Flavio Maluf Provides an Interesting Perspective on Brazil’s Economy and Commitment to the Environment


Whether you believe it or not, hard data indicates that humans are to blame for a cornucopia’s worth of changes to planet Earth’s atmosphere. Altogether, these changes are known as climate change, arguably the most well-known of which is global warming. Nobody truly knows how long society has until sea levels start to rise rapidly, keystone species in ecological systems start dying off, and weather patterns start to become substantially more extreme.


While we certainly will, in fact, need people, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to help us plan our future on planet Earth after human-induced climate change takes full effect, we also need businesses to truly want to be better to the environment.


One of these businesses is Eucatex, which takes its home in Brazil.


Eucatex, also known as the Eucatex Group, is one of the largest manufacturers that uses cellulose as a major input in all of Brazil. Founded in 1951, Eucatex has since grown into a company that primarily produces commercial- and consumer-grade paints, plates, building panels, floors, and wood varnishes. The company also maintains many of the forests that it sources its cellulose and pulp from.


This company is currently led by Flavio Maluf, the third person to hold the role of President within the ranks of the company. Eucatex’s first leader was the uncle of Flavio, who was promptly succeeded by Flavio’s father. At Eucatex, Flavio Maluf has made a substantial effort toward reducing the amount of waste its manufacturing processes pump out.


Flavio Maluf has managed to earn the unofficial crown of the most innovative executive when it comes to staying on top of his company’s environmental impact and encouraging others to do the same. Eucatex, thanks to the close, masterful watch and leadership of Mr. Maluf, has also earned quite a name for itself.


Without beating around the bush any longer, let’s get to know Flavio Maluf, Eucatex, entrepreneurship, how they manage to be sustainable, how they waste less food, and how they help poor Brazilian communities.

The Early Days Of Flavio Maluf


On Dec. 2, 1961, Mr. and Mrs. Paulo Maluf had their first and only son, Flavio. Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the family was fortunate to be one of the most well-off households out of all the people that Flavio Maluf knew.


After he finished high school alongside the rest of his peers, Flavio went to the Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation, one of the best and brightest institutions of higher education in all of Brazil, to study mechanical engineering.


Upon earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the esteemed program, Flavio was lucky enough to have his father Paulo agree to pay for the tuition at New York University if Flavio were to be accepted into a master’s program there. Fortunately, Flavio had already learned English well enough to speak it at an intermediate level, giving him two out of the three proverbial green lights he’d need to temporarily relocate to the state of New York and study for a graduate degree.


Just weeks after he applied, the young man, a soon-to-be entrepreneur, was accepted by New York University into the Master of Business Administration program. At this point, he had fun for a few weeks, then departed Sao Paulo, Brazil, in favor of New York City.


New York University’s master’s of business administration program was certainly challenging, though it only took Flavio Maluf two years to complete the graduate business program, finishing at the same time as or ahead of all of his peers. After nabbing the graduate degree from the United States-based school, something that very few Brazilians can afford to do since the United States is so far away and the country is home to some of the best institutions of higher education in the world, leaving them all but unqualified.


Flavio Maluf returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil, his place of birth and homeland, as soon as he tied up the figurative loose ends of the MBA program in New York City.


It’s Time For Flavio Maluf To Start Working


Although his family had founded Eucatex, Flavio didn’t take the easy way out and simply settle for a job in management at the manufacturing business. Rather, he decided to think outside of the box and work for other businesses as a means of becoming as well-rounded as humanly possible before serving his family’s business with all of his heart and soul.


The first company that Flavio Maluf found employment at was Citicorp, a financial services company that has since been merged with Travelers Group, a multinational conglomerate. After a few short years as a mid-level manager at Citicorp, Flavio felt like he was ready to move on to the next challenge.


Next on Flavio’s list of places to work at was GrandFood Group, a business conglomerate that is also known as the parent of Golden and Premier Pet dog foods.


