Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The EMBA Vanderbilt group is coming to Brazil

Vanderbilt University is one of the most prestigious private Universities in the United States.

The EMBA group is coming to Brazil as part of their program studies for a lecture with the FIA International MBA on 5th May.

This group of students has a special interest in Global Business, the Brazilian business landscape and how both Brazilian and Multi-National companies operate in Brazil and Internationally. They are very experienced professionals with an average of 12 years business experience in diverse fields of industry and professions.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Férias à francesa em Lyon

Vinte séculos de história. Epicentro gastronômico mundial. Produtora de vinhos de renome internacional. Esses são apenas alguns motivos para conhecer a segunda maior cidade da França e seus arredores.

Consulte aqui o artigo da Revista Época Negócios indicado aos alunos que participarão da viagem técnica internacional do MBA Executivo Internacional, da FIA, pelo Prof. Alfredo Behrens,

When in doubt, shut up.

When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

An organizational culture with an innovation mindset should not muffle its collaborators. Yet too many employees are afraid to speak out.
In fact, only about one in five dares to “always speak out.” That is about the same share of employees that feels “only sometimes” it is safe speak out. Nearly half of the employees speak out “only most of the time;” but then, large majorities are not known to say anything controversial.

Except for a slight suggestion that UCD respondents may be more afraid that others to speak out – or face greater sanctions (2% as against 5% say “Never”) these shares are remarkably stable. Both pie charts reflect the responses of MBA students at Anglophone programs. The first pie chart reflects the opinion in 2007 of mostly London Business School MBA alumni, where close to one third were American; while the second pie chart reflects opinions culled recently (2010) among 25 MBA students from Dublin, about two thirds of which were Irish, the rest were mostly other Europeans. Results for Brazilian FIA students (2008) as befits a more hierarchical society, showed a larger reticence to speak out but the sample of actual employees, not themselves bosses, was too small to compare with the other two samples

These shares are remarkably stable. Both pie charts reflect the responses of MBA students at Anglophone programs. The first pie chart reflects the opinion in 2007 of mostly London Business School MBA alumni, about one third of respondents were American; while the second pie chart reflects opinions culled recently (2010) among 25 Irish MBA students from Dublin. Results for Brazilian FIA students (2008) as befits a more hierarchical society, showed a larger reticence to speak out but the sample of actual employees, not themselves bosses, was too small to compare with the other two.

Why would so many be afraid to speak out?

Self preservation may have a lot to do with it. An in-depth study, also with close to 200 employees, (Detert and Edmondson, 2007) suggests that it is not speaking about problems that employees are most afraid of; problems are too objective to dismiss.
What employees withhold the most are suggestions for innovation. These carry a greater deal of uncertainty regarding the benefits to be accrued from speaking out; while they are certain to expose the employee who makes the suggestion. When in doubt, shutting up seems the safest route.
Detert and Edmonson suggest that the employees´ fears may be based only on no more than perceptions, or company myths, like stories of people disappearing sometime after making a suggestion.
Whether the myths are not more than myths, or not; a culture of fear helps only the surfacing of the bravest, not the brightest.
CEOs, when not bullies themselves, should do better by establishing a culture of glasnost rather than the gulag.

James R. Detert, Amy C. Edmondson. Why Employees Are Afraid to Speak. Harvard Business Review. May 01, 2007. Prod. #: F0705B-PDF-ENG , pages 23-25.

Alfredo Behrens
The author is Professor of Leadership and Cross-Cultural Management at FIA, International MBA,
São Paulo, also the author of Culture and Management in the Americas, Stanford University Press, 2009; and of the manuscript “Shooting Heroes and Rewarding Cowards” to appear later in 2010. A presentation of the book can be seen at
Contact: email me at ab*@* after removing the *s.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Como falar com seu CEO

Com frequência aprendemos a limitar a nossa conversa a um "elevator pitch" para dizer tudo o que é necessário sem ser inconveniente.

Reparem que nós viemos de uma cultura na qual "se mostrar" é censurável, por isso nao estamos preparados para aproveitar uma boa oportunidade para dar uma mensagem ao Chefe Supremo.

De forma que, tendo essa oportunidade para fazer uma boa impressão, o que fazer?

• Saiba de antemão como o seu trabalho e a sua meta encaixam na estratégia geral da organização. Se eles não encaixarem é melhor não falar para se dar o tempo de procurar outra organização

• Seja você mesmo(a). Não é fácil quando muito está em jogo, mas talvez seja preferivel parecer sem jeito, tímido/humilde do que fujão. Encare, desde que: o momento é de fato propício? Leia a situação, ser inconveniente será desabonador.

