No final do ano passado, o CEO da Catho Online, Adriano Arruda, participou de uma matÃ©ria no Financial Times, sobre o crescimento da Ã¡rea de TI no Brasil.
Leia a matÃ©ria abaixo.
Information technology: Aim is to be a global hub for the industry
In the tiny booths of shopping malls that crowd Santa IfigÃªnia, you can buy any sort of computer software or hardware you need â€“ from a reconditioned second-hand PC to a mobile phone cable, cut to length and tested for connectivity in front of you by a girl in shorts and flip-flops.
Out on the street, vendors wave racks of pirated software and shout out badly pronounced names such as Adobe and Windows.
This is SÃ£o Pauloâ€™s computer centre, where the cityâ€™s growing army of internautas or web users come to shop.
The other side of this Brazilian sense of can-do is the countryâ€™s exploding IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Antonio Gil, president of Brasscom, the Brazil Association of Information and Communications Companies says: â€œThe IT industry started in SÃ£o Paulo. The bulk of the corporations are located in the city, so itâ€™s only natural the IT industry would be located here.â€
Brasscom figures give Brazil the eighth-largest BPO market in the world. In 2008, it turned over more than $59.1bn.
But only 2.2 per cent of that, says Mr Gil, comes from exports and that is where growth will come from.
â€œBrazil has been doing IT very well for a number of years and wants to become one of the three largest IT hubs in the world, together with India and China,â€ Mr Gil says. That $59.1bn could easily become $80bn. And SÃ£o Paulo is leading the charge. â€œThe city leads the development of the IT industry.â€
German IT service provider GFT is one of a number of multinationals with a SÃ£o Paulo office. â€œWe found well-trained people here,â€ says Carlos Eres, Spanish and Brazilian MD for GFT.
The company has 1,100 staff working together on projects all over the world from 20 locations in Germany, UK, France, Switzerland, Spain, India and Brazil.
â€œBrazil is a perfect complement to our southern European centre, the timezone works and it gives me the costs I need,â€ says Graham Underwood, the companyâ€™s British managing director.
â€œIâ€™ve had experience working in India and itâ€™s much less painful here.â€
Mr Gil concurs. India might be cheaper, but Brazil offers cultural and timezone advantages that make economic sense.
â€œThere are 1.7m professionals operating in the IT industry in Brazil. Corporations are looking to improve their competitiveness and one way to do that is to outsource to other countries where your job can be done as well, but at a lower cost. In Brazil, you find the talent to do that.â€
SÃ£o Paulo software giant TOTVS has 5,000 employees, a turnover in the last 12 months of R$1.05bn (US$610m) and a presence in 26 markets. It specialises in serving small to medium-sized companies with business software at a cheaper price.
â€œIf you go to India, you have service providers. In Brazil we learnt to build the whole solution. We build software,â€ says JosÃ© RogÃ©rio Luiz, executive financial vice-president and director of investor relations for TOTVS.
Adriano Arruda is chief executive of one of the cityâ€™s big success stories: online job site Catho. â€œThe biggest companies in Brazil are in SÃ£o Paulo. A lot of companies are coming in. All the foreign investments are here,â€ he says. â€œAnd all these companies need access, computers, communication, so the IT companies end up here.â€
Initially a human resources company, Catho, like many of SÃ£o Pauloâ€™s IT pioneers, such as successful online commerce site BuscarPÃ©, set up online early: in 1997.
â€œIt is the inverse of other sites,â€ Mr Arruda says. â€œThe companies put up their vacancies for nothing and clients pay to put their details on. It is a virtual classified advert.â€
Twelve years later, Catho has 3m unique users, 140,000 companies on the site and 200,000 vacancies a month. Turnover for 2009 is projected to reach R$130m â€“ with margins, says Mr Arruda, of 30 per cent.
Catho grew 30 per cent last year and has 700 employees at its offices in Barueri in Greater SÃ£o Paulo.
But SÃ£o Paulo has a shortage of IT staff, Mr Arruda warns. â€œThe majority of IT professionals are working. Sometimes you have to take them from the competition. Someone who goes to college who studies IT, has a very good chance of getting a job. There are more vacancies than jobs.â€
Piracy in places such as Santa IfigÃªnia is a problem, concedes Brasscomâ€™s Mr Gil, but a problem that is worldwide.
â€œBrazil is relatively well placed in terms of protection of intellectual property,â€ he says. â€œThe issue of piracy is mostly concerned with Microsoft.â€
The Brazilian government wants to boost IT-BPO exports in 2010 â€“ from $2.2bn to $3.5bn. Brasscom is working on improving the standard of English and has launched a curriculum in IT English developed with the British Chamber of Commerce in SÃ£o Paulo.
â€œBrazil leads the world in terms of IT in financial institutions,â€ Mr Gil says. â€œAll the financial institutions are in SÃ£o Paulo. The best schools are here. Those are the conditions to make SÃ£o Paulo one of the most advanced IT centres in the world.â€
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Leia a matÃ©ria no site do Financial Times clicando aqui.