Audiolar video rental shop:
Caxias do Sul (RS).
VIDEOLAR: EACH CHANCE, UNIQUE.
A famous saying assures that a "saddled horse does not pass twice". Maybe, and the following story is about facing each single wave of opportunity as unique.
It is 1980, and the videocassettes start to sell in Brazil: VHS and Betamax, new recording formats already at trade war. A brand new market is just born, full of promise.
Much more than just propaganda, the key to stimulation of VCR sales is making films available __ lots of them__ so that the client can effectively choose among a vast variety of options. At this very moment, the entrepreneur Lirio Parisotto founds Audiolar, first video rental club in the south of Brazil, at Caxias do Sul.
In a complementary strategy, his consumer electronics store, also called Audiolar, starts accepting used equipment as part of the payment for new items purchased. All those efforts generate record sales of TVs, sound systems and VCRs.
As a recognition, Sony invites him to visit its facility in Japan, where another "saddled horse" is about to pass:
Unlike the current procedure in Brazil, Sony manufactures tailor- made tapes: they do not use the standard T-120 VHS for a 100-minute film but, instead, one with the proper length. No waste, in a much more simple way.
Videolar, Unit I, Industrial Plant:
It is just a matter of multiplying the 20-minute magnetic tape economy per the number of copies to find consistent scale advantage and a strong competitive weapon, granted by an obvious (and coherent) procedure.
In the meantime, Brazilian manufacturers keep on producing standard tapes (such as T-90, T-120, T-160) and selling them to the recording companies. The year, 1987, when a huge economic crisis hits Brazil and the newborn home video segment, forcing its players to deal products below cost price.
Such business environment is crucial for the decision to sell Audiolar and, in the following year, starting up Videolar: a state-of-the-art lab dedicated to manufacturing and recording VHS tapes exactly the same running time of each film, based on a project approved by the National Cinema Council (CONCINE).
A slight detail: Videolar operates in Caxias do Sul, distant not less than six hundred miles from the São Paulo market's epicenter, home of almost every home video distributor's headquarters, from the major studios to the independent companies.
In 1990, Videolar transfers its facility to São Paulo, bringing also the main employees. In addition, builds another plant at the Manaus Industrial Pole, in the Amazon, where the other manufacturers are also established.
This way, Videolar lays the foundations for home video's growth in Brazil, from the infrastructural point of view.
Over time, the company keeps searching and offering a wide range of products in the blank media area: VHS, audiocassettes, floppy disks.
The music industry is also a huge segment, punctually served with pre-recorded CDs in historical runs.
At the peak, here comes the DVD: the great convergence of image, sound and extras on a spectacular market demand. Videolar embraces that enormous opportunity by setting a complete distribution service: storage, invoicing, delivery and collecting. Now, the client companies are free to focus on marketing and sales.
In 2005, Videolar acquires Somlivre.com and launches the company's e-commerce area.
A logistics saga takes place in a brand new distribution center in Manaus: around the clock, from raw materials to ready DVDs, coming and going by air, earth and sea freight.
Three years later, Videolar starts producing pen drives, memory cards and flash drives.
Innova, Petrochemical Plant: Triunfo (RS).
DVDs: gate to the next opportunity
What else could DVDs carry? Another opportunity, not an obvious one.
Moreover, here is where the story takes another course: Videolar builds an industrial plant for polystyrene production__ raw material to the disc's plastic boxes. A mere business verticalization detail?
Definitely not, because the Manaus Industrial Pole is also heart of the demand for that resin, intensively used in a wide number of products from various industries: consumer electronics, household, health care, food packaging, beverages, office supplies and many others.
In practice, 2002 is the takeoff for Videolar's journey in the petrochemical area - decision taken in 1995.
In 2012, Videolar launches production of BOPP (bi oriented polypropylene) and PP Cast (mono oriented polypropylene), as well as PP (polypropylene) sheets and PS (polystyrene) sheets. The company builds for this purpose a huge industrial plant in Manaus.
Styrene monomer tanks at Innova.
At the same time, another facility produces increasing amounts of plastic cases, as well as caps for mineral water and soft drinks top brands.
In 2014, Videolar announces the end of its activities in the blank and pre-recorded media markets, where it all started. Simultaneously, acquires Innova S.A., one of the top petrochemical industries in Brazil. New role, same mentality:
Until the acquisition of Innova, Videolar produced its own polystyrene but not yet the styrene monomer, an essential input. Innova produces both the styrene monomer and polystyrene in its integrated plant. An extremely important step of the production chain becomes part of the business.
Videolar and Innova operate now two industrial plants, respectively in the northern and southern extremes of the country, generating an evident synergy, with clear advantages, meeting local markets with higher efficiency. A further challenge is on target: double the production of the styrene monomer and search for new resins able to offer increasing market potential.
Surely, in the times of the video club no one could imagine that history would lead Videolar to the petrochemical area.
On the other hand, maybe also Videolar led history by always embracing each opportunity, each sole time the "saddled horse" crossed its path.