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Jan 16, 2018

Business in Brazil | Ben Kingi | Student Blog

The first thing that I have learned about business in Brazil is that if you want to boost sales in the fizzy drink industry, I would strongly recommend world wide advertisement starting in New Zealand as there is plenty of money to be made through the sale of Guarana particularly to myself and my new mate Aiden!

brazil 5

However on a more serious note, I have learned that business in Brazil focusses a lot on sustainability and equality. There were many examples of these aspects emphasized by various speakers that we all had the privilege to hear from. I also learned that Brazil imports trash from the US because there is a high demand for recycled plastics. Which leads me to believe that there is always going to room to boost Brazil’s economy through education and initiative.  


Throughout a collaborative activity that was executed by all the student who took part in this whole experience, I was a part of a group whose assignment was to tackle the sustainable development goal (SDG) of “Responsible production and consumption”. My group took this opportunity to explore a creative and sustainable way to educated people on the importance of recycling, introduce a monetary incentive for the average person to recycle their goods and providing more recycling stations within Brazil. We aimed to tackle so many problems with our solution. For example, we were aiming to create hundreds of new jobs for people. We wanted to maintain clean streets and we ultimately wanted to keep the millions of dollars being exported out of the country and spent of literal trash, within Brazil.


From this experience I learned that there is business within the unlikeliest things, such as trash itself. Business in Brazil is also impacted largely by bureaucracy. This makes it quite difficult to actually start up a business as it will most likely require permits and authorization.


                     What have I learned about entrepreneurship?


From what I have heard from many of the speakers that we listened to can be compacted down into a few important things.

  1. At times you are going to want to quit so badly, but this isn’t important. It's about resilience and persistence. Whenever you want to quit think back to why you wanted to become an entrepreneur and what you wanted to achieve. Reflect on the mistakes that you have made and learn from them. This is basically because 99 times out of 100 you aren’t going to have the perfect concept and most successful business on your first try. But when have something and you structure and develop it it will be worth the time and effort that you spend.


  1. Never fall in love with the idea that you come up with. Fall in love with the problem that you are trying to solve. The reason behind this is that you shouldn’t just want your product or service out there if it is causing more problems or grief than good because you aren’t allowing yourself or your business any room to fail or improve. You should focus on the issues that you are solving with your product or service, so you can alter it to make it better. You want there to be flaws in your business so that you can build on them to become more efficient or ergonomic or whatever. The point is there is no perfect product or business so try not to be stagnant and look for things that are damaging your business or look for things that exist in your business that could be changed for the better.


                      And finally


  1.  you don’t have to own your start or own business to be an entrepreneur, you can work for an organisation and still think and feel like one, it’s just that you will be working alongside others too. It’s about personality and what you bring into the organisation. Being an entrepreneur is more like being your own person and expressing your thoughts and creativity, then implementing your ideas into the business. You can have the mind and the heart of an entrepreneur but work for another person.



           What have I Learned about myself?


The simple answer is “more than what I already did”. I found out that I can meet people from the other side of the world and become friends with them within minutes and that also goes to the people who came from New Zealand and live within driving distance of me. Also, I can spin a good yarn under pressure and make something sound as interesting as I believe it to be. I felt like I was genuinely liked for being myself.


Another thing that I learned about myself is that I can appreciate criticism rather than resenting it. I lost the whole attitude of me always being right.


In a whole different direction, I learned that I can pick up a different language a lot better than I expected and a large portion of this is thanks to the help from the Brazilian students and one of our supervisors Talita. This experience had me return home and feeling gutted that I can’t say the words ‘desculpe’ or ‘obrigado’ to someone and not receive a look back as if I just swore at them in a foreign language. Also indulging in the fine Brazilian cuisine made me seriously want to learn how to cook a Brazilian Barbecue because damn!!! The Brazilian culture actually resided very well with me as it reminded me quite a bit of my culture. I learned that I appreciate the Brazilian culture so much because even though I was on the other side of the world the people made me feel like I was still at home. Speaking to the people that performed the capoeira played a huge part in this as seeing so much passion in their dancing reminded me of the passion that I would put behind a Haka. I also found out that I really love Guarana!