Return“We have a support network, a community, a family. The MTN family.” Roger Brito, Head of MTN Brasil
The links between Montana Colors and the Brazilian graffiti scene go back to the early 2000’s and were truly cemented when Os Gemeos and Nina painted the Montana Air plant in 2003. The relationship is more than just an artistic exchange, as the Montana Shop São Paolo opened a few years later in 2006 thanks to the interest and efforts of local graffiti artists.
Roger Brito officially joined the team in 2008 and he has held a whole host of roles before being given the responsibility of leading the MTN Brasil subsidiary in Brazil. MTN News caught up with Roger to find out the latest from SP and beyond.
What role do you currently play in MTN Brazil and how has your relationship with MTN evolved?
I currently work as the operations manager at MTN Brazil and I’m responsible for coordinating the marketing, distribution and other administrative processes of the Brazilian subsidiary.
The first time I had contact with MTN was in 2004 through the classic videos Bajo Tierra and Dirty Handz, as well as XPLICIT GRAFX magazine. From there, I investigated more about the brand and saw that there was a difference there: the quality of the products was clearly superior compared to other paints we had in Brazil. As a graffiti writer, I myself was very interested in buying and using the product.
In 2006, my friend Diego Salvador brought the brand to Brazil to sell at MTN SHOP and then began distributing the products to other retailers. During this process I started working with MTN Brazil in 2008. My professional career has gone through all the distribution processes in Brazil, from organizing a warehouse and receiving imports to administrative, sales and marketing processes.
With the transition of the company from an outsourced administration to a subsidiary format, directly connected to Barcelona, I was invited to take over the management of Montana Colors' operations in Brazil, which has been a very rewarding experience.
Can you explain a little how the distribution of MTN products began in Brazil?
The distribution of MTN products in Brazil was inaugurated in 2006 by Diego Salvador: graffiti writer and artist. Initially, the products brought from Barcelona were sold in the first MTN Shop in the country, located in the Galeria do Reggae in São Paulo.
The first import was intended to supply only MTN Shop SP, but graffiti writers and shopkeepers from all over the country showed interest in selling MTN products, demonstrating the demand for further distribution of spray cans and other brand products - from there, we began to structure the operation to supply this demand.
Also in 2006, MTN Shop São Paulo was transferred to Galeria do Rock, an iconic location aimed at the public involved in the city's rock, hip-hop and skate scenes. Later, between 2009 and 2010, the distribution operation was transferred to Florianópolis-SC, since the state of Santa Catarina offered greater incentives for imports. Since then, the brand has significantly increased its popularity and has established itself in the national market.
Who else works on the team?
As well as me, our team has three collaborators: Gustavo Lucas, who works with shipments and other administrative routines in Curitiba; Rafael Pereira, who works as a manager for MTN Shop SP, and Alysson Matheus, a salesperson for MTN Shop SP.
Why did MTN Brasil become a subsidiary? What has changed with this new strategy?
MTN Brasil adopted the subsidiary format to manage the brand in the country without the intermediation of an outsourced distribution company.
After the implementation of this new strategy, there is no longer a mediator between the brand and the country's operations. This made it possible for the MTN Brasil team to work in synergy with the parent company, both to solve eventual problems and to implement new products, with greater agility in imports, in the improvement of administrative processes and system options, for example.
What relationship does MTN Brasil have with the rest of the Montana Colors team? And with other subsidiaries?
Our relationship both with the Montana Colors team in Barcelona and with the rest of the subsidiaries is stronger and closer every day. We are privileged to be part of this very proactive culture promoted by MTN, where everyone collaborates with each other and there are no communication barriers despite the distance. In this dynamic we feel we have a support network, a community, a family. The MTN family.
The headquarters of MTN Brazil is in Curitiba. What advantages does this location have?
With the entry of Montana Colors into the BRIOLF Group, it no longer made sense to keep the distribution center in Florianópolis, since Roberlo do Brasil, a company that is also part of the group and is our great partner, is in Curitiba.
