While Brazilian agriculture, planes and commodities thrive in international trade balance, the services account is losing ground as it represents only 13% of exports. Why is that? I got some interesting insights from MZ Consult case, a Brazilian company doing well abroad.
MZ Consult is today a multinational company; the world’s largest independent global investor relations consulting firm. MZ Consult has offices in New York, Chicago, San Diego, São Paulo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei.
The company founded in 1999 by Rodolfo Zabisky. provides one-stop-shop financial, corporate governance, applied technology and integrated corporate communications services. It is now a subsidiary of @titude Global which currently has over 370 professionals serving more than 580 clients in 11 countries.
Rodolfo answered some questions on MZ’s internationalization.
When did MZ begun to expand outside Brazil?
In 2005 (opening an office in NY)
Why the move?
Our clients needed services in NY. Also, the Investor Relations market, then our only business, is quite limited in Brazil where the group already had around 80% market share at that time.
What is the MZ’s revenue breakdown today; Brazil vs. other countries?
Revenue breakdown is about 70% in Brazil, 15% in North America and 15% in Asia.
What are the countries where it has greater penetration outside Brazil?
United States, Taiwan and China
Where do you want to grow now?
Focus is on high growth markets (currently restricted to emerging and in some specific cases the U.S., with the portal market for boards with modules of business intelligence).
What is the differential of a Brazilian company competing abroad?
Very little difference in service – perhaps size and economy of scale (but insignificant).
What are the difficulties to integrate with an American company? Merger with HCI, how was it?
Until now …. all is well. There is alignment of interests and there is commitment. It all depends on how is the structure of the merger deal.
Why is it so hard to market Brazilian companies abroad?
1) Brazilians are seen as third world. Even in emerging markets, there is strong bias.
2) Lack of a sustained growth vision and desire to create shareholder value.
According to recent data from the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, services export rose from $ 26.2 billion in 2009 to U.S. $ 30.3 billion in 2010. That is the good news. Bad news is that in 2010, the third sector’s trade balance registered a deficit of $ 29.4 billion, an increase of 64.6% over 2009.