Brazil is a young country with a dynamic, multicultural society. Over a number of years, it has shown itself to be one of the most promising markets in the world – and one of the most important within Latin America.
Brazil also boasts a diversified middle-income economy with mature manufacturing, mining and agriculture sectors, while its technology and services industries are growing rapidly.
Since being founded as a think tank and research centre in 1980, FIA Business School has helped nurture CEOs and corporate leaders across many industries in Brazil, furthering their understanding of business and public policy issues.
This forward-thinking approach is epitomised by the organisation’s future studies centre, Profuturo, which was created to study the role of ethanol fuel in Brazil by exploring its technological, managerial and social impacts.
From its very outset, FIA Business School has focused on societal issues, placing an emphasis on business ethics and corporate social responsibility
The success of Profuturo has sparked further future-orientated studies into transportation, biodiesel production, agroindustrial strategic planning and product development, as well as a host of other management areas geared towards the creation of progressive business strategies.
As Brazil opened its doors to international competition in 1991, the Profuturo team launched the country’s first executive MBA programme. As part of the course, students are required to conduct research projects into local emerging markets, as well as undertake two international study trips.
As such, large groups of FIA students can often be found making excursions to Europe, China, India, Dubai, South Africa and the US in pursuit of a broader educational experience. In 2008, the FIA supplemented this offering with the introduction of the International MBA, its first course taught entirely in English.
charitable organisations benefit from FIA alumni’s management knowledge
The Americas MBA followed just three years later, offering undergraduates a joint programme with partner schools in Mexico (ITAM), Canada (Simon Fraser University) and the US (Vanderbilt University).
Students enrolled on the Americas MBA begin their studies at their home university before attending four intensive residencies in each participating country to learn about local business cultures and perform real-world consulting projects with an international company. The success of these initiatives has allowed the FIA to attract some of the best students from across Europe, Asia and the US.
From its very outset, the FIA has focused on societal issues, placing an emphasis on business ethics and corporate social responsibility. This has ensured FIA students continue to give back to the community long after they graduate. In fact, over the past two decades, FIA alumni have contributed their management knowledge to more than 650 charities and non-governmental organisations.
Profuturo has also sought to develop new approaches to the problems that have beset emerging markets for decades, encouraging staff members and students to share their ideas with local stakeholders.
Since 1984, the FIA faculty has been developing scenarios and models to help Brazilian companies create products for low-income individuals in emerging markets. As Director of Profuturo and International MBAs, I have studied the relationship between corporate foresight and the development processes of businesses operating in Brazil.
My research indicates that Brazilian companies have been applying Profuturo methods to the initial stages of their R&D processes, adding value and generating competitive advantages as a result.
Through its varied MBA programmes and future-orientated research projects, the FIA seeks to do more than simply develop capable managers: it aims to mould executives who will make Brazilian companies more competitive on the international stage, while continuing to bring effective and concrete contributions to a better world.