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satis&fy sets up shop in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Branching out to drive growth

Karben-based satis&fy AG officially opened its production office satis&fy do Brasil LTDA Producoes in Sao Paulo in early 2014, and the local branch has been operating in Brazil ever since. "This country is on the upswing. Many German companies are setting up stakes there. And of course we didn't want to miss out on this opportunity," says COO Dirk Vennemann, explaining the company's decision to plant a footprint in this South American country. Local laws and many regulatory obstacles blocks make it hard to do business there without a company site or an office on location. "Many firms that want to establish themselves there enter into a joint venture," explains Vennemann. "We felt that we could go it alone." He added that the firm did not want to become dependent on local partners.

Acting on an employee's recommendation, satis&fy connected with the current managing director, a German citizen who has been living in Brazil for 20 years, speaks Portuguese, and knows the ins and outs of doing business and dealing with authorities in that country. What's more, he possesses a residence permit, "which is absolutely necessary in order to get a foothold in the country." A Sao Paulo law firm helped draw up the contracts, a process that took several months to complete.

satis&fy also expects to enjoy some local support by way of the AV Alliance, an association of leading international providers of event technology. satis&fy has been part of this network since 2011. The company regularly touches bases with the network's Brazilian members. "These companies have promised to help us search for English- or Spanish-speaking staff, which are hard to find in Brazil," explains Dirk Vennemann. He added that the firm is now looking forward to doing business during the FIFA World Cup and aims to be well prepared for the Olympic Games in 2016. Vennemann said that the production office may well be extended to a full-fledged site at some point in the future. It is the firm's standard practice to start off with a local production office in order to analyze the situation on site.

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