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Carlos Bremer: Turning the tables

Former USP professor sets up new business with students

EDUARDO CESARA 1986 graduate with a degree in mechanical production from the São Carlos Engineering School at the University of São Paulo (USP), Bremer also holds a PhD from USP and completed a post-doctorate at Aachen University in Germany between 1996 and 1997. He formerly coordinated the Nucleus of Advanced Manufacturing (Numa) in São Carlos. In 2001, at age 37, Bremer requested leave from USP.

Why did you leave USP?
In 1999, our group at Numa won the SAP Americas prize [SAP is a business software developer]. We studied SAP’s management systems and saw some problems with their implementation. We took the concepts and applied them to company value chains [activities for strategy implementation], and examined how they could be used to integrate management models. In 2011, I got an employment offer from Deloitte. I requested two years of leave from USP. Initially, I went with four other people from Numa, including two who had PhDs and two who had masters.

How was Axia created?
In 2003, we decided to set up our own business. The same research group that had gone to Deloitte organized Axia. The original plan was to be a small, niche company. But by 2012, we already had 140 employees and a branch office in Atlanta (USA) and we were bringing in R$35 million [about $17.5 million] in revenues per year. We hired over 30 professionals from Numa, and we work mainly with major Brazilian companies like Perdigão, Gerdau and Alpargatas. In 2012, Ernst & Young Terco began investing in value chain consultancy and they made a bid to acquire Axia, including all its employees. We accepted because it gave us the possibility of implementing the global Value Chain platform of Ernst & Young, which operates in more than 100 countries.

Have you maintained a relationship with USP?
We have arrangements in place with USP, and two former Axia employees are now professors at USP São Carlos. I believe we can create a more formal channel between, on one side, the university’s developments that have practical applications and, on the other, the industry’s needs that can be studied by the university.