Hamilton Costa with ANconsulting Discusses Latin American Opporunities
Published on October 17, 2011
Cary Sherburne and Consultant Hamilton Costa from ANconsulting discuss the Latin America market and the opportunities that lie within.
Cary Sherburne: Hi, Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Hamilton Costa from Brazil, AN Consulting. Welcome.
Hamilton Costa: Thank you.
Cary Sherburne: You know a lot of times in the United States we tend to be a little inwardly focused and we maybe don’t really know what is going on in other parts of the world and this is a great opportunity for you to share with us kind of what is going on in Latin America in terms of the printing market and the transition from analog to digital and so on.
Hamilton Costa: So thanks for the invitation Cary. It’s a pleasure to be here and in fact, you’re right, so most people in North America don’t have much information about Latin America in general. Latin America is not a major market for printing yet. It’s different than the United States, Western Europe, etcetera, so it has some kind of different traditions let’s say at this time, so the market is still growing because it’s still growing the number of consumers in general in those countries, especially Brazil is growing a lot, a considerable. The last let’s say 10 years more than 40 million people came to what is called the new middleclass, so we have some demand for traditional products, but at the same time at the top level you still have replacements of products, especially coming from digital, so we have both. That is like a contradiction at the same.
So the market is growing, a lot of print industry in different countries. The print industry in general is growing too. At the same time we see replacement of products, also opportunities for new business with digital printing, etcetera, etcetera, so we suffered much less in the last crisis, 2008, 2009, so we still had fantastic growth rates in different countries in Latin America last year. So the print industry also performed very well and that brings up a lot of companies with very, very updated equipment, technology, etcetera, so on the contrary that many people in the United States think, you have a huge number of state-of-the-art companies, printing companies.
Cary Sherburne: I was lucky enough to visit Columbia last year and the numbers are really quite astounding. When you look at the decline in North America and you look at six to ten or even more percent growth in some of those countries it’s quite amazing.
Hamilton Costa: That’s it. Brazil last year had a growth of around seven percent. Peru has grown around ten percent, so are other countries like that. Now for sure the size of the market is much smaller than the North America market. We communicate much less than here. This is a communication society, so we are much more verbal than writing and reading, so it’s part of the future, but even so it’s in fact, that’s what I said, it’s really growing, so that’s why many companies still use the traditional equipment, larger for offset, maybe the big producers of the last two years were their best year in that part of the world on contrary to what they are doing in Latin America. We had a tradeshow for instance, in Brazil last year that all the CEOs of the main offset manufacturers in the world were there. I said well something is happening because a lot were there at the same time you know, so, but at the same time we’re seeing in digital area. We work a lot in digital printing area too, so we are also seeing fantastic new business models, new applications, new developments coming up in distinguished segments and offerings to the market, so we see both things at the same time, so it’s funny.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah, I was interested also and I talk to a lot of the print buyers around North America and a lot of them are looking to do some outsourcing offshore for selected types of printing and a lot of them are asking their printers here locally to help them find partners. So do you see a lot of that going on?
Hamilton Costa: Not a lot of that, but it seems to me a real opportunity for Latin American printers looking for new markets and new opportunities first because the most of them most important North American companies are there. If you take a country like Brazil or the 500 and much more North American countries, five top hundred.
Cary Sherburne: The Fortune 500.
Hamilton Costa: Yeah and they are there, so you start having a connection on this and they can take advantage of this too.
Cary Sherburne: Is that part of what you do in your consulting business? Do you help make these connections?
Hamilton Costa: We also help them to make connections. We also for instance, represent NPS there, so frequently we try to find partners for distributors or distributors or dealers for North American companies, but basically vendors and etcetera, so printing companies they do that, especially in packaging. They have done that Westpaco and other companies like that, but I think there are still more opportunities coming up if North American printers start taking a look at that piece of the world. It’s not about buyers. Buyers they don’t have much information about Latin America.
Cary Sherburne: Right, exactly.
Hamilton Costa: I had this principal when I managed color in seven countries in Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, etcetera. I developed the Chemical Corporation in Mexico. The most difficult thing to export even being chemical at that time was to convince the buyer that there was a printing company there. Where is the country? Where is the city? So sometimes they came to visit San Paulo. San Paulo is one of the top five cities in the world. When people there, so I couldn’t realize that, so yeah, so there is not only the city. There are people and printing companies here.
Cary Sherburne: And high quality printing companies.
Hamilton Costa: And high quality printing, very, very high quality. It’s funny to see these traditional manufacturers they used to take Brazilian printers, gather them in a group and take them to Europe or other countries to see installations. Now they do in our country. They take the Italians. They take Germans.
Cary Sherburne: And bring them to Latin America. That’s great.
Hamilton Costa: And bring them to Latin America and to Brazil to visit a lot of companies there. It’s funny to see this reverse side of things. So to be more successful in exporting for Latin America to the United States the people there should come here, make some promotion around that and say hey we exist, second, we have cities. I'm kidding, but we have printing companies, very good printing companies. They can—maybe they cannot beat completely Chinese because of the price, but they can beat many things including lead time.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah, they are a lot closer.
Hamilton Costa: or much more close.
Cary Sherburne: And language.
Hamilton Costa: And language and many things, so certainly there are niches in North America that can also American printers can take advantage of that. Doing bridge with the right partnership with companies there they could complete their offer here.
Cary Sherburne: Now I really appreciate you sharing because you know I have a special place in my heart for Latin America and I’d like to help educate my fellow countrymen on what goes on down there. It’s a beautiful, beautiful part of the world. Thank you.
Hamilton Costa: Thank you Cary.
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