Growing in Brazil, but how and at what pace?

While deciding this post’s topic, I thought a good idea would be to answer questions such as “what is really specific about the Brazilian market that could appeal to Business School professionals?”

However, what is specific about Brazil needs to be put in context, under the risk of being too specific to be useful.

Therefore, what follows are a couple of the steps I would take if I was running the international marketing department of a Business School – and wanted to expand to Brazil.

One of the first things I would do is decide what programs or degrees I would focus on. Although at a first glance promoting the school’s institutional image may seem like a good idea, focus makes more sense as a first step.

For instance, choosing among undergraduate, graduate and executive programs is an excellent exercise to begin with. This will help your school identify departmental champions. After you agree on what type of student your school wants to attract, put your efforts on finding partners.

If you decide to focus on graduate students, consider creating an international student exchange program with Brazilian schools. On the other hand, aggressive managers may want to attract 5 or 10 Brazilian students paying full tuition. What is feasible considering the knowledge you have of the market?

In case you want to expand executive education offerings, a unorthodox step is to collaborate with vendors (not universities) that already offer such programs. They already have access to corporate buyers, and some companies are expanding internationally. This may become a relevant stream of revenue – and a good way to test the market –, especially because there are few international schools with physical presence in Brazil.

From my experience, it would take at least 3 to 5 years before major things are accomplished, especially if you are beginning from scratch.

In the next posts I will continue to focus on issues related to building your market share in Brazil.

Thiago de Carvalho is a M. Ed. student at NYU Steinhardt (Major in Business and Workplace Education).  He worked for 8 years at Insper Institute of Education and Research and currently leads a teacher training initiative. Whether you simply want Thiago to write about a certain topic or your business school needs help in Brazil, you can contact him direct at or by contacting us at