Friday, September 24, 2021

For the over-18s

David Seromenho, CEO CV&A Brazil

I live in a tropical country, blessed by God and beautiful by nature, and my, what beauty. In February, there is Carnival…”. Yes, Brazil is where I have been living since 6th October 2010 when I embarked on my green and gold adventure. However, history cannot be ignored. There is a need to preserve it while keeping your eyes set on the future. And the beginning of my path in Cunha Vaz started out 18 years ago in striking “Lisboa, lady and young girl. Your light is such that my eyes see so pure….”.

With Cunha Vaz, I obtained maturity and turned 18. Years of learning, conquests, successes, disillusionments, partnerships, humility, celebrations, growth but above all gratitude for the path taken. The “son” left home to go and project our name in Brazilian Portuguese.

I knew that when I left my comfort zone, with its view out over Marquês de Pombal, the journey was not going to be easy. Brazil is not for amateurs. In order to prevail in such a country, there is a need for persistence, being available to deal with a market with its very own, and highly evolved, specific characteristics. The secret is achieving a balance and a sharing of the experiences that, in many different areas, are highly different between the two countries. I would also add patience, the will to work and a good dose of optimism, such a strong characteristic of this happily smiling people.

I arrived when the country was at its peak and, over these recent years, I have surfed through some highly troubled seas. Years of major oscillations that produce the kind of peak waves that surfers can usually only otherwise encounter in Portugal’s Nazaré. I witnessed economic, social and political crises and, more recently, the global health crisis. But I experienced unique times and moments in which the country showed to the world its capacity and resistance.

The succession of continuous crises may have shaken internal confidence, never mind that of foreign investors, and dragged the name of Brazil into the headlines around the world and not for the best reasons. However, this “giant of nature” is taking to its feet and, from my perspective, participating in the Brazilian market dynamics is truly an opportunity even if also a major challenge, replete with obstacles. This has never been easy but has always truly been worthwhile.

With their eyes set on the future, Brazilian companies do not discard opportunities to win back what is theirs in national and international markets. Persistence is a Brazilian skill and the excellence of their services leaves nothing to be desired especially when aligned with the very best in world practices. May the next international media spotlights be cast on Brazil for far more worthy reasons. I believe in a Brazil of the future.

However, the “son” is Portuguese and the pride in my country and our brands is always present in my daily behaviours. Ever since my arrival in Brazil, I have sought to convey this side of Portugal often so unknown to this people even though speaking the same language.

As Vinicius de Moraes once did say: “Such a fatal yearning, the yearning for Brazil when in Portugal”. For me, words such as yearning, with such deeply national connotations, is to recall all of the good things that I’ve lived in both countries. To set out for São Paulo a message of optimism conveyed to all of those who persist and reinvent themselves along the way.

To also my own, Cunha Vaz & Associados, extending to all the colleagues I have engaged with along the way, many congratulations for having achieved adulthood in such a brilliant fashion, risking and taking the Portuguese of Portugal way beyond its own borders. 

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