008… for the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas.” Growing and very populous cities like Sao Paulo must be managed carefully in order not to increase social and economic problems. In Sao Paulo, a very interesting social movement was born to deal with this challenge, discovering and discussing ways to make another Sao Paulo (“outra sao paulo”), avoiding existing problems. You can see their propositions at


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