About the Healthcare Market in Brazil and Marriage

Written by Ms. Gali H. Wienerman

When you hear about Brazil, the first two things that come to mind are Carnival and Samba. There is the iconic Jesus statue overlooking Rio, Iguacu Falls, the Amazon River and the beaches of Bahia. But it’s not all natural beauty and dancing. If you want to begin your international business with Brazil, there are some important things you should keep in mind.

Treat her like a lady –

1) Get to know her
Apart from demography, main topics of conversation (soccer, politics and traffic) and the import taxes, we recommend getting to know the Brazil Healthcare lingo – Anvisa, Inmetro, SUS, Radar, Mercosul. You should also know that Healthcare is considered a citizen’s right and that the Public and Private sectors are in a huge growth spurt.

Figure 4: As Brazil’s Population Grows, So Does Its’ Health Spending (source: Sutherland Global Services)

2) Like every beauty – Brazil is a unique model
Brazil has a history that makes her stand out both culturally and financially. It is one of the BRIC countries and the 7th largest economy in the world so it will behave in a way that is unique to her. The government is currently pushing innovation into the Healthcare sector with a variety of financing opportunities for businesses to grow their infrastructure and portfolio. This allows for creating new models of import and distribution that do not currently exist in the country.

3) She doesn’t like to be compared to others…
Your experience with other Markets may be a deterrent. Do not assume you understand the players in the Market because you have commercialized your product in the US, Europe, or other BRIC countries. Having FDA clearance or a CE Mark will not help you in the Brazilian regulatory path. Lead times will be different, timelines will be unexpected (for better or worse) and trying to compare your Brazilian partner to other territories will most probably end up in your spending the night on the couch.


4) There is no “one size fits all”
After many decades of financial instability, the Brazilians like to diversify. They will do this with their portfolio as well as their business model. In every niche market you will find very different players with different agendas and goals. It is crucial to find the right partner and establish the right model for the relationship based on both your needs. Eyes – Teeth – Lungs – Heart – no two are identical.

5) She gets what she wants
Market need is Key. Brazilians think with their eyes on the Market. Distributors will listen to a Physician before they believe the numbers in a spreadsheet. They will want to try the device first in a number of sites and then decide on messaging. They will take the KOLs to dinner before deciding to sign a distribution contract with your company. Listen to her and what she wants if you want her to stay yours.

And if there is one thing you should take away from this post it’s:
Whatever you decide to do – don’t do it alone: find the right partner!

Your primary focus should be on finding the right partner. Once you have chosen – trust them. If you have chosen someone with matching values and expectations who will benefit from your relationship as much as you will – then you need to let them take the lead.

Be good to her and she will be good to you. Brazil is totally worth it.

If you have gotten this far and have questions – don’t hesitate to contact us!