- Posted September 20, 2013 by
Cesar Kuberek : Thales coaches its champions in Brazil
Contributing to Brazil’s economic expansion is the objective Thales and its vice president for Latin America, César Kuberek, have set themselves for the country. Participating in the development of public infrastructure and companies, transferring technology, implementing regional and international partnerships, etc. all mean business opportunities for company managers and the promise of new jobs for inhabitants. “We’re grounding our action on local industry and State investment”, confirms Kuberek.
The group’s strategy is simple: harnessing Brazilian know-how, and even encouraging it, rather than imposing a foreign model from above. For instance, Thales bought Omnisys, a pioneering and leading electronic component manufacturer in 2011 after starting the acquisition back in 2005. While preserving the company’s historic roots, the group invested in developing the business and made its own technologies available so that the entire territory could benefit. The same strategy was applied with the Brazilian Space Agency for the public-funded development of domestic satellites.
This technology transfer enables companies to save time, and provides them with instant access to know-how involving years of research and development. In this way, the group also participates towards modernising air traffic control systems: Thales has supplied more than half today’s operational systems, contributing to make flying safe for operators and passengers alike.
Radar, sonar and embedded systems are also key skill areas for Thales, as is the simulator market for the army: “highly important for Brazil” according to Thales Brazil country director Julien Rousselet. Each faction has extensive requirements in this field, and the French group’s know-how can meet them.
The partnership is win-win every time. According to Omnisys president Edgard Menezes, his company has increased its turnover ten-fold thanks to Thales. “In 2001, he recalls, we were making about 1.5 million dollars and only employed three people. Today, we’re employing nearly 250 people and we’re approaching 80 million dollars in sales!” And this is not the only advantage, remarks César Kuberek: “once the local businesses have integrated our know-how, we include them in our supply chain, which lets them develop local jobs as well as their exports. They increase the competitiveness of local industry and open up new markets for it.”
Making Brazil a gateway to the whole of Latin America is another of Thales’ goals, since the country has “a major influence on its neighbours”, insists the president. This creates another win-win situation when new foreign investments, notably European, are in turn attracted by the region’s economic dynamics. Historically, France has already poured a total of 31 billion dollars into Brazil, which ranks it fifth investor worldwide. Faithful to this tradition, Thales is now on the forefront with its 250 employees spread in four locations in the country in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, São Bernardo do Campo and Brasilia.