If you haven’t heard of Roberto Santiago, he is the Brazilian entrepreneur behind the Manaira Shopping Mall, the largest mall in the Brazilian City of Paraiba. Founded in 1989, the Manaira Shopping Mall attracts tourists and locals alike and is home to a variety of retailers, food courts, and fitness centers. In addition to being a place to buy and sell goods, the mall also serves as a venue for concerts and other large gatherings, which was made possible courtesy of the Domus Hall. The hall, which was added in 2009 and can accommodate up to 10,000 people, is considered the venue of choice for many local and international performers.
Prior to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Santiago attended the University Center of Joao Pessoa, located in João Pessoa, Brazil. Santiago earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and soon after had his sights set on building one of the largest malls in Brazil, and the largest in Paraiba. In 1987, Santiago acquired the land that would later become the future home to the Manaira Shopping mall; however, it would be another two years before construction would be completed.
What impact did the mall have on Brazil’s local economy? Well, the mall attracts a wide cross-section of people, from the lower class all the way up to the affluent. In addition, the mall attracts a collegiate crowd courtesy of The College Higher Education of Paraiba, which just happens to be the mall’s largest tenant. The Manaira Shopping Mall has also attracted several prominent corporations, which has created employment opportunities for people in and around Paraiba. What else does the mall have to offer? Moviegoers absolutely love it; the mall is equipped with 11 theaters that have full bars and comfortable seating. In addition, the mall is a haven for gamers; Game Station, one of their most popular tenants, attracts many of the city’s teens and young adults.
Before Roberto Santiago became the CEO and Founder of the Manaira Shopping Mall, he spent several years in the manufacturing sector, where he learned the primary tenets of operating a business. After exiting the manufacturing space, Santiago established The Cartonnage Company, a business that manufactured folding cardboard boxes. His success with the Cartonnage Company was met with tremendous praise; in fact, he was named the most enterprising businessmen in Brazil for his business achievements. His success, however, is trumped by his humility; Robert Santiago often credits his business partners and employees for helping him achieve the level of success that he has. However, he also believes that hard work and self-discipline has its rewards.