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LATIN AMERICA: "What does it take to win in Brazil? Developing your Market Entry Strategy for Brazi

LATIN AMERICA: "What does it take to win in Brazil? Developing your Market Entry Strategy for Brazil" report. 16-page report by KPMG.

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back to index backLATINtalk March,  2017


Turbulence and triumph in Brazil

A transfer across the Atlantic sees Ghosn hone his reform chops.

The first thing you noticed about Francois Michelin was his height. What you learned by working beside him was that he was also sophisticated, dignified and polite. He was appointed co-owner of the Michelin tire company in 1955 and held that position for more than 44 years. He was much more than the manager of the family business: Michelin's globalization was a result of his acumen and ability.

He offered me a job working at Michelin headquarters under Behrouz Chahid-Nourai, the chief financial officer. Two experiences would be critical to my career. The first was the development of cross-manufacturing -- a principle that would serve me well in this job and all others. This concept emerged based on my analysis of Kleber-Colombes, a tire manufacturer focused on automobiles, vans and farm equipment that Michelin had taken financial control of years earlier. The company was doing poorly, but Michelin didn't want to abandon it. Instead, Michelin absorbed Kleber-Colombes' automobile tire business as a budget brand and utilized the same production line to manufacture both brands.

Another key opportunity was the chance to work with Chahid-Nourai. He taught me the concepts and practices of cutting-edge corporate finance, including the techniques for optimizing resources. Seven years after I joined the company, Francois Michelin sent me to Brazil, which opened a big door for me.

In 1985, I was finally transferred to Rio de Janeiro, where I could be close to my parents and sisters. My family was happy about my new assignment. However, the plight of Michelin Brazil made it far less than an ideal situation. The country was mired in political unrest, dealing with a financial crisis and had, until recently, been ruled by a military regime. Hyperinflation had exceeded 1,000% a year, and businesses there were experiencing massive losses. In fact, huge debt was becoming Michelin's primary concern in Brazil.

Despite these challenges, I considered the country to be a potential treasure trove of opportunity for Michelin. Brazil's natural resources were abundant, and its enormous market potential was comparable to that of China, Russia and India.

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Source: Nikkei Asian Review - GAI






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