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Business School celebrates success of Doing Business in Brazil

06 Jun 2012

The Export Council of Australia and the University of Sydney Business School joined forces to celebrate the success of the Doing Business in Brazil Consulting Project at an exclusive cocktail event recently, which reunited the companies and Business School graduates involved in the international business project.

Hosted by HSBC Bank Australia, the event was an opportunity for the students to follow up with the networks they formed while completing the module in Brazil and to discuss their experiences with key experts who assisted them during their consultancy projects.

Designed to foster an understanding of doing business in Brazil, the international business project allowed students the unique opportunity to travel to Sao Paulo, where they worked on real life business projects for five Australian companies. The companies, from a variety of industries, were sourced by the Export Council of Australia and selected by the Business School to expose the students to the full diversity of Brazil's markets. They comprised Flip Screen Australia, Gloria Jean's Coffees International, McWilliams Wines Group, Steber International and Zanerobe. The collaborations saw the students apply their master's degree knowledge to real life business projects, through assessing the opportunities for these companies to do business in the Brazilian market.

Held in the HSBC Centre at the heart of Sydney's CBD, the Business School students and representatives from a number of organizations heard addresses from Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Export Council of Australia, Professor Sid Gray, the group's academic adviser, James Hogan, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Bank Australia Limited and Alistair Cowie, a Business School alumnus who completed the Brazil business program in February.

Master of Marketing graduate, Alistair Cowie, undertook an analysis of the opportunities and challenges that exist in the Brazilian marine industry during his time in Sao Paulo. He worked with Australian boat building company Steber International, which builds high quality luxury recreational power boats as well as fishing, rescue and patrol boats.

Understanding the many dimensions of Brazil's economy and culture, said Alistair, is of paramount importance if Australian exporters are to leverage the extensive opportunities that exist in Brazil, an emerging market which holds great prospects for foreign trade and investment in the future.

"Brazil has a strongly developed marine industry paired with a booming economy. Despite the language barriers and corporate bureaucracy challenges we encountered, we were able to provide practical advice to Steber International which demonstrated how the environment is conducive to the entrance of Australian companies and their products. Helping to expand the company globally was extremely satisfying and rewarding."

"The students which comprised our small cohort each brought their own experiences and knowledge. We made many friendships and the cocktail event was an exceptional opportunity to strengthen those ties and discuss our experience of Brazil in a very positive atmosphere."

Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Export Council of Australia, is a fervent advocate of the Business School's Doing Business in Brazil program and commented that the collaboration brought enduring benefits to all involved.

"Supporting initiatives such as these are extremely important to the Export Council of Australia and we are delighted to be working with the Business School" he said. "We like to be able to see our constituents have research done for them into global opportunities, while at the same time the students receive valuable knowledge of interesting markets."

"The students were able to demystify the Brazilian business environment, especially in terms of regulatory barriers and risks. The companies who received the business reports were extremely pleased with the information and first-hand insights they received."

Furthermore, Mr Murray reflected on the importance of collaboration between industry and education on a global scale and the significance of networking events in continuing to reinforce those relationships.

"The Export Council of Australia is delighted to be working with the university on a project which we believe has brought and will continue to bring so many benefits to a wide range of people," he said.  "I hope there is continued communication between all parties involved in the Doing Business in Brazil project."