While every business has its share of difficulties, some encounter more than others. This has certainly been true in the case of Dolly, a soft drink company based out of Brazil. The company’s founder, Laerte Codonho, has recently shared with the public how he believes his company has been targeted by competitors seeking to remove him from the country’s soft drink market. His accounts include efforts by a large multinational firm along with members of the judicial system conducted in order to gain a competitive advantage. These details are not just intriguing but they also offer an educational look into the ways in which business is conducted in the modern world.
Background of company
First, let’s take a look at the founder and his company in order to gain a greater understanding of how this conflict has arisen. Dolly was founded in 1987 as a small regional operator. Its initial claim to fame was that it was the first company to bring sugar-free sodas to Brazil’s markets. That move required the creation of a laboratory to show the country’s government that the sweeteners used in the drinks were safe for human consumption. After creating those labs for that purpose, the company continued with a long tradition of using laboratory testing to ensure greater quality in all of its beverages.
After making a splash in Brazil’s soft drink industry with the introduction of diet sodas, the company saw its market share grow in the 1990s. This allowed it to expand beyond its regional market and find a place as a national distributor of soft drinks. Though this move meant greater success and visibility for Dolly, it also brought with it increased competition from other companies unwilling to cede a portion of the beverage market. These tensions would eventually set the stage for the conflicts that the founder of Dolly has been recounting for the public and media outlets alike.
Perhaps the central focus of these conflicts was the competition that emerged between Dolly and Coca Cola. As Laerte Codonho tells it, his rivalry with the internationally-dominant beverage company would eventually lead to a litany of headaches and difficulties for his comparatively smaller brand. In support of this, one of the pieces of evidence he points to is a backlog of interviews from former executives who had targeted his company for elimination. In to those interviews, both in filmed and written form, the executives go on to state that the mere existence of a national soft drink brand in Brazil takes away from the success of the multinational firm.
For the founder of Dolly, these interviews squarely point the finger at the large beverage company when considering the source of the difficulties his firm would soon encounter. With Brazil’s soft drink market ranking as one of the largest in the world, it is clear that gaining a piece of the industry is big business. For a company that is seeking to raise profits around the globe and gain the greatest possible share of the world’s largest markets, encouraging a strong presence in Brazil would be logical. Regardless of the intent, soon after its ascent in the 1990s, Dolly began running into obstacles that would serve to derail its success.
One major hurdle encountered by the businessman centered around accusations that he had failed to properly pay taxes. When responding to these claims the Dolly founder pointed out that he paid the necessary taxes to his accountant, who then failed to pass them on to the government. In the businessman’s mind, the lack of payment not only resulted in the legal issues he encountered but it also served to provoke a larger question as to the motivation behind his accountant’s actions.
This question would lead the businessman to a suspicion that the accountant might have been aligned with forces that were seeking to discredit his operation and do harm to the Dolly brand. When speaking to media outlets on the topic he has indicated that his accountant may, in fact, have ties to Coca Cola and that his legal troubles could be related to the company’s desire to gain market share. So strong is his conviction that foul play is afoot that when he was photographed in relation to these events, he made sure to hold up a sign indicating his suspicion that the international beverage company is connected to his troubles.
Another event that provoked questions from Laerte Codonho came about when he again found himself in legal difficulty, this time for the clearing of trees on land he owned that he intended to use as a water bottling facility. Legal issues arose when opponents claimed he lacked the authority to clear the trees and sought to press charges over the act. In response, the businessman noted that all proper authorizations were obtained prior to any work commencing and that the deed for the property included the right to create and operate the type of facility he had planned.
What made the situation more perplexing was the fact that the businessman was lumped in with 11 other defendants in the case, but was seemingly given especially stringent treatment during proceedings. This treatment even included a request to arrest the businessman but to let the other defendants go free. This request was eventually struck down by the judge in the case, who stated that he could not see a strong reason for the arrest in light of the nature of the accusations and the lack of continuing acts. This irregularity again provoked a question as to why the businessman has been singled out, especially in a case that he claims had no basis for proceeding in the first place.
Examining the ongoing case of Dolly and its founder, Laerte Codonho, can be an instructive look for anyone interested in the way business is currently conducted. While everyone would agree that competition is a natural part of business, most would also say that there are lines that should not be crossed for legal and/or ethical reasons. As Dolly’s obstacles have mounted over the years, it has left many questioning whether or not such lines have been crossed to date. With the above information, a more complete understanding of the situation can be reached and individuals can make such a determination for themselves.