Jairo Kerr Azevedo, Director, Medical Division, Carl Zeiss do Brasil Ltda.
When and why did you move to Australia? I lived in Adelaide from 2002-2013. I had been to Australia in 1998 and 1999 on business and loved the country, so I was very keen to live there. At that time, I was living in São Paulo and working as a service manager for a manufacturer of ophthalmology equipment. In 2001, I was lucky enough to be offered a position with Ellex Medical, an Adelaide based manufacturer of ophthalmic lasers, to work as a service engineer and I didn’t hesitate. Whilst working at Ellex I met my wife Sophie with whom I had two beautiful children. In 2003, I co-founded a medical devices startup in Adelaide named Opto Global which was sold in 2010 to a UK based company. I moved out of Australia in 2013 with my family when I was offered a position with Carl Zeiss in Singapore. I have been back in Sao Paulo since 2017 working with Carl Zeiss as Director, Medical Division, Brazil Sales and Service Company. What’s your favourite thing about living in Australia? I loved the lifestyle, the friendly people, the culture, the beautiful cities with so many parks, beaches and so much to do, the diversity and quality of restaurants, bars, wineries, sports and the music scene which is incredible.
What bilateral business opportunities are you most excited about between Australia and Brazil? I see great opportunities for business in areas where both countries have well established industries, such as agriculture, mining, biotechnology and renewable energy. Both countries have large markets and there are opportunities for collaboration, joint product development and technology sharing. Another area with great potential is education. The market for international and bilingual schools in Brazil is growing as Brazilians increasingly value English education from kindergarten to university. Brazilians are also willing to invest more in education abroad and Australian schools are well placed to exploit these opportunities.
What do you miss about Brazil when you’re in Australia? I missed my old friends, laughing at politically incorrect jokes and eating a good Brazilian churrasco.
What do you see as the biggest similarity and the biggest difference between Australia and Brazil? The biggest similarity is that people like spending time with friends over a barbeque and a beer. Both cultures are light-hearted, friendly and keen to enjoy a good laugh. Both countries have beautiful nature and amazing options for enjoying the outdoors. One of the biggest differences I noticed is that Australia is more multicultural, with a continuous influx of immigrants whereas in Brazil immigration happened a long time ago and currently there is little immigration into the country. The diversity of people makes Australia quite interesting with great options of dining and cultural activities. Another difference is that Brazil is a populous country where you can feel the energy but sometimes get a bit overwhelmed by the large number of people around you. Australia can be quite the opposite as you can often be in quiet places with no one around.
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This article was originally published on the May/June ABCC Newsletter.