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Exporting Kiwi Culture: An Evening With Marco Kerkmeester

Thu, 13 Feb, 2020 5:30 PM — 7:30 PM
Old Government House, 24 Princes Street, Auckland CBD

In the LANZBC’s first event of 2020, members and friends were treated to a lively and intimate evening with Kiwi Entrepreneur Marco Kerkmeester. Marco established leading gourmet coffee brand Santo Grão in São Paulo in 2003, and the business has grown steadily, now employing 300 staff and roasting 72 tonnes of coffee beans annually. 

In his presentation, titled “Exporting Kiwi Culture”, Marco spoke about how the introduction of typical Kiwi values like integrity and “doing the right thing” was an important part of establishing a workplace culture that has built morale, lowered staff turnover and helped to attract key talent. 

Marco outlined the challenges of operating a business in Brazil’s overregulated business and legal climate, and the need to act above the law, but not beyond it. He spoke of the advantage of being a Gringo doing business in Brazil, and of how New Zealand’s excellent reputation for transparency has sped up the process of building trust with his Brazilian partners.

After being fired by his own staff following a brief stint as a waiter, Marco has moved his family back to New Zealand temporarily while his children complete secondary school. His approach to business: Integridade Traz Amor! (integrity brings love!

To see a short documentary on Marco commissioned by the Latin America CAPE as part of their Insight Guide Exploring Kiwi Success in Brazil, click here.

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