Again, after a few years at GrandFood Group, Flavio decided that it was a good time in his life for him to focus on what’s important. As it turns out, serving the Maluf family name as the President of Eucatex Group was a good time to do so.


It’s Time To Get On Board With The Eucatex Group


Most people around the world have noticed firsthand that people who have connections with others who either work for companies, nonprofit organizations, or government agencies are exponentially more likely to get insider help from these connections as a means of getting a better job than their unconnected counterparts.


Flavio Maluf was all too aware of this fact of some people’s lives after he got back from New York University and quit working at GrandFood Group and Citicorp. Although some people want to climb corporate ladders as quickly as they can, even it means pulling strings and breaking rules along the way, Flavio was always against this way of thinking.


For this reason, he worked so hard that he managed to earn the rank of President of the GrandFood Group, the pet food manufacturer mentioned above, a title that the environment-loving entrepreneur still holds today.


Flavio Finally Lands A Permanent, Official Spot At Eucatex


In 1987, Flavio was hired as a manufacturing hand at Eucatex.


Flavio made the conscious decision to effectively demote himself from the rank of President of a manufacturing company down to a manufacturing hand of another. He did this in the name of hoping to better understand how Eucatex operated from the bottom up.


After a few promotions resulting from working exceptionally hard on the floor, Flavio Maluf eventually became a salaried member of the administrative team at Eucatex, a title that Flavio is still proud that he earned the hard way.


Flavio was successful in reaching his goal of becoming one of the most effective members of the administrative team at Eucatex. This accomplishment only took a few years and was something that he was so proud of that he touted it around like a flag at family gatherings.

Flavio Maluf CEO of Eucatex

In 1997, 10 years after he was hired by Eucatex in the first place, Flavio earned the title of President of Eucatex, succeeding his father, the second President of Eucatex, as one of only three people in the then-40-odd-year history of the company to hold the title. Coincidentally enough, all three of them were closely related.


Although the first two Presidents of Eucatex did a great job with what they had, Flavio Maluf was the first person in the trio to officially bring Eucatex’s valuation to the level of several million dollars. Better yet, Flavio managed to do all this while he was serving the likes of the GrandFood Group as the most important member of its executive suite – its President.


What Is Eucatex? When And Where Is It From?


Eucatex was created by an uncle and the father of Flavio Maluf in 1961. These two entrepreneurs got the idea for Eucatex directly from their great-grandfather, believe it or not.


Their elder family member, Salim, was known throughout the family as the sole operator of one of Latin America’s largest sawmills throughout the 1940s. One of the most abundant trees throughout the area of Latin America that they were in was the Eucalyptus tree.


After toying with the names of the Eucalyptus tree and the general categories of products the company manufactured, they put together Euca- and -tex, the latter of which is taken from the word textile, to form Eucatex.


Here’s How Eucatex Managed To Stay Ahead Of The Crowd From The Jump


In the past 20 years, give or take a few, society has increasingly become concerned with what humans put into the environment. Before this concern became illustrated and came to life, thereby becoming a real issue in most people’s minds, businesses were able to cut costs by ignoring what bad things their operating processes did to the environment.


However, the same can’t be said for the Maluf family’s Eucatex. From the very beginning, ever since the company was created in the early 1960s, Flavio’s great-great-grandfather knew that he needed to be friendly with the environment.


At the time, Eucatex managed to be fair to the environment by making sure not to clear-cut forests or over-rely on a certain type of tree to turn into pulp to be used in the company’s manufacturing processes. The Maluf family has, however, been reliant on the Eucalyptus tree since it was founded in 1961, though the tree hasn’t been at risk of becoming endangered in any of the areas that Eucatex plants and harvests its trees.


Help Your Competitor, Help Yourself


Flavio has long understood, thanks to his superb education in business administration at New York University, the various administrative and organizational restructurings that can help businesses get ahead.