Keeping the two companies close geographically is the greatest advantage for the group and for each company individually, since this proximity to Roberlo makes us stronger in terms of operational support, transportation, loading and unloading: together in Curitiba we have a more solid structure.
Marketing a product manufactured in Europe in a continent like Latin America means that its sale price is very high. Is this a big obstacle?
Here we work with a great focus on the philosophy that price is different from value - it is clear that the taxes charged by the country for the importation of products are significant for the definition of final consumer prices.
However, we don’t consider this a great obstacle, since the Montana Colors brand carries with it many other factors that add value to our products, such as its history, concept and the lifestyle linked to the brand.
Both in the organization of the store and in the projects that we develop focused on marketing, we work to show customers that buying Montana Colors products is not just buying a spray, a marker or an accessory, but rather being part of a movement, adhering to a lifestyle.
This effort has resulted in people becoming aware of the value of the brand: our customers understand that using MTN is a unique experience and are willing to pay the price for it.
What does MTN paint offer versus local paint supply?
We offer much more than the paint: when you buy an MTN spray, you become part of the MTN universe. In this sense, Montana Colors is a pioneer in offering this experience and is a reference for national aerosol brands.
The products offered by national brands, in addition to not providing comparable quality or performance to MTN inks, have only just begun to focus their attention on the customer experience and still have a long way to go to create a community like the one you have. Montana Colors.
In addition, the MTN spray color chart is the largest of all and we also have the largest variety of spray lines and markers, available for incredibly diverse uses.
To what extent is the Brazilian graffiti scene different from other countries in its geopolitical environment?
In Brazil, we began to build the graffiti scene with little material and the presence of pixação is certainly a differential. Brazilian graffiti writers are used to improvising and that further sharpened everyone's creativity, both in illegal and authorized pieces. The presence of MTN in the country since 2006 has greatly facilitated graffiti artists' access to materials of excellence and greatly encourages everyone's activity.
Furthermore, it’s important to consider that Brazil has a very large cultural plurality as it’s a country with continental dimensions, and this is also reflected in the Brazilian graffiti scene: most graffiti writers have created their own style building an aesthetic from references to Brazilian popular culture, which can vary depending on the region where the person lives, resulting in a scenario rich in diversity.
What role does pixaçao play in another graffiti scene? Is it completely different movement or do they feed off each other?
Pixação emerged in Brazil before graffiti and is its own culture, created from scratch, 100% Brazilian. People of all ages contribute and create their own identity in pixação, designing their own letters, their unique way of expressing themselves.
Therefore, we can say that every Brazilian graffiti writer has pixação as a reference. As much as people say that they only do murals, for example, they are part of the culture that also involves pixação – many pixadores in Brazil ended up working in other spheres of the scene as well, becoming muralists, tattoo artists, plastic artists, etc.
They are worlds apart in their purpose but they are certainly connected. Pixação is part of the graffiti scene and occupies a place of respect and reference.
What relationship does MTN Brasil have with the writers and artists of the Brazilian scene?
We have a very respectful relationship and we want to bring the brand closer to the public, people also have that desire. Our customers are very active and show that they want to be part of the history of the brand and the community that is MTN.
The task of importing products could be a little repetitive. What do you enjoy about your job?
We don’t see the work as tedious, it’s amazing for us to prepare an order for Brazil. When the container arrives, it’s a very big achievement. We know that the resolution of administrative issues is part of the process and we carry it out very seriously, however, the arrival of the products and the notion of the enormous contribution of MTN Brasil to the national art and graffiti scene excites us and is fun - it's truly a magical moment.
The Montana Shop São Paolo is located at Loja 24 subsolo - Avenida São João, 439 - Centro Histórico de São Paulo, São Paulo - SP, 03510-000, Brazil.
Spray Planet Brazil distributes Montana Colors products all over the country.
ShareJune 14, 2022