rené schaap
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René Schaap
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How i work in Brazil - part 02

How i work in Brazil - part 02, Networking and doing Busines
In 2007 i decided to emigrate to Brazil. But i was (and i still am) company owner for 50% of the company Connecting Media and also was responsible for all crossmedia productions we do with this company. Because i became 12000 km parted from my my home office in Hilversum, The Netherlands. We had to solve some things to maintain our service, and even make it better. Being far from my home country, i missed my colleagues and friends and the way i worked, it made me invent and search for solutions to be as close as possible. I write this series of articles so that others can maybe pickup some ideas if they come in front of a similar situation.

How I Work - Connecting Media

Because of my move to Brazil we have to change the company, we also had to change how we worked ourselves. And that was just the part of the projects in The Netherlands. To work in Brazil and also extend our business in South America was another thing that was on our list now. We called it an opportunity in stead of a problem. To do business you need clients and deliverers. So how we going to arrange that? In first we started to write to some delivers…… in the english language because we did not know how to do that in Portuguese. The communication was about a real job, renting 10 XDcam professional video players for the Formula 1 at Interlagos São Paulo. I wrote to more than 10 companies that could have this equipment for rent. After some weeks i got 2 replies from the 10 i did send. The reply was in Portuguese and the message was that they did not have this equipment for rent. Meanwhile a third deliverer who i knew already very well, went behind my back directly to my client and delivered them the video equipment.

How I Work - Formula 1 PLAYOUT
Formula 1 , The ‘PLAYOUTS’ we did not delivered

GREAT! (NOT) So, the communication in english did not went very well, because those deliverers were not capable of understanding my question or were afraid to answer in english. And i loose my first opportunity because a so called ‘partner’ steals my new client behind my back….. Lessons Learned! What now? I just need to be more smart, learn more about the (business) culture and do not play open cards any more with so called partners…. nb: it happened to me a second time some years after, i played open cards with a partner… this parter stole my client and the job for a website. Amazing!!!! That for me was the donkey and stone story :)

How I Work - Not like teh Donkey and the Stone

Meanwhile i got some jobs by family and friends, small jobs but nice to learn about doing business in Brazil. To network we became a member of Dutcham, The Dutch chamber of commerce in São Paulo. We thought we could extend our Brazilian network by them, but also the Dutch network in being a member, in the end this did not bring what we needed because it feels for me their focus is just on big companies like KLM, Philips, Heineken and Unilever and not small ones like ours. I learned that a lot of Dutch companies who are doing business in Brazil and even had offices or factories in Brazil by LinkedIn. We made some very nice contacts here and even a first interactive webcast job by a student at that time on the FGV university in São Paulo. Because of this job we were mentioned by another dutch company who produces the worldwide events Sencity. For them we did a nice live streaming production between Rotterdam and São Paulo in 201 from the MAM.

How I Work - Sencity São Paulo webcast
Webcast Sencity, São Paulo

Next we started to visit some exhibitions about our line of business. At the AES Brasil we met mr. Danny Littwin with his company New York Digital. A New Yorker, but now living in Brazil and like me an Audio-engineer and also married with a Brazilian woman. By Danny we got to work at the UFC events in Brazil. Because of our Dutch partner Multi-Link Holland we work since 2011 every year at the Formula 1 at Interlagos São Paulo, assisting with the main international TV feeds for EBU. By having contact with the Dutch consulate in São Paulo we produced an Interactive webcast for them, Urban Mobility.

How I Work - UFC Rio de Janeiro
Broadcast Audio engineering at UFC, Rio de Janeiro, Bello Horizonte & São Paulo

So, now we have some regular jobs in Brazil….. but just one of them was done for a Brazilian company. All the other jobs were for foreign companies. And to make the story short… this hardly changed in past 7 years overhere. We mostly work for foreign companies, why? We think it is all about communication and culture. the Brazilian culture is totally different than from the American and European culture, and also in doing business. A lot of business between companies and people here is done by family or friends from the family or friends from friends etc etc. It is of course possible as non friend or family member to do business here but it is not easy. It is also true that Brazilians think that we are more expansive, because we are foreigners… that does not really help in getting jobs.

My findings is that if your are following a lead, and you have had 3 times a lunch with them to talk about doing business with that company, it means… we are not going to do business.For Brazilians it is not polite to say no, so they never will tell you this. That is why we never received any communication anymore after we send a proposal, because when you loose the bid, they will not tell you this….. it is not polite.

How I Work - GE #DRONEWEEK Rio de Janeiro
Webcast GE #Droneweek, Rio de Janeiro

Another thing was arranging meetings. I am Dutch, so when i do a meeting i communicate this far (weeks) in front if possible. On the day it self i appear in time, that means at least 15 minutes before the meeting happens. The first time i appeared at a meeting, 15 minutes before the actual meeting that we agreed 3 weeks before, the lead was surprised i was there. Because it is normal after you make an appointment 3 weeks before, to check a day before if the meeting still will go on. In this case, they never expected me, because i did not call them the day before. We decided by all our findings and experiences with Brazilian Leads that our aim would be foreign companies at first. This will give us a head start already because of communication… in English, German or Dutch.

One thing that you can use in getting a deal is that Brazilians often think that products or productions from foreigners means also more quality…. it also means again we are more expansive. My experience is that some choose for quality… and choose the foreigner.

How I Work - Broadcast Brazil

Our problem was also local network. Brazil is HUGE! We needed a tool to acces more contacts. We created ourselves an online marketing tool. And it was called What is this You will read on the website that it is all about broadcast and in the english language. By this website we get network contacts, leads and clients. How? Ok here it comes. We aim here for Brazilian Audio visuals and we push them a little to start to read in english about the things they like… their job. They can become a member so they will be put with their profession and contact information on the website and social channels, good for them! But also for us, because we started to know about those english speaking Brazilian audio visuals. Besides that we started to connect with them by linkedIN. This all worked out pretty nice. We get big and small leads by this website, the website even delivered jobs for foreign broadcasters for some members and we get more contacts with Local and foreign Broadcast companies and people.

How I Work - #RIO2016 facebook LIVE for NBC
Webcast facebook at the Olympic Games 2016, Rio de Janeiro

We have nowadays nice local partners in Brazil like Roeland van der Manden (he is dutch) from Amsterdam productions in Rio de Janeiro and Shane Glen (he is Australian) from Soulpics Photography in Socorro. And we got some new international clients from USA who do business in Brazil. And even some local companies. The Tool works… and we have some more nice plans for it in the near future.

We learned to do business in Brazil by hitting our nose against the wall several times overhere… pretty hard. The so called Brazilian ‘partners’ never worked out for us and even cost us time and a lot of money. For others it might can work out. Our marketing tool combined with our local partners, regular network meetings and visiting events connected to our type of business did show a rise in our local Brazilian productions. It helped to translate our website in Portuguese… and also doing our socials posts on facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN in the portuguese language. Most important is to read, write and speak basic Portuguese because almost nobody here can do that in english, it is the most tough part of all.

Ah… and never give up!

Check here some video we made in Brazil:

Check here some live webcast productions we did in Brazil:

Overall i like to do business here in Brazil, learning this Brazilian way and also innovate our methods in getting new local clients. The knowledge we got helped us further. You must be patience to get the result you want.
Next time i will talk about some productions we did in Brazil and their difficulties we just can have in Brazil and how we solved them.

Understandig What Brazilians Really Mean
Connecting Media
FGV webcast
Dutch consulate in São Paulo, Urban Mobility.
New York Digital
Amsterdam productions
GE #DRONEWEEK Rio de Janeiro

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