Organisations behind a trade mission around Carnival aimed at generating more business for Brazilian IT firms said the balance of the event has been generally positive – even though concrete results are yet to be seen.
Under the project led by trade and investment agency Apex Brasil, some 150 decision-makers from 24 sectors including IT have been brought to Brazil, taking part in several company presentations, visits to different centers of excellence across the country and – of course – the festivities around Carnival such as samba school parades in Rio de Janeiro.
From a technology standpoint, Apex teamed up with suppliers and IT trade body Brasscom and software promotion agency Softex to bring some potential clients from US and Canada. The organizers are not disclosing the names of the companies trying to sell services at the event due to “business security” reasons.
The final figure of how much has been spent to fly over the guests and pitch for services while they are wined and dined across the whole of Brazil is yet to be released by Apex. Last year, the agency has invested about R$ 1m ($597,000) to put the event together, which generated R$ 118.5m ($70.7m) in business over the subsequent 12 months.
“The visit by these guests strengthens their relations with Brazil. The numbers [around] business generated [at the event] should be revealed during the next few days,” said a spokesman for Apex Brasil.
“The technology sector was highlighted at this event, which involved 23 other sectors of the economy, both in the national and international press. The Brazilian and international businesspeople were also enthusiastic about the Brazilian opportunities in the IT sector and the Carnival initiative reinforces Brazil IT+, the IT sector’s branding strategy that has been carried out throughout 2010,” he added.
Guests at this year’s Carnival mission included Christopher Snyder, chief information officer of US-based railroad contractor Hulcher Services. According to Apex, Hulcher already has a contract for services provision with Stefanini IT Solutions. According to the trade body, the deal was signed during the Brasscom Global IT Forum, which took place last June.
Brasscom also invited executives from online recruitment firm Careerbuilder, which is considering to start operations in Brazil. The company is already contracting service desk outsourcing services from a Brazilian company for its operations in the US and Europe.
With the aim of building partnerships and sharing best practice ahead of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, Softex also invited a couple of executives that it considered to be potentially helpful in that respect. Such guests included Doug Powell, manager of corporate security at Canadian electricity provider BC Hydro. The firm was responsible for the plan around energy infrastructure for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.
As Brazil sharpens its focus on the oil industry, Softex also invited Mike Comessotti, director of Canadian software development firm Cendec Systems. Cendec is in the business of software for the oil sector and is also interested in developing a partnership with a Brazilian company.
As for IT in the health sector, another delegate in the mission was the director at the Kaiser’s Health Plan Institute, Matt York. The firm already outsources IT services to Brazil from a supplier, which belongs to Curitiba Offshore.
Image by bcostin licensed under Creative Commons