Doing Business with Petrobras: How to score a goal

Thursday, March 29, 2012      

Doing business with Petrobras, Brazil's largest oil company, may seem intimidating but opportunities abound in this ever-expanding company. Before you throw yourself in the game, take a look at our 7 unknown tips to optimize your relationship with Petrobras.

1. Know the prospects:

Petrobras' made history in 2006 with their huge discovery of pre-salt and a conservative estimate projects that reserves will double thanks to broad access to new reserves. Exploration in Brazilian sedimentary basins show incredible hydrocarbon potential and deep-water discoveries in Brazil make up 1/3 of global discoveries from 2005-2010. This planned expansion means many new refineries as well as critical resources and equipment will be required and US$4.6 billion has been set aside for investment in cutting-edge technology. In the meantime, the company remains committed to investment in research and development in order to maintain their competitive advantage. No matter what your game is, the prospects for doing business with Petrobras have never been better.

2. Know who you're dealing with:

Petrobras is Brazil's pride and joy as proved by former Brazilian President Lula who once said 'If Petrobras were a woman, it would be the one that all mothers would like their sons to be married to.' Boasting $70billion in the last five years, business is booming and the company has a lot to be optimistic about as the newly appointed CEO Maria das Graças Foster brings a new perspective to the company. Nicknamed 'the Iron Lady of Oil' this self-made woman rose from one Rio's favelas to become the first woman to head Petrobras, the largest company in South America.

3. Learn what they're looking for:

Petrobras employees are loyal to their company and applaud the many professional development and learning opportunities offered at Brazil's oil giant. Petrobras prides itself in its constant search for improvement, excellence, and profitability allied with social and environmental responsibility. If you want to do business with Petrobras, you will need to show that you are playing the same game, which brings us to our next tip.

4. Avoid Foul Play:

Many of our oil and gas translation clients have found that Petrobras is truly committed to social and environmental responsibility; this is reflected in their long-term business strategy. Terms such as 'corporate citizenship' and 'sustainable development' have been prevalent in Brazilian consumer society for years and Brazil is on the cutting edge of innovating and implementing new procedures that keep up with global environmental protection standards. Petrobras states explicitly that it works towards 'managing the potential impacts of its activities and projects geared to the protection of endangered areas and species'. They've set the bar high so if you have hopes of doing business with Petrobras, you'll need to show them that are able to keep up in areas of environmental protection.

5. Develop an entry strategy:

It is said that business in Brazil is based on personal relationships but when it comes to doing business with Petrobras, it's going to take more than a contact to get your foot in the door. An organized, clear cut business plan is a must since the company has strict requirements on procurement and procedures.

6. Play by Their Rules:

If you want to be successful in doing business with Petrobras, you can't ignore their ground rules. Your product or service must be fully qualified and you will need to develop a complete proposal or bid package to even be considered. Petrobras establishes a straightforward but complex bidding process and invitations aren't always broadcast so it can be difficult to spot the upcoming opportunities. Experts such as oil and gas translators may make the process run smoother for you and a partnership with a local company will also help you score the bid.

7. Move Forward:

After you've landed the contract with this multi billion dollar oil company, you'll have much to celebrate but before you sit back and enjoy the caipirinhas, you'll first want to ensure that your partnership is successful and will lead to future collaborations. The best advice out there is 'don't go it alone.' Pair up with local experts that can help you with international staffing, local tax and labor laws, as well as Portuguese language services to assure that your business with Petrobras is communicated effectively.

Camilo Muñoz is the founder and CEO of Translation Source.


Article Tags

Petrobras Brazil South America

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser. More

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