Can you quickly describe yourself.
A big geek at heart! Technology is a huge part of who I am, and since I have known myself as a person I’ve been immensely driven by it and its applications. I started working with tech in my teenage years, and my passion just got bigger from there. Come to think of it, being an extremely curious guy and always looking for what’s next on the horizon made me who I am today.
You are the General Manager for Brazil and the Portuguese speaking countries. How do you manage to combine these regions?
Well, I was born in Brazil and lived in Portugal for 16 years of my life: My parents are both Brazilian and Portuguese, so I definitely have roots in both countries.
That is only part of trying to provide solutions to vastly different markets, with different customer profiles and expectations. I believe that Brazil, as well as PALOPS (African Countries of Portuguese Official Language), hold amazing potential in the coming years. One would need to be mad not to seize this opportunity.
However, I don’t think it’s about combining them: It’s about realizing that the differences are keys to success.
You frequently travel to Portugal. In your opinion, what is the most significant difference between the two continents in terms of work and life?
Great question! I’ll talk about Brazil and Portugal directly. To put things in perspective, try to picture this: Brazil forces you into a dynamic and fast-paced lifestyle, which is a result of its drive for growth and development. Brazilians are entrepreneurs at heart, and that’s easily seen in the streets. Portugal, on the flipside, has a more relaxed and slow-paced lifestyle. The Portuguese folk value their traditions and culture above anything else.
Both countries are incredible, to be honest; my luck is to live in between them.
Meaning that not only e-commerce companies, but companies in-general, demand solutions that are scalable and which easily meet their requirements.
Why do you think that OTRS has potential for these regions?
OTRS is already quite popular in both regions, from governments to private organizations. The potential here stems from the fact that, in these economies, businesses are facing challenges imposed by their customers who are becoming more and more demanding with quality and service delivery speed.
Brazil, for instance, has an incredibly high number of e-commerce businesses transactions, reaching almost USD 18.7 billion in 2017. That accounts for more than 38% of the Latin American e-commerce market in 2017. Estimates vary, but it is expected to reach USD 31 billion by 2022. That’s just e-commerce, and it only represents 3% of total retail sales in 2017.
Meaning that not only e-commerce companies, but companies in-general, demand solutions that are scalable and which easily meet their requirements. OTRS Group aims to be that solutions provider.
What’s special about working for OTRS Group?
We value individuality as a team, as ironic as that sounds. I believe we all understand that each one has their strengths and weaknesses, and we work hard to support one another. OTRS Group has in its values which support respecting the individual and hers/his ideas. To me, that’s special. Oh! Home office work also increases time with our families while minimizing absolute time wasters, like commuting.
Are security issues a big topic in Brazil? Do you think the upcoming General Data Protection Law (known as the LGPD and similar to GDPR) will make a difference?
Absolutely, more and more in fact. LGPD aims to create a stable basis from which Brazilian companies can develop security standards according to international requirements, boosting the strength of commercial relations as well as the development of newer industries locally.
And Brazil needs it! Just this year, the Brazilian DMV (DETRAN) was breached, leaking the data of over 70M citizens.
Business consulting firm Deloitte said that, by 2019, the global market will open about 1.5 million jobs for various positions within the cybersecurity segment. The numbers are as high as the attacks, so this signifies a good opportunity for honing in on security processes and procedures.
What advice could you give young entrepreneurs who want to build up a start-up company?
Be smart about your money, whether you have been funded or not. Cash is oxygen, and you must be pragmatic with it.
Learn how to balance risk-taking and risk-mitigation. As much as a fail-to-learn approach works and whilst reward is most definitely in the risk, “don’t go dinning with cannibals every evening and not expect to be the next one served.”
What do you do in your leisure time? When we think of Brazil, most of us have the cliché about Samba. Do you dance Samba?
I love a good Roda de Samba. especially if you pair it with Caipirinhas and Feijoada. Brazilians definitely know how to have a good time. But I couldn’t dance to save my life.
In my spare time, I read a lot and try to travel as much as possible, anywhere. Anthony Bourdain used to say, “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food It’s a plus for everybody.“