A Brazilian Adventure Filled with Strategy and… Broken Portuguese!
by Uday Tumuluri, MBA ‘13 (8/29/12)
As an Endeavor eMBA Summer Associate, Uday worked with a leading Brazilian pre-media and marketing services client to draft a 5 year growth strategy.
Brazil has been an indelible life experience. As I rode through the infamous Sao Paulo traffic in a taxi it became clear that on appearance Sao Paulo is just like Mumbai or New York – a massive city filled with traffic, huge elegant buildings, depleting infrastructure, and most notably, a crowded, busy city. However, much to my surprise, on my first day at work, I was overwhelmed by the friendly and welcoming nature of my client and soon realized that this is actually a trait of Brazilian people. I knew Brazil loved its futebol and my second day there I got a taste of their passion as I watched amongst fans, two rival teams compete in a semi-final match and then slept to the sound of fireworks across this city.
Over the summer I interned with Endeavor as an eMBA Summer Associate. Established in 1997, Endeavor is leading the global High-Impact Entrepreneurship movement by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the most promising entrepreneurs in emerging market countries around the world. High-Impact Entrepreneurs create thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and inspire a culture of innovation. eMBA Summer Associates are paired with high impact entrepreneurs to provide strategic advice to ensure continued growth.
As part of the eMBA program, I worked as a consultant with a leading pre-media (finalization and proofing before publishing marketing collateral) and marketing services client in Rio, Brazil. Over a 10 week period I collaborated with my client’s leadership team to draft a long term strategy for growth in Brazil’s rapidly growing economy. My project took shape in an interesting manner in that it began with a plan to start a new consultancy service for clients but after speaking with the leadership team we quickly realized that long term strategic plan was needed. I was definitely surprised by the amount of responsibility I was given including defining my own work plan and deliverables, weekly meetings with the C-Suite and an ability to shape the future of the organization. I always had an interest in M&A and luckily I was able to assess many target firms for strategic acquisition, one of which is currently underway. To top it off, I was interviewed by one of Brazil’s most popular business newspapers, Valor Economico!
My SGE immersion project experience was very useful when visualizing my internship assignment from a macro perspective. It helped me ask my client important questions regarding the company’s vision and analyze potential growth opportunities from a more simplified yet broader perspective. Additionally, the SGE immersion project prepared me for challenges associated with working with passionate entrepreneurs. Given the strategic flavor of my project, I was able to draw extensively upon my learning from other Johnson classes such as Management Cases, Strategy, Marketing and MLO. With work moving at such a fast pace, it was a great experience to sift through research material in Portuguese and imbibe the Brazilian work culture that included a stress free environment, long lunch meetings, and meetings that rarely started on time!
I found my summer internship to be a wonderful learning experience both professionally and personally. I learned a new language (Portuguese), appreciated a new culture and its values, and travelled to Rio – easily the most beautiful city I have seen. I believe my internship experience prepares me well for a career in strategy consulting which is my desired career path. Furthermore, I still keep in touch with my client and it is exciting to know that significant progress is being made on my recommendations!