And just like that, the trip is over. Having “graduated” from FGV’s Doing Business in Brazil course, I am now ready to tackle the professional world as a fully educated Sao Paulan. My classmates and I spent the past 48 hours reminiscing about the experience, what we learned, what we saw, and what it would be like to truly do business with this emerging market. Although it was an amazing experience and extremely educational, we generally all agreed on one thing … don’t do business in Brazil.
Ok, to be fair, that statement really deserves a “yet” on the end of it. Most of our teachers talk about the upcoming opportunities and how to navigate them today. But what they are really saying, once you read through the lines, is that the possibility will exist in the future, but not yet. Maybe 10-15 years is all it will take, but there is quite a bit of internal business that needs to get worked out before I take my next business venture down there. At US$12 for a Big Mac Meal, Brazil is not ready for FiveDollarLiving.com quite yet.
It was a great experience, and a ton of fun, I highly recommend anyone else attend the FGV program and join me in the ranks of Brazilian graduates. As for me, I rejoin to the real world tomorrow and am already thinking about what teachings I can be brought back with me here (besides the corn off the cob street vendor … whom I already miss very dearly).
Obrigado, Sao Paulo.