Course Description

Course Name

International Business: Doing Business in Brazil

Session: VFPS1120

Hours & Credits

54 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level


General Course Description

The course aims to increase student knowledge and familiarity of significant aspects of Brazilian business and financial markets. The teaching methodology is dynamic and involves theoretical and practical aspects of conducting business in Brazil. Students will also be introduced to various cultural tenets pertaining to Brazilian business management, allowing them to better understand unique and different behaviors as they relate to business practices and marketing in Brazil. Ultimately, students will gain an appreciation for, and recognition of, different Brazilian regional customs and management styles, and how to best manage and conduct business in the Brazilian setting.

Course Objectives

Students will:

  • Identify key factors related to the Brazilian Market.
  • Become familiar with basic Brazilian business strategies and how they apply/do not apply to particular industries.
  • Identify the opportunities to invest and do business in Brazil.
  • Explain and demonstrate (using case studies) how cultural sensitivity and awareness play integral roles in successful business development.
  • Understand and explain how globalization and technological innovation has changed some local cultural business practices, and solidified/formalized others.
  • Compare and contrast different regional management practices and understand how they can or cannot be applied to the global market.
  • List and explain specific management and entrepreneurial challenges faced in country case studies

Course Contents

Class 1: Welcoming class

Content: Course introduction - key themes to be addressed, scheduled activities and methods of assessment; introduction to Brazilian market aspects.

Class 2: Integration with Brazilian students

Content: the students are welcomed to join the class about International Business Relations with Brazilian students.

Class 3: Market environment

Contents: In order to understand the relevant aspects about the Brazilian Market, the students must learn the acronym "PEST" - Political, Economic, Social and Technological system.
Reading: "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" by C.K Prahalad.

Class 4: Brazilian economy

Contents: Understanding the  aspects  that  are  driving  the  Brazilian Economy. GDP, Inflation rate, Interest rate, Unemployment rate and risk to invest in Brazil will be presented to the students.
Reading: Article from by Vincent Bevins.

Class 5: Market basic concepts

Contents:  Market definitions, Barter concept, the right product at the right market. The influence of Supply and Demand on the Market trends.
Video: "The power of the informal economy" by Robert Neuwirth.

Class 6: Market challenge

Contents: The students will be split into small work groups, at the end of class, each group will have to make a two minute pitch offering their services to cater for an event.

Class 7: Class Excursion

Contents: Visiting "Parque Ambiental Tractebel."

Class 8: Check learning

Contents: Mid-term - Evaluation.

Class 9: Marketing basic concepts

Contents: Market Segmentation, Target Marketing and Marketing Positioning.
Group Dynamics: Segmentation exercises.

Class 10: Marketing basic concepts

Contents: Principles of Marketing and Marketing Mix.
Reading: "Marketing is Everything" by Regis McKenna.

Class 11: Business strategy

Contents:  Generic  Strategies  -  Cost  leadership  Strategy;  Differentiation Strategy and Focus or Strategic Scope.
Reading: "Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors" by Michael Porter.

Class 12: Business strategy

Contents: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors.
Reading: "Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors" by Michael Porter.

Class 13: Check learning

Contents: Final Exam - Evaluation.

Class 14: Class Excursion

Contents: Visiting local industries - Grupo Almeida Junior.

Class 15: Business project

Contents: Developing a Business Proposal For The Brazilian Market - the students will follow a road map to develop a business idea to be implemented in Brazil.

Class 16: Lecture

Contents: Presentation of a case study from a local entrepreneur.

Class 17: Seminar Presentation

Contents: Each student will present a specific Business Proposal for the Brazilian Market - Evaluation.

Class 18: Trends for the Brazilian market

Contents: Top Trends for the Brazilian Market.
Reading: Key Trends for Brazilian CIOs in 2017 by Angelica Mary.


  • 40% - Lecture attendance and participation: Students' full attendance and punctuality are essential to the learning objectives of the course. Students are expected actively participate in class - ask questions, contribute comments on the texts and overall materials analyzed in the course, and partake in classroom discussions. Every student's participation will be evaluated.
  • 20% - Mid-Term: The mid-term will cover theoretical and practical knowledge of course material and content up to the day of the exam.
  • 20% - Final Exam: The final exam will cover theoretical and practical knowledge of course material and content up to the day of the exam.
  • 20% - Final in-class Seminar presentation: Each student will present an original business proposal, specifically designed for the Brazilian market, during class.

Attendance Policy

  • To be approved, the student must have a minimum of 70% of improvement and 75% of class attendance.
  • The student cannot be absent on up to 25% of classes. In case of injury or sickness the absence of the student will not count if he presents a medical certificate. In this context, the classroom assignments shall be sent via e-mail to him/her. When the student returns to class, the professor is instructed to pay extra attention to him/her in the process of catching up with the class.
  • Possibility of dropping or adding classes: Please note that courses are determined prior to the student's arrival on-site.

*Course content subject to change