Carlos Eduardo Vianna
Carlos Eduardo Vianna is a Brazilian entrepreneur, well known for building telecommunications networks and IT business from scratch.
He was founder of SouthTech group, a company that operated in South Brazil area from 1998 to 2015, before being acquired by a private equity fund. SouthTech Teleco was a corporate and ISP bandwidth, backhaul and infrastructure provided started within the group in 2007.. The privately held company grew fast, with an outstanding footprint of 281.748 km² covered by fiber (87% and radio (13%) networks . SouthTech Telecom was then partially sold and merged with other companies, in a undisclosed operation (2015)
Born in October 16, 1981, in Porto Alegre City, Carlos Eduardo went to João XXIII private school. In 2000 he was accepted for Electrical Engineering at UFRGS, and dropped out in his early years at university. December 2014 was the year when he graduated in Business School at AIEC, long after managing his own businesses. Carlos is known for claiming he only has a 15 hour computer class at UFRGS when he was a child, and learning all after that by self-education.
SouthTech Group Businesses
His first commercial achievement was SouthTech BBS, a company he started at age of 15, in 1996 (see Bulletin Board Systems). In 1999 the BBS was already offline, and SouthTech became SouthTech Web-hosting , and quickly was one of the largest web hosting companies in Brazil at the time. In 2001 SouthTech has built his first Datacenter in South Brazil, in the city of Porto Alegre. The facility was the largest privately held Datacenter in South Brazil at the time, and became an important meeting point for disaster recovery plans of Banks, major factories and some public authorities. At the time, Carlos Eduardo was working as product designer, operations and sales manager. In 2008 the web hosting and datacenter customers, related equipments and contacts were sold do Universo On-Line (UOL), for undisclosed value . He is known for using all money from UOL`s transaction to kick-off SouthTech Telecom operation. Only after that the company actually engaged in the Telecommunication business.
First steps in IT
Before creating his first company, Carlos worked with groups of friends selling network and programming services to small companies and business offices in his home town. He also dedicated some (little) of his time as an assistant to computer classes at school, helping teachers with other students.
Telecommunication was operated by government only in Brazil at first, and only after 2000 there was the opportunity for private companies to offer services and build networks. At the point that new companies were able to offer services, the government operated companies had old, slow and expensive networks and services, so there was many opportunities for newcomers. Aware of that, Carlos obtained an license to build his Telecommunication company in 2007 with Anatel (agency) , but large efforts in deploying radio towers and optical fibert started only in January 2009, after UOL assumed the previous Web-hosting operation,.
In 2013, SouthTech Telecom already had the largest privately-held network infrastructure in South Brazil region, and the largest sales numbers month-after-month in Rio Grande do Sul state (home of the company). SouthTech Telecom was focused in offering dedicated internet circuits to large companies and internet provides, as well as connecting large company branches, specially those with more than hundred different addresses in Brazil. Private banks, security agencies, cities administrations and hospitals were also customers of SouthTech at that point. After 2013 the company numbers exploded, and with excess of 300 direct employees, and many thousand indirect, SouthTech was the center of attention for competitors - sometime much larger companies that were unable to grow in the region - and private equity funds. As result, in 2015 the company control was transferred to a new company, together with other 3 similar companies that were operating in other regions of the country.
Large network footprint
With an network footprint covering all of Rio Grande do Sul State (larger than Colorado) built in less than 5 years, in a privately held company managed by only one man, Carlos got famous for his never sleeping, always working profile at the time. He covered it all, from engineering to sales. It was only after 2013 that the company had professional, hired Directors and Managers. SouthTech was the first company to bring broadband connections to many cities in the stated, and is still remembered as a game changer in distant communities.
Low cost network
Carlos claims the success of his companies was the low cost and creative way of thinking. He said the preferred to hire uneducated persons with lots of creativity then high degree engineers, who was only able to find solutions that took a lot of money. Equipment recycling was also a reality in his companies. SouthTech Telecom was one of the larger surplus buyer and user equipment buyer in large and older telcos. It is curious that old equipment considered unusable by large companies where than put back in service for a newcomer, that in no time became the big guys large competitor in the region.
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