The news that Brazil is emerging from a major recession is everywhere. General Motors recently published a statement that the company expects car and truck sales to top 2.4 million in 2017. President Temer has proposed a government spending cap that will keep Brazil focused on turning the economic growth around and GOL, the Brazilian airline company, recently posted a third quarter profit of more than $24 million. The airline lost money in the same quarter in 2015.
Consumers are coming back and spending money and exports are up except for oil exports and a couple of other commodities. Foreign investors are coming back to Brazil. Investors are putting money into the energy sector and other industries. These positive signs and a few more has stimulated the press to publish positive articles about Brazil lately. Business leaders like Flavio Maluf, the CEO of building material supplier Eucatex, is just one of the entrepreneurs that think 2017 will be a turnaround year for his country.
Eucatex is a good example of how much Brazil has changed over the last ten years. Flavio has been in charge of family-owned Eucatex since 1997. During his tenure as CEO, Eucatex has become a major force in the building material industry. Eucatex is not just a domestic supplier of floorboards, paints, varnishes, and ceiling tiles. Eucatex is an international source for construction companies and home improvement stores.
The Eucatex story is well-known in Brazil. A Sao Paulo sawmill decides to invent a new product from excess eucalyptus wood lying around the sawmill in the 1950s. The demand for the wood tiles was too much for the Americana Sawmill Americana to handle, so Flavio grandfather started Eucatex to handle the demand for ceiling tiles in the domestic market. Word got out that a small Sao Paulo company was producing inexpensive but durable ceiling tiles. In the early 1960s, Eucatex was shipping ceiling tiles to other South American countries.
Thirty years later, Flavio Maluf joined the company, and he learned every aspect of the domestic and export business. Ten years later, Maluf was named president, and that is when Eucatex started to sell more products to the international market.