The global management of Teleperformance has been meeting this week in São Paulo, Brazil, giving me a chance to take a look around this huge city and to meet some local people in possibly the most vibrant of the BRICs nations.
São Paulo is huge. The first thing I noticed – like most visitors – is that it can take a long time to get around. With around 20m people living in the city and surrounding suburbs, this makes it something like 3 times the size of London. And London is certainly not small.
Teleperformance has 14,000 agents working here in Brazil, almost entirely focused on serving local clients. Which is really interesting because when you read a lot of the debate about contact centres in Latin America it tends to focus on the offshoring model – companies in the US sending customer service work down south.
But Brazil is different – this is a place where companies in Europe and the US should be looking to sell their products because it’s still booming despite the financial troubles of the past few years. Brazil’s economy grew by 7.5% last year, and though it is expected to only grow by 5% this year that growth still compares positively to many other regions still struggling to escape the crash of 2007/08.
As I travel around the city I can see so many business opportunities that I’m really pleased to know Teleperformance is already doing a lot of work here. The hi-tech IT industry is a great example. Last year $165.7 bn was spent on IT here in Brazil, with over $85bn of that being on software and services, yet only $2.4bn of that spend was for services that were exported, meaning almost all this spending is by local companies for local technology systems – incredible!
Brazil is such an enormous opportunity for anyone working in a global business today that it just can’t be ignored. And with such a friendly culture where people love nothing more than enjoying beer and football on the beach, what could be better?