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South Africa 2017

September 2, 2016

Here we go. Welcome to our blog for McCombs Global Connections 2017, with our trip to South Africa.  I’m Orlando Kelm and our GRA this year will be Funda Sarilar. The staff member to accompany us on the trip will be Rebecca Gavillet.

So let’s start with some decision.  Many of our visits are already scheduled, but others we wanted to wait to get your preferences.

First, we would like to take you on a winery tour, including visits with business content.  Here are two wineries that we are considering.  When we have our first meeting, we’d like to get your feedback on which one you prefer:

1. Spier (http://www.spier.co.za/) is one of the bigger wineries and has a strong sustainability focus and community outreach program. They produce a sustainability report, engage community stakeholders and have an environmental tilt. They grow a wide variety, and have global distribution. 

2. Delheim (http://www.delheim.com/)on the other hand is one of the few wineries that is still family owned and gives a taste (no pun intended), of the old vineyard culture transitioning for modern demand. It’s into the hills of Stellenbosch with great views. 

Second, we hope to take you on a visit that has a marketing/advertising focus.  Here are 4 options that we have been looking at.  We’d like to get your feedback on preferences:

  1.  Publicis Machine

http://www.publicismachine.com/

2.  Red Bull Amaphiko

https://amaphiko.redbull.com/en

3.  Derrick Advertising

http://www.derrickcapetown.com/

4.  GD Industries

http://gdindustries.co.za/

 

Bogotá, Day 3

March 14, 2016

IMG_3870Day 3, March 9

We’ve got a plan, Corona administration visit. This to be followed up by a visit to the Home Center, and ending with a visit to the Sopó factory.

Wait a sec, we’ve got a change in plan.  Given that we sat in a bus that didn’t move for over an hour, lunch at Home Center was compressed, and the factory tour was cancelled.

Still, the information exchange from both Corona and Falabella were tremendous, and the innovation within Home Center was impressive.  A free evening was also appreciated.

What did your visit with Corona give you today?  What did you learn or appreciate better because of that visit?

Tuesday, March 12 Corcovado & Petrobras

March 17, 2013

IMG_2583We made it, up the trenzinho, up to Corcovado, and up to the great views of Rio from, as Pablo would say, from Jesus Christ.

We then headed to Petrobrás where we met all of the people who will be coming to Austin in two weeks.  Two Petrobrás lectures, a nice coffee break, and then another Orlando lecture, really!  Hopefully you enjoyed the day at Petrobras and you are all looking forward to receiving our visitors in Austin.

Today was the last official day of the program.  Some are heading home, some are staying in Rio for a few days, and some are going to points unknown.  Rob, Deidra, and I would all like to thank you again for having the pleasure of traveling with you.  We enjoyed the opportunity to share Brazil with you and we have enjoyed your insights and observations as well.

See you all back in Austin.

Monday, March 11, 2013 CEBDS & FMC

March 11, 2013

IMG_2576Today was a day of abbreviations.  We started our day with Fernando Malta of CEBDS (Conselho Empresarial Brasileiro para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável) and we then moved on to FMC, hosted by Clinton Metcalf.

Fernando taught us that sustainability is more than just being green.  Profit + Well Being + Endure = Sustainability.  His passion, mixed with insight, data, and recommendations for solutions to problems left us with understanding about how business can be a major player in sustainability development.  What did you learn most from Fernando’s lecture and what does it tell you about Brazil’s role in sustainability?

Next we arrived at FMC.  From the cafeteria lunch, to the visit at the warehouse, to the contruction of the ANM (Christmas Trees), and the machine shops, every part of FMC gave us a greater appreciation for engineers.  They are awesome.  After the tour of the plant, Clint filled in the gaps with a perfect description of the role of FMC and the future of petroleum extraction.  He also gave us insights into the life of an ex-pat.  What did you learn most from our FMC visit?

We ended the day with dinner at Porcão, including the best cuts of picanha, fraldinha, and alcatra, not to mention a sushi salad bar and tons of salads and cold meets.  How did Austin’s Estância hold up by comparison?

 

Sunday, March 10, 2013 Free day in Rio

March 11, 2013

IMG_2480Yes, a free day to hang out in Rio!  From hang gliding to beach chillin’, today was a chance to go at your own pace and do your own thing.  Along the way, what did you do, what did you buy, and what did you eat?  And even more importantly, what did you observe that taught you more about Brazil or even taught you something about North America?

PS.  Picture of sunrise at Copacabana.

