- File Size: 6028 KB
- Print Length: 234 pages
- Publisher: Primeira Pessoa (April 21, 2014)
- Publication Date: April 21, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JUWYGDQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,522 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
DREAM BIG: How the Brazilian Trio behind 3G Capital - Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira - acquired Anheuser-Busch, Burger King and Heinz Kindle Edition
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Some years ago, I had the chance to interview for a job at the Chinese operations of InBev (predecessor of AB InBev), and I was struck by the youthfulness of intelligence of their people there (a young gentleman in his early 30s from South America was already running the entire finance and M&A operation of China). Over the years, I have followed some of their transactions and found them fascinating. One can also find these information in some recent Businessweek article like ‘The Plot to Murder America’s Beer’ featuring Carlos Brito (protégé of the three gentlemen), a 2013 article featuring 3G Capital and Lemann), and a most recent one called ‘Burger King is run by Children’.
Lemann started one of the most successful investment banks in Brazil called Garantia, modeled after the mighty Goldman Sachs and later sold to Credit Suisse. They later acquired one of the largest retailers in South America, and learned how to operate it from none other than the king of retail, Sam Walton, himself. Along the way, they also created the first private equity fund in Brazil called GP investment.
The core philosophies of Lemann et al are simple yet powerful:
1. Learn from the best (i.e. Goldman Sachs as role model for Garantia)
2. Use smart and hungry young professionals and give them plenty of opportunities to learn, grow and get rich
3. Take a long-term view with investments (grow the business, not flip them)
4. Take over bloated and inefficient companies and impose discipline (operating goals and expense control) and generate strong cash flow (to either pay down debt or pay dividend); this concept had been applied in the buyout of Budweiser, Burger King, and will likely be applied to Heinz as well. It was also mentioned in Chris Zook’s book Repeatability.
5. Focus & simplicity. The trio is known for only doing few deals at a time and instead focusing on getting results and generating cash flow for each portfolio company.
I would give the book a four star because it captures the history and philosophy of the trio well. On the other hand, I was hoping to see more materials outside the published literature, especially in how they implement the operational improvements and in the case of AB InBev, how they integrated the two companies after the merger.
Overall a very inspiring book.
We have all heard the about the changes 3G imposed on AB, Burger King and Heinz. Although no one likes to hear about or inflict job cuts, by all accounts with this team merit reigns and results follow. No company or system is perfect but too many enterprises claim to be meritocracies where in fact politics and guile are valued above results. Three cheers for 3G and may many others duplicate their model.
Recommend this to anyone interested in business. The book had a good balance of details and coverage of three decades of learning and transitions of the partners of 3G. While it is fun to enjoy the success of investment as a partner or shareholder, I can imagine, it will not be fun to be employee of a 3G owned company. To some extent, success of companies like 3G contributed to rise of the likes of Trump and Sanders. The book certainly pleases the 3 partners, but I thought it could also show a bit more of the other side, namely, employees.
Not a bad read for someone getting to know the 3G partners and their backgrounds. Also a good motivation for entrepreneurs/professionals in the emerging markets.
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