Follow the Fellows

¿Será el guaraná? (Would it be guaraná?)



What is the Brazilian secret?  In the ‘90s there was a funny commercial about a soft drink made of guaraná, a common plant in Brazil, in which a girl scored a goal with an overhead kick and celebrated it in a very particular way.

I don’t know yet if the secret of Brazil’s dynamism is guaraná but what is sure, is that the country is facing big challenges as defined in the 2012 Brazil Political Observer, a report from the Edelman Significa Public Affairs team which provides a broad overview of the country’s key development areas.

The study makes quite clear that other nation’s companies wish to do business in this country. What is a bit surprising is that these corporations want to become Brazilian with interests in Spain. This is what is happening with most of the Ibex-35 companies – from Endesa to Iberdrola – as well as Gas Natural or Abertis, to name only a few. They see Brazil as a lever of growth during an adverse economic cycle, and a “new beginning” in a time when brand Spain has started to be seen as a “scarlet letter”.

Besides the “Brazilitiation” of Spanish companies, one of the keys for their success in Brazil is not only an early entry – most of them started their relationship with the country back in the ‘90s – but a healthy competitiveness in a nation with a huge lack of qualified professionals, especially in IT and engineering. For most of them, Brazil is the “promised land” so maybe they will need to drink guaraná for an extra energy shot. With or without the miracle drink, what is unquestionable is that Brazil is going to make Spanish companies very happy in the years ahead.

Veronica Barranco is a Fellow for Edelman in São Paulo, from Madrid.

Image by Gustavo Facci

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