@KatapultGroup was privileged to interview the former CEO to the USA and now a C-suite leader with one of Brazil’s largest software companies.
The goal of the interview was to understand any best practices, particularly in the context of Brazilian entities. We also asked for tips and tricks. We hope the summary below will serve as inspiration and provide some guidance with your endeveors as it relates to the US-market.
– the firm was committed long term, the CEO was behind it! In fact they were so committed that one of the founders moved to the USA later.
– it took longer than they thought (~12-18 months) but then they started growing very fast and hit their numbers.
– due to the long wait for results they faced some tough challenges and internally there were some “tough negotiations”, but they were fully committed to making it happen and endured!
– today they have a lot fewer customers, but much bigger customers, than in Brazil
– they went to the USA with 2 american customers already contracted (served from Brazil but the contract being with the US entity)
– they situated themselves close to the largest US customer and the focus was to grow the us customer from within before expanding too much. It was really a Key Account role.
– the person sent to the USA had been with they firm for ~8 years and reported directly to the CEO
– The hardest thing: Hiring! This continues to be a struggle, particularly hiring sales folks. Their operation is still very Brazilian staffed.
– Hiring a Sr. Person vs a young team? It’s very hard to attract the right talent with no revenue and no brand. Also to get the Sr. guys it is very very expensive.
– The opportunity in the USA is unimaginably big! BUT, competition is much fiercer. “It makes selling in Brazil a piece of cake”.
– It takes time to get relationships but it is worth it and you should make it a goal
Tips to other Brazilians wanting to go abroad:
– hire help to relocate, admin, etc. He made it work but it was very hard on the family and he spent a lot of time figuring the basics out
– Don’t base your international expansion on the exchange rate. You need to commit yourself fully and think long term.
What can organizations and the Brazilian government do to improve the opportunities for firms and their international expansion?
– Short term: Make the Brazilian system less complex to deal with as a business
– Longer term: Better education, i.e. ensuring that graduates speak better english and are trained better in the skills that are required
– Promoting Exchange Programs is something the Goverment should continue to do. Students returning from Brazil come back with better skills and rich experiences.
@KatapultGroup will continue to expand on our insights as they relate to Brazilian firms entering and growing in the USA.
To get in touch with us please email us at hello@KatapultGroup.com or call us at +1.844.528.2785