Brazil’s economy has been going through a transition for the last 30 months. Exports have been down, and investors left the country when the country’s credit rating was downgraded. But the recent political changes have sparked renewed interest in Brazil. Foreign investors are coming back to the largest economy in South America. The third quarter of 2016 showed renewed corporate interest. Many foreign corporations have been waiting for the country to bounce back from the impact of China’s economic slowdown.
The new projections for 2017 show an increase in the GDP percentage. Instead of no increase, the economy should grow by almost two percent in 2017, and by more than three percent in 2018. That’s great news for export companies like Eucatex. Eucatex is one of Brazil’s top exporters of building materials. According to CEO, Flavio Maluf, Eucatex has been meeting their sales and profit projections during the economic slowdown, but Maluf expects his export business to increase in 2017.
Eucatex is one of those family-owned Brazilian companies that grew from a one-product wonder into a full line of building supply materials for the domestic as well as for the export market. The Maluf family owned a sawmill in the state of Sao Paulo in the 1950s, and the sawmill cut eucalyptus trees as well as other trees for its customers. Maluf’s grandfather noticed an excessive amount of eucalyptus wood overruns, and he wanted to do something about the wood that was going to waste. Maluf came up with the idea to make ceiling tiles out of the excess eucalyptus wood, and he sold the tiles to some of his friends in the construction business. The ceiling tiles were sturdy, inexpensive, and they looked great, so the demand for the tiles grew faster than anyone expected. Dino.com writes that Maluf founded Eucatex in the late 1950s, and in the beginning, the company only made eucalyptus wood ceiling tiles for the domestic market.
When Flavio Maluf became president of Eucatex in 1997, the company was exporting ceiling tiles and other products to other countries in South America. Maluf expanded the product line and opened environmentally friendly offices in several cities around the world. Today, Eucatex is a leader in the clean air movement and a leader in the building supply industry. Be sure to follow Flavio personally on his Facebook page, and check out his advice on Segs.