“We returned to Brazil strengthened. Each recognition encourages us to do more and better,” says Hélio Rotenberg, CEO of positive technology, who represented the country on the world stage of the entrepreneur of the year of the EY, a global audit and advisory services organization. The event took place on the night of this Thursday (9) in Monaco.
In the end, the biggest winner of the evening was the Argentinian Gastón Taratuta, founder and CEO of the Aleph Group, who was considered the entrepreneur of the year 2022. “Gastón himself said in his speech that Argentina always reaches the final but never wins. Year, Argentina won”, says Hélio, with good humor.
The Brazilian CEO was alongside 40 other entrepreneurs representing their respective countries – an incredible networking opportunity, he said. Hélio has spoken, for example, with executives in Australia, discussing the possibility of bringing computers – Positivo’s main product – to universities there at a lower cost. And he made friends with executives in Greece who produce computers for Europe. “The whole experience has been very enjoyable, because it doesn’t just involve tech people. There are entrepreneurs from different fields,” he says.
For Rotenberg, winning the Brazilian leg reinforces the right choice he made 30 years ago: to produce hardware in Brazil, at a time when the domestic market for personal computers didn’t even exist. In the early months of Positivo in the late 1980s, the company was manufacturing 50 computers a month. Today, there are 40 million devices already manufactured since the foundation. 80% of computers worth up to R$2,000 sold in Brazil come from the company – a good portion of them in the field of education.
Security at the polls
In recent years, explains Hélio, the company has taken care to diversify its production, investing in other technological segments. Positivo produces, for example, the range of smartphones from Infinix Mobile, based in Hong Kong. It also manufactures mobile payment terminals (the popular “maquininhas”) for Stone and Scielo. It recently launched a range of smart home hardware, including cameras and plug-ins for smart devices. It also provided Petrobras with a server for processing oil extraction data. According to the company, it is the largest server in Latin America and the 25th in the world.
“Over the next ten years, I want to take the business to another level of growth and profit, and make it even more sustainable. I want to improve the products in all these new lines, but in this portfolio that we already have. I don’t want to diversify the company too much, but to specialize more and more”, Helio projects.
The company is still responsible for supplying some of the electronic voting machines that will be used in the October elections this year. Of the 500,000 ballot boxes, 225,000 come from Positivo, with deliveries scheduled for June and July. For 2024, it is planned to provide 176,000 ballot boxes. The executive deplores the controversies over the reliability of the polls and recalls that they are not connected to the internet, which prevents hackers from invading them.
“The ballot box is isolated, not connected to the Internet. Each ballot box is separated from the others and has strict levels of protection. The electoral system belongs to the TSE, and we provide part of this system. We guarantee that the security is extremely sturdy.” he says.
Inflation does not lower income
In March, Positivo announced a forecast of a 50% increase in revenue in 2022, with the goal of reaching a turnover of 6 billion reais. Even with high inflation, which affects consumers’ purchasing decision, Rotenberg says the projection remains. “We have all the contracts at home, and we are very optimistic for this year. We already have 3 million contracts for public institutions. Inflation is bad and affects consumption a little, but the other sectors of the company are doing so well that they make up for it,” says Helio.
Recognition from EY motivated the executive to further promote innovation within the company. “Every six months we have a new line of computer, smartphone, payment machine. We are constantly studying what is the next product, the novelty, that the Brazilian population loves. It is our eternal innovation”, says -he.
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