Abaixo tem um texto curto falando sobre estes assuntos. Vale a pena ler, embora devam ter presente que, vindo de Harvard, está orientado a americanos mais do que a brasileiros.


Alfredo Behrens

The day before the historic voting President Obama - fine example of a leader


The American Health bill passed without a single Republican vote. The day before the historic voting President Obama harangued the Democrat caucus asking them for their vote in the House of Representatives.

The speech itself is a fine example of a leader showing the path and calling his followers to action.

The link below takes you to the speech´s high point and is fully worth five minutes of your time.

Best regards,

Alfredo Behrens
Professor of Cross-Cultural Management
FIA, EMBA Internacional and IMBA

The relevance of the IT segment in India and the Syntel Case

Read in Portuguese

Comprising a population of 47 million people with access to the internet, 500 million mobile phones and an average urban per capita income of USD3000, India is one of the major markets for business involving technology. The country is a reference primarily in the Field of Information Technology.

This potential is furthered by the contribution posed by a favourable economic environment and the ample availability of qualified labour: there are 2 million graduates per annum in India, 500 thousand of who are engineers. Thus, there is a combination of resources (skilled people, support and investment), infrastructure (telecommunications, transport, power and financial structure) and a favourable environment (fiscal incentives, economic and political stability). So that one might grasp the standing of India´s services sector, this segment currently contributes with 55% of the nation´s GNP, wherein the leading fields are: telecommunications, banking and IT.

Since the 70´s, a remarkable evolution took place in the IT sector, special emphasis being accredited to the period between 1994-98, when training in IT picked up and knowledge in the field, widespread throughout India. New projects to qualify and promote ERP systems at enterprises were developed between 1999 and 2001. Currently, the country develops low cost, high scale, innovative and aligned technologies, which address businesses and corporate strategies. Future outcomes foresee full outsourcing and the creation of joint value between contractors and IT suppliers.
During the Executive MBA´s trip, we were granted the opportunity to meet and talk to Syntel executives. This IT company was founded in 1980 in India and currently counts on 12.500 employees, headquarters in Michigan, 10 centres in India and 3 in USA. Service lines include IT application and maintenance, corporate solutions and business operations.

During the company tour we were to verify great concern involving collaborator training whether in the form of in-house programs, training in partnership with customers or with large specialized companies. Special attention allocated to quality and customer satisfaction, likewise was evidenced, posing a case of an Indian technology company that not only competes for lower costs, but seeks to offer customized solutions that address all customer requirements. In this joint effort all stakeholder expectations are taken into account, process automation with views to increasing productivity and change process management resulting from the adoption of new technologies and systems.

This visit brings to light the IT sector´s potential, the importance of Indian companies to the segment and most of all, the sophistication of it´s management systems and customer relationships that go far beyond cost reductions!

Renata Giovinazzo Spers, Teacher and Assisting Coordenator of Projects at FIA – Profuturo and International MBA. Participated in January/2010 of study trips to India and South Africa by joining the International Executive MBA group. (

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Brazilian School prepares MBAs for the world market

Read in Portuguese

Brazil has been competing successfully for the world market executive training.

The International MBA FIA will celebrate on March 17th the graduation of its 1st class with students from nine different countries.

They are young executives who have invested time and money to get training in business administration in Brazil. They have quit their jobs in the U.S., Europe and Latin America and chose coming to Brazil to obtain an internationally recognized MBA. In FIA, they have attended for a one year MBA, the only English spoken "full-time" MBA in Brazil.

Studying with Brazilian colleagues, whose most carried out the "part-time" version of the course in 20 months, international students took classes with Brazilians, Europeans and Americans professors, and absorbed much of the Brazilian culture of doing business.

With only 30 days after completing the course, more than 70% of the group is already being used in Brazil and abroad, and entrepreneurs have created their own businesses, generating employment in Brazil!

According to Professor James Wright, Coordinator of the International MBA FIA, "this course is a talent hotbed for Brazilian companies looking to expand its global presence. With an average of 6 years of professional experience, sense of entrepreneurship and a strong multicultural living, these young people are human capital of a first level for any company in the world." The teacher says that multinational companies have been faster to recognize this potential and hire the graduates of the first class. Internationalized Brazilian companies, as AmBev, Embraer, Gerdau, Votorantim, Unibanco, Itau, Camargo Correa, Odebrecht, Natura and others need to aggregate to their staff young people carrying exactly this profile, says Wright.

Escola Brasileira forma MBAs para o Mercado Global

O Brasil passou a disputar com sucesso o mercado mundial de formação de executivos.

