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the family-owned company public and to expand its sales cen-
ters from 30 to 42 by the end of 2012. Such expansion will pro-
vide it with coverage in all major cities residing in all of Brazil’s
states, including all-important São Paulo.
The company is also investing heavily in its production facil-
ities. Aside from its three plants in the Santa Catarina towns of
Orleans (323,000 square feet of constructed area), Capivari
(215,000 square feet), and Içara (215,000 square-feet), the com-
pany is inaugurating a fourth unit in the town of Criciúma
(270,000 square feet). It’s no coincidence that all four plants are
positioned close together. “A big problem in Brazil is qualified
labor,” concedes Librelato. “But we’ve been working with peo-
ple in this region for generations.”
He continues: “Today, products in this segment are basically the
same; the difference is that we’re a company that values its people.
If we’ve grown more than our competitors, it’s because our work-
ers are well trained and very motivated. We invest a lot in terms of
our human resources and extend a great deal of respect to our work-
ers. For instance, when the economic crisis came along, the first
strategy the many companies adopted was firing its people.”
This is wrong, he feels.
“You can’t fault the workers when the economy hits a rough
spot. In this company, we place people first. My father champi-
oned this vision when he started the business, and his approached
continues to have a lot of value. It’s one of the reasons we con-
tinue growing. Everyone in our business – from the vice presi-
dent to the receptionists and the cleaning staff – knows what goes
on inside the company. Everyone has a stake in our success.”
Indeed, in the company’s vision, everyone is equal, as they
make substantial contributions that keep Librelato functioning.