Technology from emerging markets: Why serendipity played a role in exports of Brazilian software

First published: 12 September 2019
 
Half a dozen of Brazilian IT companies have launched IPO's or follow‐up in American stock exchanges during 2018‐19. Further research will clarify the path they took, but for now they confirm the gist of this article: they also seem to have been mostly invited to venture abroad by people like the International Capital Director of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) who, “with a sharp focus on IT companies, of late often visits Brazil for companies interested in going public on Wall Street” (Guilherme, 2019).

Funding information: DFID/ESCOR

Abstract

Brazilian software exports still do not match a relatively high local prowess in the matter. The negative country of origin image for technology products may only emphasize a tendency to avoid international exposure among entrepreneurs. I suggest that lack of self‐esteem may play an important part in hindering Brazilian competitiveness and I point out to the roots of the negative portrayal of themselves, buying in to the negative image that gives place to the country of origin effect. Much of this interpretation may be relevant to other former colonies and are applicable to other creative industries. I draw on three cases in which Brazilian software companies awaited foreigners to invite them to export and I illustrate that a strong Brazilian reluctance to expose themselves abroad may be at play. I seek to explain the roots of that reluctance in a lack of worldliness as well as in an attitude that may have psychoanalytical foundations grounded in genesis of Brazil and in the way this development affected its institutions and the people's Weltanschauung. The policy implications are significant, as expecting Brazilians technology entrepreneurs to sell technology products at fairs, may be the wrong way to go. Instead, an export policy that allows for building partnerships capable of allowing for mitigating risks, building affective relationships, and better understanding of the other will require rebalancing policies, that is, less participation in fairs and more two‐way internships, policies which are likely to render more palpable results among Brazilians and possibly among other former colonial nations.