O "International MBA" da FIA, nesta noite, comemora a formatura de sua 1ª turma com alunos oriundos de nove diferentes países.

São jovens executivos que investiram tempo e dinheiro para buscar uma formação em administração de empresas no Brasil. Largaram seus empregos nos EUA, Europa e América Latina e escolheram vir ao Brasil para obterem um MBA reconhecido internacionalmente. Na FIA, cursaram por um ano o único MBA "full time" em Inglês do País.

Estudando junto com colegas brasileiros que em sua maioria realizaram a versão ''part-time'' do curso em 20 meses, os alunos internacionais tiveram aulas com professores brasileiros, europeus e norte-americanos, e absorveram muito da cultura brasileira de fazer negócios.

Com apenas 30 dias da conclusão do curso, mais de 70% da turma já está empregada no Brasil no Exterior, ou empreendedores, criaram suas próprias empresas, gerando emprego no Brasil!

Segundo o Professor James Wright, Coordenador do International MBA da FIA, "este curso é um celeiro de talentos para as empresas brasileiras que querem ampliar sua presença global. Com média de 6 anos de experiência profissional, senso de empreendedorismo e uma intensa vivência multicultural, estes jovens são um capital humano de primeira para qualquer empresa do mundo". O professor afirma que as empresas multinacionais tem sido mais rápidas em reconhecer este potencial e contratar os formandos da primeira turma. As empresas brasileiras que se internacionalizam, como AMBEV, Embraer, Gerdau, Votorantim,Itau-Unibanco, Camargo Correa,Odebrecht, Natura e outras precisam agregar as seus quadros jovens talentos exatamente com esse perfil, diz Wright.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Doing Business in Brazil

by Prof. Alfredo Behrens

Following on the visit by the University of Dublin Executive MBA last week, we now have a visit by a group of St Michaels College students, a liberal arts college in Vermont USA, founded in 1904.
You are cordially invited to attend a presentation at FIA on "Doing Business in Brazil" by Prof. Alfredo Behrens, this Friday, March 19th, from 11:00am to 12:30pm.
RSVP if you plan to attend:

Limited availability!

Coordenação: Prof. James Wright

Data: 19/03/2010 das 11:00 – 12:00.
Local: FIA - Unidade Butantã – R. José Alves Cunha Lima, 172

Monday, March 15, 2010

Global Mindset Inventory

“Global Mindset Inventory”

Prof. Alfredo Behrens

Qual é seu grau de preparo para assumir responsabilidades internacionais?

Um diagnóstico para orientar os executivos e suas empresas no desenvolvimento das aptidões necessárias para atuação global.

Venha conhecer este instrumento aplicado em parceria com a Thunderbird Global School of Management que agora passa a incluir também o Brasil.

Coordenação: Prof. James Wright

Data: 23/03/2010 das 9:00 – 10:30 hs.
Local: FIA - Unidade Butantã - Rua José Alves Cunha Lima, 172



Monday, March 8, 2010

Innovation in Products and Distribution: Hindustan Univeler Case Study

Read in Portuguese

Furthering reports concerning the Executive MBA´s trip to India, Unilever´s successful and interesting case, known as Hindustan Unilever, is worthy of mention.

For starters, findings resultant from travel observations place prime emphasis in the hardship encountered by attempts to homogenize the Indian population, in terms of markets or segments. This is an extremely multi-faced populace in terms of culture and consumer habits, in addition to the many differences pertaining to income levels. Given this context, Hindustan Unilever works in India under the concept of “doing well by doing good”, respecting the needs, values and habits of the people of India. One of these values concerns getting a job well done so that the consumer feels well with the nutrition, hygiene and personal care products sold by the company.

According to our “in loco” visit to the company and conversations held with executives, Hindustan Unilever´s success depends on the sound addressing of the average class Indian woman. Although one must market a low priced product, it must however be one of quality. This, the company has been able to develop by means of innovation in products and processes, as well as by employing new technologies.

The company also had to adapt it´s brands and products locally, selling assorted brand names at different regions such as, for instance, the Hamam deodorant in Tamil Nadu and Rexona in Andhra Pradesh. On the other hand, products such as teas are sold under the same brand name but with different flavours according to local taste, thus enhancing the relevance of the R&D area and of intense and regular market research, so as to acquire an understanding of consumer opinions.
However, of true interest was the innovation in the distribution model adopted by the company. To expand it´s markets, Hindustan faced the challenge of reaching out to millions of potential consumers at small and remote villages lacking adequate distribution, advertising coverage and quality infra-structure. To overcome this impairment, in 2000, the company launched the Shatki Project, partnering with NGO´s, Banks and government.

