Cleber Morais believes that pursuing equilibrium is not just a figure of speech. In his scarce free time, Bematech’s president use to take an adventure on a motorized skate. It is a board on wheels, which accelerator and break are powered by hand, and it can reach 30 miles/hour. A small mistake and the driver falls. “I always liked skate boards and I fell off many times when I was young” confesses with a smile the “Executive of Value” of the Information Technology Sector/ Industry.
Graduating as an Electronic engineer, his first job was at IBM, where he started as a trainee. Seven years later, he switched to the computer manufacturer Sun Microsystems, in which he headed different positions and was awarded with an opportunity abroad. He spent two years in the US, and then he came back to Brazil to run the company, as its president, at the age of 37.
Since then, he has accumulated years of presidency: four years running Sun and four more years as president of the Brazilian branch of the telecommunication company Avaya. In 2011 he arrived at Bematech which brought a new challenge to him: it was the first time Morais was in charge of a Brazilian technology company that is publicly traded in the stock market – something rare among local technology companies.
The fear to fall did not paralyze Morais. “The Executive has to make mistakes. The greatest virtue of the leader is the capacity to adapt and learn – discover capacities you do not own and fill the void”, Morais says.
In the last year, Bematech resumed its aggressive policy of acquisitions. In June acquiring Unum, an ERP system for Retail, for $15 million with its own cash. In January, it had already acquired the software company RJ Participações, who sells bus travel tickets. All of this happening after buying eight companies between 2008 and 2012.
The company keeps evaluating new buying opportunities, says Morais, but with a difficult economic scenario, the company is putting special attention to its efficiency, including cost reduction. “It is important to have a strategic scenario to know where you want to go. We can have a great impact in one trimester or in another, but most important is to have the flight plan very well defined”.
The speed of technological transformation is an additional challenge. Very close to complete 25 years of history, Bematech, with headquarters in Curitiba, creates technology for the retail and hospitality sectors. Each year it invests 5% of income in research and development, the equivalent to $ 10 million in 2014. One of the new releases, developed by the company’s branch located in USA, is a commercial automated mobile system, which allows the owner of a food truck or a small bookstore, to manage their business through a mobile device.
The company also has a research team in Taipei (Taiwan) and branches in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Portugal. The internationalization keeps Morais constantly on the road. Just last year, he had 130 hotel nights booked. Morais is a fan of technology; he has two smartphones, a laptop, tablet and desktop computer. The weekend belongs to his family. The executive also likes reading, cooking for his friends, playing tennis and of course, skating. That is when he can be radical, in the best meaning of the expression.
|Cleber Pereira de Morais|
|Education: Graduated in Electronic Engineer|
|Former Employers: IBM, Sun Microsystem, Avaya|
|Career took-off: “I assumed risks of changes and I was capable to adapt to the new and overcome the challenges”|
|Crisis is an opportunity to: reorganization as basis for a new growth|
|Your strong characteristic as an executive: capacity of forming teams and leading them strategically|
|Personality you would like to meet: Pope Francis, an example of leadership, humility and love|
|What did you do in your last vacation: trip to Jerusalem|
|Soccer team: Palmeiras|
|Favorite food: barbecue|
|Book: Execution – The discipline to get things done, by Larri Bossidy and Ram Charam|
|What music concert would like to go: Paul McCartney|
|What do you do to get relax: reading, Pilates exercise and walking|
Original article by João Luiz Rosa, translated to English