Home South AmericaUruguay The Brazilian millionaire group that invested in Uruguay, and wants to redouble the bet

The Brazilian millionaire group that invested in Uruguay, and wants to redouble the bet

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The Brazilian millionaire group that invested in Uruguay, and wants to redouble the bet

child of crisisThis is how the Brazilian defines himself, who 35 years ago created a business group that is currently considered the fifth most internationalized in Brazil (it has a presence in 41 countries). This is Marco Stefanini.

Why son of the crisis? Because It was precisely the economic crises that characterized the 1980s in Brazil that made him an entrepreneur.

Stefanini appeared as a panelist at the Test & Invest event organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Uruguayan government. Later, in an interview with Coffee & Business, The businessman pointed out that Grupo Stefanini arose after his life took a 180° turn.

Stefanini finished his geology degree in the 1980s, defined by the businessman himself as: “The lost decade in Brazil.” Getting a job in the field was not easy, so he —after trying to get a decent job as a geologist— Stefanini left behind his undergraduate education to start working at the Brazilian bank Bradesco: “At that time, banks hired people who had studied exact sciences —among them, geology— to train them and turn them into software engineers,” he told in an interview with Coffee & Business.

That’s how it started his career as a software engineer, which would later make him an entrepreneur in the field given that after a few years working at Bradesco, he started the operations of Grupo Stefanini.

Stefanini told that began offering technology training for staff at large companiesbut knowing that this activity was going to be the first to be cut in a country in crisis, Stefanini migrated to the technological services area.

“In every crisis there are threats, but there are also opportunities. I look at the opportunities,” said the businessman.

As a company specialized in technological services, Stefanini Group began its development both nationally and internationally.

The landing in Uruguay

Stefanini always believed in Brazilian technological talent, but also in the regional one. That’s why opted for the expansion of the group towards new markets, including Uruguay.

Stefanini arrived in the country twelve years ago through the company Top Systemswhich —as the businessman understood at the time—had a very good financial product: topaz. He considered it so good that he bet on changing the name of the company, turning it currently into Topaz.

Asked about what caught his attention to invest in Uruguay, Stefanini said that perceived a good combination: knowledge of financial business, talent in technology, and an economically stable country. And he added that “fortunately”, at present the company is doing very well.

About 10% of the group’s total billing corresponds to the activity of Topaz, and according to the businessman that is a lot because six years ago it was less than 1%. Regarding the growth of Topaz, Stefanini affirmed that although the management remains in Uruguay, development centers are being added in other countries to continue with the growth policy of the business group: “We like to decentralize knowledge,” said the businessman.

The new bet in Uruguay

Now, Stefanini is interested in building an ecosystem around Topaz. For this, it intends to acquire smaller shares of other companies related to the financial world in Uruguay.

On the way in which the group makes business acquisitions, Stefanini said that the objective is to preserve the owners of the companies to maintain the business. Therefore, The development of entrepreneurship in Uruguay was important in the decision to re-explore the country: “There is a stronger ecosystem and a very well-managed unit that can make the integration much more successful,” said the businessman.

The change the country has made in 10 years is impressive. He has much more energy, more entrepreneurs. I like it a lot”, Stefanini concluded.

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