In this project, women involved in self-support groups in India were invited to sell Hindustan products - mostly soaps and shampoos – at towns and villages. The company offers training in Sales and commercial knowledge to support the entrepreneural activity.

After the initial investment in stock, many entrepreneurs earn a monthly profit of 700 to 1000 rupias (15 to 22 dollars), more than their husbands earned in the fields. By the end of 2004, over 13.000 women sold to 70 million consumers at 12 states. At the end of 2006, 30.000 shatkis addressed 100.000 villages at 15 states, recovering these ladie´s self esteem and a role in society and to the company, an increasing success in sales in the rural areas of India!

For further information, kindly refer to :

Prof. Renata G. Spers, Teacher and Assisting Coordenator of Projects at FIA – Profuturo and International MBA. Participated in January/2010 of study trips to India and South Africa by joining the International Executive MBA group. (

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Prof. Dr. Renata Spers conducts research for post-doctorate at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA

The research deals with the identification of competitive advantages of communities in the Base of Pyramid and it is being developed jointly with Professor Edward Fischer, from the Center of Latin American Studies (CLAS), and Professor Bart Victor, from Owen Business School.

The teacher received a grant for research abroad from FAPESP - Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo, as support for the research performance.

Read in Portuguese

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inovação em Produtos e Distribuição: Caso Hindustan Univeler

Dando continuidade aos relatos da viagem do grupo MBA Executivo à Índia, podemos mencionar o interessante e bem sucedido caso da Unilever, que leva o nome de Hindustan Unilever.

Um primeiro ponto que vale comentar, a partir das observações feitas durante a viagem, é a dificuldade de homogeneizar a população indiana, em termos de mercados ou segmentos. Trata-se de um povo extremamente multifacetado em termos de cultura e hábitos de consumo, além das grandes diferenças de renda. Diante deste contexto, a Hindustan Unilever trabalha na Índia com o princípio do “doing well by doing good”, respeitando as necessidades, valores e costumes do povo indiano.

Um desses valores é o de fazer seu trabalho bem feito, para que o consumidor sinta-se bem com os produtos de nutrição, higiene e cuidados pessoais comercializados pela empresa.

Conforme constamos em visita a empresa e conversa com os executivos, o sucesso da Hindustan Unilever depende do bom atendimento a mulher indiana de classe média. Há uma necessidade de colocar no mercado um produto de baixo preço, mas com qualidade, o que a empresa tem conseguido desenvolver por meio de inovação nos produtos e processos, assim como o uso de novas tecnologias.

A empresa também precisou adaptar localmente suas marcas e produtos, vendendo algumas marcas em diferentes regiões, por exemplo, marca de desodorante Hamam em Tamil Nadu e Rexona em Andhra Pradesh. Por outro lado, produtos como chá são vendidos com a mesma marca, mas com sabores diferentes dependendo do gosto local, daí a importância da área de P&D e também da realização de intensas e constantes pesquisas de marketing para se conhecer a opinião do consumidor.

Mas realmente interessante foi a inovação no modelo de distribuição adotada pela empresa. Para expandir seus mercados, a Hindustan tinha o desafio de alcançar milhões de potenciais consumidores em pequenas e remotas vilas onde não há distribuição adequada, sem cobertura de propaganda e infra-estrutura de baixa qualidade.

Para solucionar este desafio, em 2000, a empresa lançou o Projeto Shatki, em pareceria com ONGs, bancos e governos. Neste projeto, mulheres envolvidas em grupos de auto-ajuda na índia foram convidadas a vender produtos da Hindustan, principalmente sabonetes e xampus, em aldeias e vilas. A empresa fornece treinamento em vendas e conhecimento comercial para apoiar na atividade empreendedora.

Após investimento inicial em estoque, muitas empreendedoras fazem um lucro mensal de 700 a 1000 rupias (15 a 22 dólares), mais do que os maridos ganhavam no campo. No final de 2004, mais 13.000 mulheres vendiam a 70 milhões de consumidores em 12 estados. No final de 2006, 30.000 shatkis atendiam a 100.000 vilas em 15 estados, trazendo a estas mulheres o aumento de sua autoestima e um papel na sociedade. E para a empresa, um sucesso crescente de vendas nas áreas rurais da Índia!

Para saber mais, acesse

Renata Giovinazzo Spers, Professora e Coordenadora Ajunta de Projetos da FIA – Profuturo e International MBA. Participou em viagem de estudos para índia e África do Sul, com grupo do MBA Executivo Internacional, em janeiro/