Doing Business in Brazil: Interview with Yvan Bernardin

Interested in investing in Brazil but you do not know how? We interviewed Yvan Bernardin, founder of BERNARDIN Brazil Business Development, to find out how his company can help companies enter the Brazilian market.

According to Mr. Bernardin, it is the perfect time for European investors to invest in Brazil: “Experts say that in 2015 the Brazilian growth will only be 1% or -0.5%. It is very important to not be too scared by this numbers as this is a macro-economic aspect. Investors should take more into consideration micro-economic factors because if you want to make an accurate decision you have to look at other aspects like the position on the market of your company and its potential. For example, the digital market will increase by 25% in 2015. That is very interesting for a company that operates in this filed or even sells products though internet to come to Brazil. Everything depends on your market.

For Mr. Bernardin, there are three main reasons why a company should invest in Brazil right now:
1) Brazil is bounded to be a fast growing market: There is no doubt that the Brazilian economy will bounce back quickly as there are many opportunities over there. It is important to be ready for when growth comes back.
2) The currency exchange rate: At the moment the Brazilian real is not high which makes the Euro stronger. European investors can benefit from this situation by paying less.
3) It is a good moment to make purchases in Brazil: Whether it is the purchase of a company or goods, there are great deals to make at the moment. Brazilians are less demanding because of the economic situation leading them to not overprice and are willing to give a discount even when they are selling their own company.

As for the problems inverstors might face in Brazil, Mr. Bernardin has a few words of encouragement: “Corruption is the biggest issue in Brazil. It has always existed and public markets are the most sensitive when it comes to corruption. If you want to win a public market, you will have to negotiate with authorities and put money on the table, which is the normal procedure dictated by the law. Big companies are used to recruiting local people who are used to negotiating this kind of things. As for the private sector, in 19 years, I never had to negotiate any corruption. SMEs can do B2B business here without having to worry about these kinds of problems. So I would advise investors to not pay too much attention to what the media are saying when it comes to corruption as this is a macro-economic issue. Plus, we are seeing a change in people’s mentalities. There is a new generation coming from all social classes and that are coming together through the social media and are more demonstrating in the streets, asking for a change in politics. So things are also changing on a social point of view.

Mr Bernardin’s company has five main areas of expertise to help European companies enter the Brazilian market:

1) Strategic market analysis: Offering market approach studies, market analysis, strategy etc…

2) Company-hunting/ Selection of local partners: BERNARDIN Brazil Business Development has a strong network allowing them to help companies in various fields and sectors. “Entering the present market can be tricky because you are welcomed with open arms but if you want to do business here you have to be well introduced in local networks.”, says Mr. Bernardin. In order to select the best partners to achieve in the best way possible the missions, the company uses the very unique technique of company-hunting: “We want to give our clients quality partners. So we always contract and push to get in touch with people who are specialized in a domain or have a strong experience in order to go faster. We look for the best companies with the best profile to offer them a partnership and we do with our client an assessment according to criteria to make a ranking. With this method, our client is able to make good decisions.

3) Management of local sales force: The company can host and supervise your business developers by giving your company access to an open space in its office and by going through business plans with your business developers etc… in order to achieve the setup goals.

4) Administrator mandate: Mr. Bernardin has been an administrator mandate for 19 years which means that he is habilitated to take care of the accountability, taxes, human resources and all activities in which the the company is involved. He is responsible towards any administrative structure. It is actually his main activity nowadays. .

5) Financial engineering and trading of commercial operations: BERNARDIN Brazil Business Development can be the intermediary in business exchanges. For example, if a company has a problem to receive a payment because the Brazilian client only wants to pay in Brazil, they can be the intermediary between the two of them.

Mr. Bernardin will be present at our Business & Trade Fair, on the 5th and 6th June 2015 as an exhibitor but also has a speaker. If you wish to meet him please sign up to the B2B matchmaking platform.

Mr. Bernardin graduated from ESSEC, one of the three best French Business Schools. He then worked for about three years, in France, in different sales and consulting jobs before joining a consulting mission for the French Rhône-Alpes Region, in 1995, linked to ERAI, Enterprise Rhône-Alpes International. In 2003, Mr. Bernardin created his own company, which he has been managing successfully for 12 years now. The company is located in the suburbs of Sao Paulo and has a small administrative structure in Lyon, France. Today, the company works mostly with consultancy and freelance very carefully selected.


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