on 08 Sep 2016 1:57 PM
In August 2016, we took some time to get to better know Nicolas Ramaux, General Manager for Generix Group Brazil, in order to learn more about how things were developing for our Latin American subsidiary.
Nicolas has been overseeing operations in the region from our São Paulo headquarters since 2011, when he took over after having previously served as our Head of Technical Department. His business and technical backgrounds, in addition to his many years of living and working in Brazil, give him a keen perspective of the market and technology landscape of this pivotal country.
How are SaaS solutions viewed by leading companies in Brazil today?
SaaS has been popular in Brazil for a long time. It probably began to trend here around the same time as in Europe, just after the U.S.. Brazilian society is quite up to speed on modern technology, so I would say there’s even less psychological resistance to innovative methods here than in Europe. For example, in Brazil, many people were buying cell phones even before buying fixed lines; also, individuals began paying their taxes online here long before the practice became popular in France.
And to speak more specifically about SaaS: In Brazil, they’re very comfortable outsourcing these types of solutions to help their business run more smoothly, and in a more cost-effective manner. They’re not afraid of it. So, as I see it, SaaS is strong here and will only continue to get stronger.
Despite the lack of resistance to modern technology and SaaS solutions, do you still feel like you need to educate the market ?
Yes, we must educate our market, but not on SaaS, more so on the product itself. There are large companies here who still do not realize just how much they can really do to optimize their processes in supply chain management using tools like the ones we offer.
The big brands here who are subsidiaries of large international groups are very mature in supply chain management. It’s the same as if we were dealing with a company in the U.S. or in Europe. There is still work to be done, however, to show local companies how they can revolutionize the supply chain with SaaS tools.
What are the biggest challenges to overcome in your market?
Today, the biggest obstacle we face is the economic downturn that continues to suppress activity here. It’s a huge recession—we lost 3.5 percent of the GDP last year and it will likely be the same this year. This means companies are investing less in growth in general, consumers are not consuming, retailers are invoicing less, and it can be tricky to convince clients to invest in innovation.
However, this is a bittersweet dilemma for us, as we are in a unique position to use the recession as a real opportunity. Our SaaS model differentiates us in that it is the only solution of its kind here that is fully integrated. None of our competitors in the region are able to offer their clients the full package like we do. So, when you’re in the middle of an economic crisis, a SaaS model that covers all bases of a particular problem, such as supply chain management, can be like a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Our customers see that by investing in a good productivity tool, even during a time when it’s a little scary to invest, they can survive the storm by reducing expenses and improving their margins. This is done, of course, via optimization, which is what our solution is really all about.