The demand for car armor is growing in Brazil, even though crime is decreasing. That’s what Fabio Correa Leite, president of DuPont in Brazil, says in an interview with UOL Líderes.
DuPont is a chemical company that provides materials for various uses. One of the company’s main markets in Brazil today is security. DuPont supplies kevlar, a synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests and vehicle armor.
What did he say
The demand for car armor is not directly related to the increase in violence. Car armor in Brazil grew 45% from 2020 to 2021. Leite said that this has more to do with people’s perception than with the violence itself, since crime rates have dropped, based on data from the state of São Paulo. “It’s not necessarily more crime that’s driving the market to grow, but if your expectations of security go up, you need more to feel protected,” she says.
DuPont research center tests resistance for heavy weapons. The company has a ballistic test area in Barueri (SP) to measure the resistance of materials to shots from heavy weapons. According to Leite, the goal is to develop products for security forces that are effective in protection and at the same time lightweight, so as not to compromise the performance of those who will use them.
Technology can facilitate access to basic sanitation. Leite also spoke about the company’s performance in the basic sanitation sector and defended a greater presence of private capital in the sector. According to the executive, it is possible to have smaller and cheaper treatment plants using technology.
Government needs to take advantage of the beginning of the mandate to carry out reforms. The president of DuPont said that it would be positive if the tax reform were voted on in the coming months and that the government should have less tensions and carry out the reforms at the beginning of the mandate.
Tax and exchange system hinder investments by multinationals in the country. The executive also said that the complexity of the Brazilian tax system and the exchange rate make it difficult for companies to invest in Brazil.
The company’s goal is to double its size in Brazil in five years. According to him, one of the markets with the greatest potential is sanitation. The country is one of the ten largest markets for DuPont in the world, but most of the products sold here still come from abroad.
Listen to the full interview on the UOL Leaders podcast. You can also watch the video interview on the UOL YouTube channel. See highlights of the interview below:
Car armor and crime
It’s more a matter of people’s perception. In São Paulo, crime has decreased in the last 20 years. At the same time, the trend in the armor market is the opposite. I believe that with the pandemic, because they stayed at home a lot, when families got back together and went out, those with this purchasing power began to seek this type of solution.
The number of intentional homicides fell 75.7% in the state of São Paulo from 2002 to 2022. In 2002 there were 12,532 cases, compared to 3,044 in 2022. However, the number rose 6.9% from 2021 to 2022. of robbery in 2022 was the lowest in 20 years. There were 152 victims, compared to 478 in 2002.
Testing of new military products
We inaugurated a research center [no Brasil], with a ballistic tunnel with equipment that simulates the performance of a weapon. We help our customers to develop products that are light, which can be helmets, vests, protections for military vehicles. The lighter the equipment, the less you compromise the performance of those who will use it.
Disruption in basic sanitation
We see great potential for disruption in sanitation. When building a treatment plant, it is necessary to expropriate to build the tanks. with technology [da DuPont], you use a third of the space. It manages to bring that station closer. Most of the losses in sanitation are in the pumping of water. When you place the station close to the consumer, you reduce the amount of system loss.
Private capital in sanitation
If you offer private capital predictability and an adequate regulatory environment so that it can make the investment [em saneamento], He will do it. Placing the burden on the taxpayer to do everything is a solution we’ve been trying for so long, and it has a timeframe for execution that is below people’s expectations. Nobody wants to have a river of the quality that we have in São Paulo.
Evaluation of the Lula government
We have some expectations regarding the tax reform. I was at an event where a government official said that there is a great chance that the tax reform will be voted on in the coming months. It is a positive sign, but this really needs to happen, less tensions and reforms. Taking advantage of the beginning of governments, when things have historically been more calm.
Barriers to investments by foreign companies
Our tax structure is complex and costly. A reform could facilitate these investments. Another issue that makes it difficult is the exchange rate. If today you make a contribution of US$ 1 million, it would be R$ 5 million. If in a few years the exchange rate is at 7, then you need to generate R$ 7 million to give that US$ 1 million. That’s why investors have a higher return expectation in risky markets, such as Brazil.
Expectations for the future
Brazil is one of the ten most important countries for the company. We want to double the business in five years. He sees great potential, and one of the areas is sanitation. We had an important drop in 2020 during the lockdown, but we have been growing and we are already at pre-pandemic levels and with growth potential.
Who is Fabio Correa Leite?
Age: 42 years
Highlights in career: He joined DuPont as an intern in 2003. Since then he has worked as an engineer, supervisor, project leader at DuPont in the US, engineering manager and then director of infrastructure at DuPont Americas
Training: Graduated and Master in Electrical Engineering from USP, MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz and specialization from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
How is DuPont Brazil
Employees: 20 thousand worldwide and 220 in Brazil
2021: $12.6 billion
2022: $13 billion
2021: 3.1 billion
2022: 3.3 billion
Countries where it operates: More than 40 countries
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