One step further down


By Yan Boechat (Revista FOCO, Cover story - 31/10/2004)

Cleaning products with no active ingredient or efficacy: perfumery to disguise poverty. [Photo: Rodrigo Paiva]

MICRO ENTREPRENEUR Roberto da Silva is not exactly what can be called a specialist in macroeconomics or finance. In fact, he understands little of the theoretical foundations that govern markets. But every time you hear about falling income, rising unemployment, rising interest rates? or any indicator that can be translated into a more difficult life for the Brazilian ?, Roberto celebrates. In a veiled way, it is true, so that your customers do not feel offended. ? It is sad to say that, but things get better for us when the situation gets worse for others ,? says he, a former metalworker who also went through the same difficulties that most of his customers are experiencing today.


Roberto da Silva is not a loan shark or a job broker. Far from it. He earns his living by making detergents, liquid soaps, disinfectants, fabric softeners and pastes to make the pots on the periphery shine. From his handmade factory, from the region known as Curva da Macumba, in the municipality of Embu, in Greater São Paulo, he competes with giants like Procter & Gamble, Unilever or Reckitt & Colman, in a market estimated at more than R $ 5 billion in Brazil. Unlike his competitors, does Silva see sales? and profits? grow when there is less money circulating in the hands of class C, D and E workers? the so-called Fourth Layer.


 View the full article published in the magazine Foco [195 Kb - PDF]