I consider myself to be a lucky chap. I was reflecting on this as I started writing this blog post in Sao Paolo airport on my way back from a business trip to Brasil, where I worked for a week with a team comprising my team (Microsoft Global Industry & Accounts), plus our colleagues from the Enterprise & Partner Group in our Brazilian subsidiary.
This year, Microsoft Brasil decided to invest in creating an industry team and created industry roles to help Microsoft better serve our customers by understanding the business needs for each industry and being able to determine industry solutions to serve these needs. These industry solutions often include partner offerings from our global industry partners. The purpose of our visit was to provide corporate support to this investment to accelerate the work that the industry team will do.
It's fantastic to see what is happening in Brasil just now. Tremendous economic growth and massive (about $100bn) investments in infrastructure to support this growth and to prepare for the forthcoming international events of the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.
All this needs Process Manufacturing - steel and metals, concrete, glass.
There is a real strength in manufacturing with many global companies here, in industries such as automotive and pharmaceuticals, but there are also many Brazilian companies.
We had many meetings - with colleagues and the leadership of the subsidiary; with global and local partners; with customers; with industry analysts and with the press. Our visit made the front page of Valor Econômico (www.valor.com.br) which I'm told is the Brazilian equivalent to the Financial Times, or Wall Street Journal.
We spent time doing internal education / training of our Brazilian colleagues in the commercial sector of our Enterprise & Partners Group.
Living as I do in the North West of England, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, I can't help but think that this must have been what it was like then. A time of tremendous change, growth, opportunities and investments. It's a very different situation to the modest growth in the mature economies of the US and Western Europe. I wish my Brazilian colleagues well in what will be an exciting period.