It has been a whirlwind of a week. I have been trying to soak in as much as I can while drinking off the fire hose. We arrived in São Paulo on Saturday, spent some time touring the city, and got some rest for the week ahead. While a memorable week for me, this has been a historic week for Brazil.
On Sunday, millions of Brazilians took part in peaceful demonstrated throughout Brazil. There is a great deal of frustration with the current government and the extreme corruption that has been revealed by the Petrobras scandal. One million demonstrators came out in São Paulo alone. Many of the people we have met with this week, including executives, felt compelled to come out with their families because of the importance of what is happening now for the future of their country and their families.
Our group has been traveling and visiting with multinational firms. On Monday, we visited Cummins Brazil along with Natura, a Brazilian company that creates and markets cosmetics. Both had very interesting tours. On Tuesday, we were hosted by Whirlpool Latin American and Eli Lilly & Co. Brazil where we received insightful information about their strategies to doing business here in Brazil. We then met with business students and professors at FGV, a leading business school here and we discussed international strategy. On Wednesday we wrapped up the São Paulo leg of our trip by heading to Eaton Corporation’s South American Headquarters where we toured their facilities and met with leaders including the general manager of Hydraulics’ Business South America, an alum of the Kelley Evening MBA Program.