Saturday, March 9, 2013 Cantagalo

March 10, 2013

IMG_2546When we hear of Rio de Janeiro, references to favelas come out over and over again.  Today we were hosted by the residents of the community of Cantagalo.  They escorted us up the cantagalo elevator, to a feijoada lunch, a mototour, a hike up the morro, a soccer game, stops at local bars and homes, English lessons, kite flying, and a batucada in the street.  We met up with Fumaça, André, Ronaldo, Gabriel, Mara, Sidney, Daniel, and a whole host of local residents.  Myself, I was most impressed to meet Acme, the local graffiti artist who even created a picture of the blue-eyed Americans and the “Olá Texas” that was painted on a home near the soccer field.

Estimates are that nearly 22% of all residents in Rio de Janeiro live in favelas, over 1,300,000 in Rio.  To understand Rio and Brazil, an understanding of favela life is essential.  Hopefully today you were able to get a sense of that interaction.  What were your take-aways from today’s visit to Cantagalo?  How did your experience there expand your understanding of business in Brazil?  From my perspective, it is amazing to think that we have experienced the extremes of one day at Embraer and another in Cantagalo.

BTW, here’s the link to Sidney’s web site:  http://www.entendafavela.com.br

 

Friday, March 8, 2013 Rio de Janeiro

March 10, 2013

IMG_2417Say good bye to Rafael, take an extra suitcase from some poor guy from Turkey, head to Congonhas airport, and welcome to Rio de Janeiro.  Our trip today takes a turn from the skyscrapers of São Paulo to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.  Say hello to Pablo.  Upon arriving in Rio we had lunch at the Real Astoria, in Botafogo bay and then we headed up to Corcovado.  Opps, mechanical difficulties closed down the train.  Let’s hope that we still get a chance to go to the Christ Statue another day.  The evening gave us a first shot at night life in Rio.  As a travel day we didn’t have any company visits, but hopefully you are able to make some initial observations about the differences between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Thursday, March 7, 2013 Corinthians

March 10, 2013

IMG_2411At 1:00 our bus headed out to the new Corinthians arena, out in Itaquera, where the opening game of the 2014 World Cup will be played.  Paulo met us in the reception area.  His presentation and movie was only topped by the photo of his son, Tomas, that was on the desktop of his computer.  The stadium is 66 percent completed, on track according to them.  We just got the pictures taken at the viewpoint to see the stadium when the rain hit.  We just made it back and a minute later we would have been soaked.  From the stadium we then went to the Corinthians Club where Thiago and Alessandro described the business and marketing side of Corinthians. A few fried foods, grilled meats, and unlimited drinks set the stage for a small reception, included David Kaul’s visit, UT alumnus and current employee of Google Brazil.  Top it off with a final night on the town, and that’s our São Paulo portion of our global connections.  What did you learn from today’s activities?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 US Consulate & Embraer

March 7, 2013

IMG_2391Isn’t it nice to have wifi on the bus?  And today it was especially helpful because we were on the bus for a few more extended trips.

First stop was the US Consulate office, where Miguel Hernandez gave us insights into how to do business in Brazil.  After nearly four years in Brazil, Miguel will soon be heading off to his next assignment in Russia.  We were lucky to hear his presentation that was centered in 4 years of experiences and stories here in Brazil.  From Mattel toys to McDonald’s happy meals, Miguel helped us to understand the ways that the US government can facilitate business in Brazil.  What are the things that you got out of the visit to the US Consulate office?

Next we headed on the bus towards São José dos Campos for our visit with EMBRAER. (And yes, it is true that Jazmin was able to purchase more clothes in the brief time that we were at the Center Vale Shopping Center!)  George began his questions with, “Not that I’ll ever have my own private jet, but…” and Megan got identified by Denilson Lobo as the person in our group who would be most likely to have her own private jet.  EMBRAER, a chance to appreciate the expertise, professionalism, know-how, and vision of one of Brazil’s most successful private companies.  Both the lecture and the factory tour offered new insights and appreciation into what it takes to build a jet and what it takes to logistically maneuver such a supply chain.  What did you take away from the visit to EMBRAER?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Itaú

March 7, 2013

IMG_2385Really, loan applications from the ATM machines, finger print identification and back up servers that would cover area larger than soccer stadiums?  Today we began our visits with Gustavo Lopes’ presentation about Itaú Unibanco.  Not only did we learn about operations at Itaú, but Gustavo’s presentation touched on Brazilian characteristics in spending, use of credit cards, mortgage payments, not to mention how the new middle class has changed the way thy purchase things as well.  The visit was excellent in terms of actual new and insightful information we received.  What were your take aways from the visit to Itaú and what did you learn today?

Free time, that’s right, free time.  No official activities and a whole afternoon and evening to check out São Paulo in whatever way you choose.  How did you spend your free time and what did you learn about Brazil in doing so?