Brazil is a country that never gives up. Brazilians may like to party likes it’s 1999, but they also like to work. But work has been hard to find the last four years. The worst recession on record has crippled the job market. The unemployment rate stands at 13.9 percent. Many Brazilians think those jobs will never come back, and in a sense, they are right. But the startup sector in Brazil is gaining momentum. And the agriculture sector is back, thanks to a record harvest. So the gloom and doom about jobs is starting to go away in 2017.
More than 14 million Brazilians are out of work. Before the recession, 7 million Brazilians didn’t have jobs. The government is trying to do something about jobs by signing new trade agreements with China and the United States. The government is also easing some of the laws that hinder businesses from growing.
Business people, like the CEO of the giant building material manufacturer, Flavio Maluf, are helping the country deal with inflation, unemployment, and weak GDP numbers. Business leaders are reaching out and making their own trade deals with the United States, Europe, and China. Eucatex sells building supplies to more than 30 countries. The company continues to maintain market share, and in some markets, the company has posted decent increases.
Flavio Maluf was born to be a business leader. He was born in the state of Sao Paulo. He saw his grandfather start a small business when he was a boy. That small business was Eucatex, and the company made one product. The product, eucalyptus wood ceiling tiles, caught on in the Brazilian market, and by the end of the 1950s, Eucatex was shipping ceiling tiles to other South American countries. Germany also gave Eucatex ceiling tile orders during those early years.
While the company was growing, Flavio was studying. He got an engineering degree from NYU, and he also studied marketing. Flavio joined Eucatex after school and was successful in the marketing new products before he became president of the company. Today, Flavio Maluf is the CEO, and he is also a respected environmentalist. Maluf makes sure Eucatex uses renewal energy and follows the recycle, reuse, and reduce program he put in place. He also started a tree planting and leasing program.