In the wildly fluctuating Brazilian business environment of the 20th century, flexibility was the key to survival. Marie Thomas reports on the tenacity and talents of the Bambozzi brothers, who kept reinventing their company to keep it growing, from repairing to manufacturing, both cold appliances and hot industrial machinery.What Bill Lear invented in 1963 his company continues to perfect and with the introduction of the advanced Learjet 85 – the first all-composite business jet on the market – Learjet, a division of Bombardier, will continue to lead in its market niche. Lorie Greenspan tells the story.
When the winds of change are blowing through an old world theater, success can easily elude the toughest of enterprises. In 1870, the cities and towns that grew the fastest in Brazil were those with businesses heavily engaged in the booming export trades. But as the rest of the world vied for top ranking, Brazil’s global market share began to dwindle, until by the first decade of the 1900s, it was less than 0.5 percent.
With a policy of open immigration, the population of Brazil rose from a little over 10 million people to about 31 million in 1920. In the early years of the 20th century, the Bambozzi family was part of this immigration, moving to Brazil from Ozimo city in Ancona, Italy. The parents, with skills as handcrafters, came with their two teenage boys, ready to take a chance on building a new life there.
The brothers Basilio and Ferdinando Bambozzi grew up in their family’s vocational heritage and traditions of hard work, and in 1910, they founded their own company in Matao City in the interior of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Both mechanically minded, the Bambozzi brothers started the area’s first workshop to repair coaches, wagons, and agricultural farm equipment. Five years later, they moved their rural work shop to the urban area of Matao City. There they established B. Bambozzi & Irmaos (B. Bambozzi & Brothers), which today manufactures a complete line of welding equipment.
GROWTH AND MODERNIZATION
In 2006, Bambazzi started a systematic revolution in the soldering industry called DSP (Digital System Processing) that is now known around the world as the best of its type and is exported to 15 countries. Bombazzi Welding’s goal is to disperse its wealth of engineering research and inventions, much of which is documented by the numerous patents generated for its products, as well as rigidly recording all the technical operations used by its work force.
Grupo Bambozzi has grown organically to consist of six companies: Welding Machines and Automation, Talha Electrica, Generators, Hoists and Grinders, Magnetic Wire, and Service and Maintenance. The welding business is the primary company and most of Bambozzi’s financial investments go into that end of the business.
From the 1960s until the present, Bambozzi has also shown its leadership in support of the environment by taking socially responsible roles and promoting important enterprise. One of these has been developing reforestation projects on farms in the state of Mato Grosso. “One of our greatest concerns,” says Marcos Pavarina, marketing coordinator, “is that the manufacturing of our products consumes a lot of energy – hydroelectricity – so we are very conscious of this and do everything to conserve energy. Our machines are all stamped ‘Energy-Saver.’ This is part of our contribution to the environment, as well as protecting our water sheds. We even use the green area of the company’s social club to maintain the environment by appropriate plantings, and we keep the areas adjacent to the river banks pristine.”
ONE HAND WASHES THE OTHER
Part of what kept the company growing in all types of business climates was that Bambozzi’s customers invested in the company and trusted it to manufacture products and machinery of the highest quality. These would provide Bambozzi with manufacturing materials, and Bambozzi would use those materials to create product that would bring a profit for both the company and the investors. The investments were a day by day thing, and Bombazzi continued to grow year by year.
“The company was always number one in the market, from the 1960s until now,” says Pavarina. “The Brazilian economy was very difficult during many of those years, and during fluctuations in the national market, we both gained and lost much business. At times we even thought we might go out of business. But we are smart people, energetic and hard working, and what made the difference was the support of our customers and the encouragement of our employees. We all needed each other. And we received help and hope from important people. It took all of us to make the company a success.
He adds: “We appreciate our employees, and are inspired by the innovation and energy of our founders. We remain flexible to respond to new opportunities, both nationally and internationally.”