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Brazil’s land mass at 8.5 million kilometers is just a bit larger than Australia and barely smaller than the US & China. Their population, 191 million, is 2/3 the US. 83% of Brazilians are live in urban area apartment complexes. Suburbs may be coming but they aren’t here yet. (Perhaps as the subways are completed to handle the influx expected for the 2016 Olympics, it will be more practical.) Brazil’s GDP is growing faster than most other countries in the world. The shift in the number of people considered ‘middle class’ in Brazil has moved from 34% of the population to 53% in just 5 years!The next events defining Brazil’s growing Ineternational visibility are the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Evidence of these events and the pride Brazilians feel at having won them is palpable. Our delegation spent the entire day (Tuesday, November 28) at the southern edge of Rio De Janeiro learning about the Business Strategy, Operation and HR practices of the Brazil’s media giant, Globo whose largest division, TV Globo, is located here.In stark contrast to ChemTech which had grown from 100 to 1000 employees in the last decade (see previous blog), TV Globo has 11,000 F/T employees and an equal number of service/contingent workers. The employee size of the company however doesn’t begin to describe its influence in Brazil.Consider that most of the “Media” revenues in Brazil (63%) are generated through TV advertising. Only 4% of revenue in this category was attributed to the Internet as of 2010 (versus 16% in the US by contrast). Magazines are 9% and Newspapers have dropped but are still 12%. “PayTV” is miniscule but growing very rapidly as the ‘middleclass’ grows and can afford to switch to HD.Globo dominates every single category.Brazil’s Media Industry grosses the 5th highest amount of advertising dollars in the world. Comparing TV advertising dollars alone, Brazil is 3rd in the world. When you consider the proportion claimed by Globo, it is a serious contender on the world stage.I tried to imagine a similar firm in the US. It would own 50% of every TV station, Newspaper, Magazine and Cable company. AND it would be producing 35,000 hours of content annually. Not just the news shows but feature films, kids shows, public radio and TV messaging, soap operas, etc, etc. A BBC gone commercial. I couldn’t get my mind around it. Every day nearly 100 million people watch TV Globo or one of its 122 affiliates during prime time! The size and quality of its demographic is the reason they get a significant premium rate over their competitors.It seems to me as a relatively naïve observer (with only a few data points so far) that Brazil’s architecture (in Rio), lack of cable access and the strength of its traditional labor unions reminds me of the 50’s and 60’s in the US…but not totally. The growth of the Internet and mobile trends in Brazil mirrors the 90’s but, higher level professionals and students are quickly closing the gap. Strategies around the engagement of employees reflects current US practices although engagement here is in combination with a unique Brazilian nationalistic flair that is appealing to me but unlike any approach I’ve seen emerge in US based firms.TV Globo’s HR practices emphasize a solid workforce planning strategy, job rotation and intense collaboration as a critical competency. Interns and employee referrals are key sources. Retention is nearly 97% (and that isn’t necessarily healthy). The firm has a solid HR leadership team and has been building a competency model to reduce 1,000 job titles, is enhancing their internships, ramping up programs to ensure greater inclusion of people with incomes below ‘ middle-class’ as well as people with disabilities.We got back late Tuesday and I’m still trying to decide whether to post pictures of our journey to a Brazilian Samba club. Some sights just aren’t meant to be shared and my version of the Samba would need some serious photoshopping. Wednesday included a vist to  a rain forest and to a legitimate wonder of the world before our flight to Sao Paulo. I’ll post pictures tomorrow.Thursday and Friday five business meetings are on tap.(Thanks to Mike Hard and BountyJobs for their support of my trip to Brazil)
Original source article: CareerXroads