Cautious optimism at Navalshore
The 12th edition of Navalshore, a trade exhibition and conference for the Brazilian maritime industry, took place in Rio de Janeiro on August 11-13, 2015, with companies even releasing good news to the market.
More than 380 different companies from 17 countries were present for the 12th edition of the expo, considered an important meeting place for the maritime industry in Brazil.
There was no Norwegian pavilion at Navalshore this year, but companies like Scana Propulsion, Ulstein Belga Marine, Vard, Palfinger, Wilhelmsen Maritime Services, Angevinier, DNV GL, Kongsberg Maritime, Minura and RIB Norsafe were present with stands of their own at Navalshore.
Team Norway in cooperation with Norwegian Maritime Exporters also hosted a cocktail reception on August 11, with the ambition of providing representatives of Norwegian and Brazilian companies with an arena for informal networking during this year´s expo. On August 12, a breakfast seminar on the role of the Pre-sal S/A (PSSA) took place. More will follow on the breakfast seminar.
Kongsberg Maritime was present at Navalshore for the third time this year.
«It is always difficult to measure the value of our presence at an event like this, but despite the difficult times, we decided to stay the course and keep focus. We do believe in improvements in the market, but currently we are seeing that companies have less money to spend on training. As for ongoing projects and maintenance on installed equipment, the activity level is close to business as usual, and we continue optimistic for the remainder of the year», Managing Director Jan Tore Linstad says.
M & O Partners and Inventure Management organized a two day seminar on how to do business in Brazil. The seminar was designed for foreign companies and organizations seeking to expand the operation to the shipbuilding industry, who wish to get a good understanding of and an introduction to the the Brazilian business environment and to the opportunities and challenges of the sector. Topics like the current market situation, local content, market entry considerations, corporate and project finance, how to increase sales and legal matters were debated during the seminar.
Mr. Erik Hannisdal, Managing Partner of Inventure Management and NBCC VP, gave a lecture on market entry strategies, and emphasized the importance of proper planning and research. He outlined the three options for foreign companies thinking of getting into the Brazilian market: Through a subsidiary, a joint venture or a sales agent.
«Our vision us that the market has hit the bottom, and that we now have better years ahead. We advice you to use local support and partners. Using a sales representative is the low investment alternative for smaller companies, and when local content is not an issue. I presumed that a Joint Venture with an established Brazilian company would be the preferred choice, but this option requires commitment from both parties to succeed. If entering into a Joint Venture with an established Brazilian company, complex labor laws and the transaction process itself, where the seller often has high price expectations, and the fact that company records in Brazil are typically not audited, are challenges you might be facing», Mr. Hannisdal said during his presentation.
M & O Partners, one of the main representatives for foreign equipment and services to the Brazilian market, established in 2010, also hosted a maritime and offshore business seminar on August 10, 2015, where several international suppliers attended and presented their services. The sales agent, currently representing 35 companies in Brazil, also released good news to the market during Navalshore:
«M & O Partners is going international, and opening an office in Houston by September 2015. We also hope to open in Mexico by the end of the year and are looking for other places in the world, maybe Iran, Angola and Australia. The idea is to leverage from all the clients we have established a good relationship with, and take them to new markets, using our platform. About 80 percent of our clients wants to come to Mexico with us», Managing Director Jan Lomholdt says.
M & O Partners and Inventure Management will also be merging activities and services and go global under the M & O brand.
«Since we have been successful in a difficult country like Brazil, we think we can be in other countries as well, and handle issues that we have been facing here, like corruption. Other countries struggle with many of the same issues. We have done well, and said no, no, no, but still got business. We believe that our way of thinking, our platform can be used in a new way. Agents are usually local, and we want to cooperate with locals but use our platform to enter these new markets», Mr. Lomholdt says.
NBCC representatives were also among the speakers at a Leadership Forum, organized for the first time during Navalshore. Ronaldo Lima, president of Abeam and Uwe Hollenbach of DNV GL were on the speakers list during the forum, organized in partnership with Firjan and Sinaval. RIB Norsafe and Ulstein Belga Marine gave presentations during the expo.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist
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