Global Development: A Tri-Cultural Exchange with Ricardo Castanho

Feb 12, 2020

We would like to announce a new GACC South team member, Ricardo Castanho. Ricardo has traveled to us all the way from Brazil; his home German-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce is in São Paulo. Through his connection with our outgoing CEO, Stefanie Z., he was able to establish a three-month traineeship (“Global Development Exchange”) at our Atlanta office to further development his leadership ability among other skills. He aims to grow his understanding of the U.S. as well as his familiarity with different leadership styles. That is why Ricardo is working closely with our CEO to gain hands-on, direct experience with a higher-up role in an everyday setting.

Global Development: A Tri-Cultural Exchange with Ricardo CastanhoRicardo has been working at the German-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry São Paulo for nearly ten years; he was named Head of Consulting—or “Market Entry and Business Development Services” as it’s referred to there—in 2012. When prompted about his favorite experience so far, Ricardo mentions Stefanie’s charisma and personal touch with all team members; he really values how she connects the different departments and hierarchy levels and doesn’t leave “dividing walls.”

The city of Atlanta has made a good impression on him as well. He describes Atlanta as a “nice place to live” due to it having all the big-city amenities but also smaller places to retreat and enjoy nature. Something new he’s experienced in Atlanta is networking in the American business setting. It’s a much faster pace than what he knows from Brazil and Germany. Small talk is very natural here and you’re expected to flow from person to person.

In fact, he says „Die Welt ist ein Dorf” or “It’s a small world.” He has been surprised by the number of American and Germans he’s met who can speak Brazilian Portuguese. He also says that you can’t ignore culture when doing business. To overcome cultural differences, you have to adapt to your audience and approach the situation with an individual strategy. He recommends to those interested in expanding their business to Brazil to do their homework; there are good business opportunities available to companies willing to put in the work to be well-prepared and understand the Brazilian market. His dream? To continue to move up and one day be at a CEO position himself.