When he founded his company, Ferraz Brasil, Marcelo Ferraz had the aim of selling granites and marbles to the internal market. This was in 1988.
With the depreciation of the currency at the time, Ferraz amounted a lot of debts and realized that, in that moment, exports were more worth it. The change in focus not only paid the debts, but also made the company grow.
"Today, I can say that I’m a great exporter. Even because I am 1.90 meter tall," jokes the owner of Ferraz Brasil, which is located in the southeastern Brazilian state of Espírito Santo.
Of the entire production, 97% is exported, and the North American market is the greatest buyer. So much that the company’s website is in English.
Four years ago the company started selling to the Arabs. Everything started when Ferraz participated in a fair in the sector in Dubai, in 2002. From then onwards, business with the Arabs just grew.
Today, he sells not only to the United Arab Emirates, but also to Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Kuwait. In the next few months, he should sign with Tunisia. In some countries, like Algeria, Ferraz counts on a representative. To the Emirates, on the other hand, sales are made directly. Algeria is the greatest buyer in volume, and the Arab Emirates, in value.
Of the 42 different types of granite offered by the company, the ones most bought by the Arabs are the yellow, green and blue granites – the latter one of the most appreciated kinds, since there are only two mines of blue granite in the world. One of them is in Bahia, state in the Northeast of Brazil, and its commercialization is done exclusively by Ferraz Brasil.
Sales to the Arab countries represent something around 10% of the company’s exports. "There is still a lot of growing space. But for such, we would have to do careful work to know the market better.
"Today, we work directly with the distributor who buys in great volumes. To sell products of higher added value, we would have to know who works with the final product, like the architects and the designers," explains the owner of the company.
This year, during the Vitória Stone Fair, trade show that takes place annually in the capital city of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Ferraz Brasil launched a new marketing strategy to sell their rocks: they lapidated the granites and, with them, made jewels.
"It was a way of showing that there are many possibilities for the granite. When you see a crude piece, large, you don’t stop to think that it is possible to do incredible things from it," says Ferraz.
The marketing action may become a branch in the company, but the strategy is still being studied by the owner.
Ferraz Brasil owns mines in the south of Bahia and purchases from mines in Minas Gerais. As well as that, they import marble. The company’s headquarters and showroom are in the city of Serra, in Espírito Santo. In all, there are 53 employees. Business perspectives for 2006 are of US$ 10 million.
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Anba – www.anba.com.br
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