Britain has voted to leave the European Union, there’s economic uncertainty across the Eurozone, and Brazil is in the midst of a political and economic crisis. For a company headquartered in Brazil with a strong European presence, that might sound like a challenging business environment by any standards.
However, we caught up with our founder and CEO, Marco Stefanini, who explains that optimism, agility and the ability to make the best of challenging circumstances are very much part of Stefanini’s DNA.
“Perhaps because Brazilians have been confronted with so many economic shocks in the past, we’ve had to become resilient and optimistic in the face of challenges. I’m really proud that this ethos is apparent across Stefanini in all the markets we operate across the globe,” explains Marco.
Nowhere is this ethos more apparent than in Brazil, where the economy has entered its second year of recession, but Stefanini has grown its revenue by 20 per cent.
“The political and economic upheaval in Brazil could be hugely damaging to business – it means increased costs for businesses and reduced demand amongst their clients. On top of this, the government is keen to tackle the problem through increased taxes that will hit business. Against this backdrop, we increased revenue by 20 per cent last year and expect a 25 per cent increase this year,” explains Marco.
This success in the face of adversity in Brazil was achieved through strong communication and by being more assertive and competitive in proposals – something that was possible because of Stefanini’s strong financial foundation.
“There will always be challenging environments and unexpected challenges – the key to success is being perfectly positioned to deal with them. We’re almost a debt free company, which is really important in a crisis when accessing credit becomes more difficult and tax and interest rates increase. Our situation also means that we can also be more aggressive in proposals. Of course, we’ve had to work very hard but we can be truly proud of the results we’ve achieved,” explains Marco.
Marco believes that the economic situation in Brazil has reached its lowest point and that the country is about to bounce back. Furthermore, he believes that means investment could begin flooding back into the country because he believes after a crisis is often the best time to invest. At that point it is easier to see which businesses are most resilient and are likely to have a good future.
“Stefanini made a number of international acquisitions in 2010, after the end of the global crisis, which meant we were able to acquire companies for a relatively affordable price given their assets. It’s this preparedness to ride the wave of a challenge and achieve success in response to it that characterises the way we work,” says Marco.
This same attitude is apparent in the Stefanini’s approach to the fallout from Brexit and wider uncertainty across the Eurozone.
What’s crucial is taking a long-term view, which allows businesses to adapt where necessary without being unnecessarily thrown off course.
“It’s clear Brexit has shocked the markets but there’s no need to be hasty and we don’t feel overly exposed to its ramifications. We’ll keep cool heads and find a way to make the most of the situation. We’ve demonstrated that enough times now – it’s the Stefanini way,” Marco concluded.
Change the game
The old cliche suggests we should do what we love. But if your passion isn’t panning out, Marco Stefanini, Global CEO of staffing giant Stefanini, suggests that it’s better to love what you do. If you don’t like how things are unfolding, change the game. Watch the video of Marco Stefanini, interviewed by Daily Fuel