Just a few years ago, Flavio led the Eucatex Group’s team of administrators in a decision to swap assets with a competitor, Duratex.


Put simply, if Eucatex were to swap certain assets with Duratex, the company would perform better. The same could be said for Duratex. Flavio knew that he would rather face the increased competition that the improved Duratex would bring to the table than retain the low market share Eucatex had prior to the asset swap.


Duratex had owned a vast sprawl of farmland near Eucatex’s manufacturing operations for many years. Duratex grew all the raw materials that it needed to manufacture goods on its very own farmland instead of sourcing those materials from other growers. This helped Duratex save money. Eucatex wanted part of the farmland because it would help alleviate potential supply chain problems that Flavio’s company faced at times.


Duratex swapped part of its farm in the town of Capao Bonito for a factory that Eucatex owned in Botucatu, two cities that aren’t but a few minutes’ worths of driving from each other.


In exchange for trading the assets between the two companies, Eucatex was able to acquire the ownership rights to Duratex. Although the companies still conduct their operations entirely separately from one another, the profits of Duratex go directly into the proverbial pockets of Eucatex.


According to Flavio’s records, both of the assets were each worth roughly $60 million.


Even though their balance sheets came out to the same value after the trade, both Duratex and Eucatex began outperforming their competitors. This was one of many exhibitions of Flavio’s expert business mind, arguably the sole force behind Eucatex’s relatively recent explosion in size.


Some of the Eucatex Group’s most recent financial statements indicate that the company brought in total revenue of R$318 million, managing to reap a respectable R$18.6 million in after-tax profit from the excess of sales. At the time of the financial statements’ publishing, Eucatex was proud to say that it employed more than 2,400 workers.


Flavio Helps Bring Other Aspiring Businesspeople’s Dreams To Life


Mr. Flavio Maluf is well-known around Brazil’s commercial marketplace, but not just the manufacturing sector – most of the nation’s largest business bigwigs know good and well who Flavio Maluf is.


Flavio regularly helps aspiring businesspeople get their dreams, plans, and ideas off of the ground and into action. Although most small businesses are destined to fail, Flavio improves the likelihood that his partners’ business ideas will actually fare well in the marketplace. Those who aren’t fortunate enough to seek counsel from Flavio statistically don’t perform as nearly as well as their more-blessed counterparts.


There’s Too Much Wasted Food In Brazil – Flavio Wants To Do Something About It


Flavio recalls reading a study carried about by professional researchers in the European Union that found that some three-quarters of all food items wasted in Brazil are one of the following:


  • Beef


  • Chicken


  • Beans


  • Rice

Even further, that same study found that the people of Brazil who were tested could readily get by for three full days with just one day’s worth of food scraps. Although these four food items are inexpensive, Flavio hates seeing people waste food, especially if they’re members of low-income households.



Brazil – at least certain parts of Brazil – is rife with poverty. Every dollar that poor people spend on food that they end up both cooking and wasting is money that could have went towards something else.


Flavio is also upset to have learned – from that same study out of the European Union, nonetheless – that the vast majority of Brazilian households are not receptive to leftovers. He once referred to this misplaced ideology as a “culture of abundance,” something that poor people almost anywhere on planet Earth would struggle to afford.


Along with the European Union, Flavio did some research among these people and found that the primary reason why so much food is wasted is that people generally go shopping once per month. During this shopping session, shoppers often spend tons of money, though they don’t get enough food to last them throughout the month.


They end up wanting just one or two foods that they don’t have, usually, then go shopping. While shopping – you know how it goes – they often end up buying way more than they should.


Although there isn’t a clear solution to this issue, Flavio Maluf wants to work on a network of communication that helps people get in touch with others who are hungry so that more fortunate families can share their resources with them. If this idea comes to fruition and becomes relatively popular, Flavio and other officials within the Brazilian government could utilize them to share other important information that everybody should know.

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