Overview of the US Brazil BPO Summit in New York

The event, which is part of the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce’s new strategy for promoting more vertical related events, and it was co-hosted with Brasscom, had some notable speakers address a crowd of approximately 80 people, between American and Brazilian businessmen plus a few Brazilian Government officials. And the main message by all speakers was that Brazil, as already known, is one of the “guys” in the spotlight, but it needs to rise to the occasion.  The opportunity is there to be seized and Brazilian policy makers and businessmen need to work fast, because time to market and speed to answer is also part of the equation to be successful.

The event had as its central Keynote, the Standard Chartered Bank Chief Economist, Douglas Smith, who first provided the guests with a rundown in the current American’s economy outlook after almost a year of the governments’ actions around the world and their respective stimulus plans.

Although there seems to have been some improvement, Mr. Smith said that the American economy is far from being out of the woods and that there are still several key economic indicators that show that there is a still rough road ahead. He cited especially the employment scenario and that as an impact not only on direct economic indicator, but also it affects consumer confidence and spending patterns.

Looking at Brazil, he mentioned that much of Brazil’s success is due to its thriving domestic market, which helped the country weather the storm. High level of industrialized goods sales, stimulated by government’s fiscal incentives were probably at the center of stage of keeping the economy moving forward and having positive growth.

But he also mentioned that Brazil should be careful and not let it get to its head, as the economies continue on their bounce back path, global competitiveness will be again a key economic success factor, and that although Brazil has been experiencing enormous exports growth, the country’s total exports only account for a little bit over 1 % of worldwide commerce.

After Mr. Smith, Antonio Gil, President of Brasscom presented some of the positive indicators the country demonstrates in the IT services sector and also addressed some of the challenges the Brazil offer has on the world scale to increase its competitiveness. His presented that the main highlight around the Brazilian value proposition was in specific industry domain knowledge, that because of the diversified economy, producing over 40 strong economic sectors, the Brazilian ingenuity was on even par with any top provider on the block.

Other two special guest speakers were John McCarthy, Vice President and Principal Analyst for Forrester, and David Tapper, Vice President of Outsourcing for IDC. They both agreed that Brazil’s great challenge is related to being more aggressive and applying more sales and marketing muscle. Brazil has a great talent pool, great technical skills, unparalleled cultural alignment, and yet, it still remains as the unknown factor, the hidden jewel. Listen to both of their testimonials on the Interviews section of this blog.

So the big take away from the US Brazil BPO Summit, is that, although Brazil is in a great spotlight, like it has never been before; and it has one of the most popular and enchanting leaders worldwide;  its economy is strong, and is not just an emerging economy any longer, it is a developed one already;  that it has won both of the greatest world sporting events, the Football World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games, the first country to do so back to back, it still needs to understand what it means to be a global competitive player. And for that, it needs to put up or shut up. It needs to not just do the talk, but it also needs to walk the talk.

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