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For the Brazilian construction industry, the lights are about to turn on. Thanks to AMBAR’s turnkey electrical solution, entrepreneur Bruno Balbinot is directly confronting one of the most time-intensive bottlenecks in the home construction process – the production and installation of electrical units. In a country facing a deficit of nearly eight million low-income homes and a limited supply of highly-skilled labor, AMBAR significantly reduces the time and cost of implementing electrical systems in homes through a comprehensive industrialized process that builds efficiency into the design, production and installation phases. To date, AMBAR has installed nearly 1,000 units and has over 20,000 under development. Given Brazil’s need for 15 million low-income houses over the next 10 years, the projected market for these solutions in that timeframe is expected to exceed US$6.5 billion. AMBAR is aiming to become the leading provider of large-scale electrical solutions in Latin America.
Born in Caxias do Sul, Bruno always dreamed of running his own company. When Bruno was 18, his father started BMB Mode Center, a vehicle modification business working exclusively with Volkswagen-MAN vehicles. Bruno enrolled in local mechanical engineering program and worked to support his father with the emerging company. However, the challenges of working full-time for his family and attending classes at night proved to be too draining, and Bruno decided to turn his full attention to growing BMB. He participated in the company’s professional development process, rising from intern to Sales/Marketing Director. However, Bruno was, and still is, passionate about enhancing his business acumen, and in recent years has engaged in educational programs and executive MBA programs at Harvard Business School, London Business School and INSEAD.
Bruno’s success at BMB caught the eye of one of his father’s former business partners who, in 2011, invited Bruno to become CEO of TUTTO, a company that manufactures electric wires and cables. Bruno managed the turnaround of the company, which had originated from the merger of two companies in distress, and he purchased the remaining shares. While running TUTTO, Bruno identified the possibility of scaling the production of electrical systems for a civil construction industry that desperately needed industrialized solutions. With this goal in mind, Bruno developed the underlying project that would become AMBAR, but soon realized that TUTTO and AMBAR had entirely different business models. As such, Bruno decided to leave TUTTO (remaining an advisory partner) and move forward with an AMBAR spinoff. Since then, Bruno successfully achieved several successful contracts.
Today, AMBAR provides construction companies working in low-income housing with a cost-effective, one-stop shop solution for electrical systems, ultimately reducing installation time by up to 80%. AMBAR designs the electrical system, produces the electrical kits to the exact project specifications, and an AMBAR field crew installs the components on-site. The value-add is tremendous: a construction company typically requires 10 highly-skilled electricians for one week to work on 100 houses, and it can expect losses of 5% to 10% in raw material costs. Using AMBAR’s solution, the same 100 houses can be completed in the same time period with only two low-skilled workers and with no raw materials wasted. With a 14-man crew, AMBAR has an installation capacity of up to 70 houses per day. Thanks to these efficiency gains, Bruno is winning large-scale contracts with construction giants like Tecnisa and Odebrecht.
Carlos Mastretta Guzmán
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