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Thursday02 October 2014

View from my office: James Slattery

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The BCQS director reports from his office in Jardins area of Sao Paulo

Where are you?

I am working in the BCQS International office which is located on the 17th floor of a building in the Jardins area of São Paulo.

What do you see?

The financial districts of Av. Paulista are one way and Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima the other way. São Paulo is a city with some 11 million inhabitants; 20 million if you include the suburbs. Much of the city is densely populated with high-rise construction, but areas such as Jardins (gardens) have tree-lined streets and are a mix of upmarket commercial and residential development.

What’s on your desk?

‘To-do’ lists for jobs we are working on, some drawings of an industrial project we are quoting services for, my iPhone and computer.

What jobs are you working on?

I have just finished some work for Marriott on a prototype hotel aimed at the middle market throughout Brazil. We are working with Squarestone Brasil on a shopping centre development and we are the project manager and QS on a new, large Credit Suisse headquarters.

What’s happening in Brazil?

Everything! The country is exploding; it needs urgent infrastructure upgrades such as roads, rail links and airports. The huge expansion of the middle class is causing demand for housing, as well as for commercial development such as shopping centres, logistical and industrial parks, etc to meet rapidly-growing market needs.

What are the challenges facing businesses in Brazil?

The high cost, lengthy time and multi-layers of bureaucracy to set up and become established here. Learning the Portuguese language is important; English is only spoken at high managerial level. Most jobs are conducted solely in Portuguese.

What’s your all-time favourite view?

This has to be the aerial view of Rio as you approach Santos Dumont airport and fly over the Corcavado, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Maracana Stadium and close to Copacabana Beach. It’s truly stunning to see the ocean, mountains and forests surrounding Brazil’s famous international landmarks.

James Slattery is a director at BCQS International in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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