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A multifaceted Brazilian A/V

If there is a multifaceted man it is Nelson Baumgratz: architect, engineer, musician and educator. Profile of the professional of the month for Brazil whose relationship with the industry comes from his childhood years.

By: Héctor Gómez Pérez

Psychology has shown over the years that childhood experiences are decisive for people's adult lives, or if not Nelson Baumgratz, our Professional of the Month for Brazil.  When asked about his inclination for the A/V industry, Nelson responds without hesitation that "because I studied music as a child I became interested in audio, and in electronics when I received a gift from my father: a circuit assembly kit called the Philips electronic engineer".

Baumgratz is currently the commercial and new business director of EAV Engenharia Audiovisual (www.eav.eng.br), a Brazilian company certified AVPS Diamond Level by InfoComm, and dedicated to the elaboration, installation and maintenance of audiovisual projects, and which also offers consulting services and personalized training. In the same way, our Professional of the Month is part of the faculty of the InfoComm Academy. But we'll talk about that later because the beginning is the beginning.

Once upon a time...

Nelson Baumgratz was born on February 11, 1958 in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. His professional education shows his versatility: first he became an electronics technician at the Technical College of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, later he graduated as an architect and finally as a civil engineer, both careers were also studied at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

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Although for almost 10 years he dedicated himself exclusively to working in architecture, at the invitation of an Italian named Albano Grassi, a person whom Baumgratz considers his great teacher, he became involved in the world of professional electronics in the area of telecommunications. At the same time, and due to his passion for music, he began to build home studios and participate in progressive rock bands.

In 2004 he left the It industry to work at ON Engenharia, as an R&D engineer and engineering manager. In 2007 the dream of EAV Engenharia Audiovisual began to take shape, which finally materialized in 2008. About this company, which Baumgratz created in the company of a group of friends, our Professional of the Month points out that "throughout this time we have carried out very interesting works such as training rooms, videoconferences, museums, installations of works of contemporary art, interactive exhibitions, special events and the independent validation of audiovisual systems for third parties".

In 2005, and after obtaining his CTS certification from InfoComm, he joined this association to teach classes in his country of origin. Later he obtained his CTS-D certification and was invited by InfoComm to be part of its Academy, which has given him the opportunity to teach in many places in Latin America and during the fairs of this association.

The Professional in your home

Baumgratz is divorced and has two children, who like him, inherited his engineering inclination: Clarissa, 27, is a production engineer and Christiano, 23, is a mechatronics engineering student.

Nelson said about his hobbies: "My passion for music remains to this day, and I'm part of a progressive rock band called verteX. In addition to rock, I also like classical music and ethnic music in general."

Another of Baumgratz's hobbies is to go out to tour the Brazilian landscapes on his Yamaha Virago motorcycle in the company of his girlfriend. He is a lover of reading and likes biographies and books of scientific fiction; one of his favorite writers is the physicist Fritjof Capra.

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Let's talk about A/V

"I believe that the A/V industry in Brazil will continue to experience the steady growth of recent years, all because the entertainment industry and cultural and corporate demands continue to grow. It is something that can be perceived by the size of the Brazilian delegation at the InfoComm fair, which in the last three years has been one of the largest," said Baumgratz.

On the evolution of the industry in his country, the Professional of the Month said that Brazil currently has access to the most modern technologies, but faces a great difficulty: the import of equipment. All this because "we have in this sector a very old and complex bureaucracy, in addition to one of the most abusive rates on the planet that makes everything cost at least three times more than in its origin. The amount of taxes that products must pay makes the budget the limiting factor in the quality of a project or installation."

Nelson Baumgratz is passionate about teaching, let's not forget that in the beginning he was a music teacher, perhaps that is why he considers education as a fundamental pillar in any industry. In his opinion, one of the most serious problems in A/V is that many people start working in this area without adequate preparation, not to mention that many business managers do not consider the issue of training and training as important for their employees.

"The companies that don't think that way are the ones that are currently growing and are standing out in the market. I believe that no one can be a complete professional without the correct preparation, because practice can teach a lot, but to guarantee the quality and excellence of the service you have to have a very solid knowledge base, "said the guest.

Experience and recognition

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If there is something that all these years of experience has left Baumgratz is the attention that should be paid to the issue of security; this is what he showed when he shared with AVI LATINOAMÉRICA an anecdote that marked him in his daily work.

"Working in a rental company we had for the first time a giant LED screen, recently arrived from Italy and we would use it in an open-air assembly in the city of Sao Paulo. At the end of the afternoon the weather conditions changed terribly and the winds were so strong that the screen peeled off the support and almost took flight," Nelson recalled.
Fortunately all the damage was summed up in damaged connector cables, but the situation left him with an important lesson. "Without a doubt, security is extremely important, especially at events. Since then I have become very firm with the conditions of the assembly and the safety margins of the project or installation because Murphy's law, as always, is present at all times," he added.

To conclude, Baumgratz summarized in five points the success factors of his company:

  • Transparent management and clarity in objectives." This way everyone in the company knows the current situation and where we want to go."
  • Employee participation in the results.
  • Severe control over costs.
  • Constant training of the work team.
  • I work hand in hand with InfoComm with all the material it has available to its members, both for training and for strategic decision making.
Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Editor
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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