Case study

Pingu’s English launches in Brazil, helped by UK government

Linguaphone Group used UK government services to find a local partner to develop exports to Brazil

 Matt Brown, Linguaphone Group, Alexandra Bortoluzzo, Marketing Director, Grupo Prepara and Joanna Crellin, Consul General, Sao Paulo

This company was assisted by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which has since moved to the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Linguaphone Group launched Pingu’s English at the ABF Franchising Expo Fair in Center Norte, Sao Paulo with the help of their new Brazilian partner Grupo Prepara.

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) introduced Linguaphone Group to Grupo Prepara as part of the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) they undertook towards the end of 2013.

Derek Price, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Linguaphone Group said:

We are delighted with the help and support we have received from UKTI and greatly value the assistance they have provided us in Brazil, which has led to our new partnership with Grupo Prepara.

UKTI always provide invaluable on-the-ground support and local knowledge, which we have found invaluable when approaching new markets.

Arrange a face to face meeting with an International Trade Adviser (ITA) and find out more about DIT services.

Pingu’s English

Pingu’s English is a centre based language course which teaches children English using the television character Pingu™ and his friends.

Matt Brown, Head of Business Development for Linguaphone Group, said:

For children growing up with the 21st Century there has never been a more important time to learn English. Pingu’s English combines a high quality English course with the entertainment value of the character of Pingu allowing children to learn through play.

With something like 30 million children in Brazil there is a huge untapped market for Pingu’s English and with an excellent partner like Grupo Prepara we are in a great position to exploit that market.

Launch success

Grupo Prepara received a high level of enquiries from potential investors at the ABF show, and are now looking to progress with their unit franchisee expansion plan for 2015 to 2016.

Rogerio Gabriel, CEO of Grupo Prepara, said:

We’ve been happy with the first steps we’ve made to launch Pingu’s English in Brazil.

From the architectural design of the centres to the quality and effectiveness of the method that is winning over the Brazilian investors and parents alike, we are certain that Pingu’s English will be a success throughout Brazil.

Linguaphone Group’s top tips for exporting:

Ensure you brief UKTI thoroughly to make best use of OMIS

Prepare a detailed written brief for your OMIS. Follow it up with a skype or phone call to the local officer who will be directly working on the report.

You may need to make more than one call to ensure they fully understand your business and what your objectives are. Make it very clear the sort of businesses you do not wish to be introduced to, to avoid wasting time later.

Be patient

Be prepared for many conversations, and travel to see your prospects more than once.

Often it can take many months to seal a deal, and no amount of impatience on your part will make things go quicker.

Acknowledge cultural differences

A different business etiquette exists in every market and it is important that you are aware of this, and respect it.

It is also vital to realise the importance of taking the time to get to know your prospect - they need to feel they can trust you and that they like you. Be sociable and show an interest in the culture and traditions of the country you are visiting, and accept social invitations from your host.

UKTI support

UKTI have been working with Linguaphone Group since 2005 in a number of markets.

Linguaphone Group has previously used OMIS to successfully find in-market partners in both Bahrain and Qatar for Pingu’s English. They have also used OMIS in a variety of other countries in Europe, Africa and south America.

Maurice Potts UKTI International Trade Adviser who has worked with Linguaphone Group noted:

UKTI has been working with the Linguaphone Group for some years, and we have worked closely together on approaches to a plethora of markets around the globe.

It is always pleasing to see a client such as this achieve success in a key world market, and to be able to support that success.

About Linguaphone Group

Linguaphone Group is a London based company which provides self-study and classroom based language courses including Pingu’s English.

The Pingu’s English programme was developed in 2008 and has been extremely popular since then, going from strength to strength.

Fast facts

Company Linguaphone Group
Industry Education and training
Target Market Brazil
DIT Services OMIS
Published 3 September 2015