This article will be published in the next NORDEN NEWS Magazine on Friday 30 September 2016.
Viviane da Rocha Goncalves, the 32-year-old Brazilian Chartering Manager at NORDEN's office in Rio de Janeiro, brings her Brazilian culture into play in her dialogue with the customers.
NORDEN does business all over the world. This means that numerous nationalities work together – side by side and towards the same goals and embedded in the same values of flexibility, reliability, empathy and ambition. But even though the goals and values are the same, it is part of NORDEN's company culture to encourage employees to maintain their cultural differences, as they help strengthen NORDEN as a company with focus on and understanding of its customers, regardless of who they are and where in the world they are located.
Therefore, it is also important for NORDEN to be physically present with offices around the world. One of NORDEN's many employees, 32-year-old Viviane da Rocha Goncalves, has worked as Chartering Manager at NORDEN's office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 2013, and here she can bring her Brazilian background and understanding into play, when she is in dialogue with South American customers. As of 1 October 2016, Viviane will succeed Rasmus Saltofte as manager of our Rio office.
"In South America, the pace is different. Generally speaking, it pays off to take your time when you are negotiating with Brazilians, as we like to go over things an extra time. Other nationalities can be very quick and act without having asked that many questions. We are in no way direct. We are very aware that we might hurt someone else's feelings. And also – shipping is a very sentimental business, but compared to Brazilians, other nationalities seem more reluctant to talk about their feelings. Brazilians are typically loud and not afraid of expressing our feelings," says Viviane da Rocha Goncalves.
"In Brazil and in South America generally, we have
a very particular way of doing business. It is very personal."
Chartering Manager Viviane da Rocha Goncalves, NORDEN, Rio de Janeiro
NORDEN benefits from how the many different nationalities contribute to understanding the customers. At the same time, the employees also experience that different approaches can create value in the daily work. Her job in a Danish company – and the NORDEN job is her second job working for a Danish shipping company – has taught her, for example, not to take it personal when Danes are direct – and sometimes ask critical questions.
"As long as we are able to have a dialogue, criticism and being direct can be good for both parties," she says.
At the same time, she has learned that it is more than okay, and often value-creating, that employees enter into a dialogue with managers, rather than just accepting what the managers say without questioning it.
"In NORDEN, I have learned that it is okay to disagree and to have your own opinions that you are always free to share with other people," says Viviane da Rocha Goncalves.
A bit more patience
What can other countries learn from the Brazilian culture?
"In Brazil and in South America generally, we have a very particular way of doing business. It is very personal. Most of the time, we are friends with our customers and competitors. This helps us find the solution to a problem at a later stage, and it can help keep the business going. Brazilians are also very relaxed people. I know it can be very frustrating when we are about to close a deal and then we end up without a signed contract. But with a bit of patience and a little extra talking, we often succeed in bringing the deal in after all. Brazilians are also use to being outside their comfort zone. This means that for us it is always okay to try something new and different," says Viviane da Rocha Goncalves.
What is the best thing about working for a Danish company?
"Most of all: The possibility of being treated equally – also regardless of gender."