Keeping justice at the heart of big business

When Brazil’s most famous businesswoman slipped and fell in front of the cameras as she moved her Olympic torch to her hometown ahead of the 2016 Rio Games, shoppers across the country had reason to rejoice.

“Donna Luiza has fallen, but she is fine,” she later wrote in her Magazine Luiza retail chain, announcing new discounts. “Now the prices have fallen as well.”

At the same time, Luisa Trajano was going through a setback, just as she had many other obstacles in her life. He picked himself up and continued, as if nothing had happened.

That sternness and determination helped Trajano, the only child in the shoe town deep in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, rise from a part-time sales assistant to a president, becoming president and then president of a $ 23,000 retail power plant. bn with 1,310 stores and 47,000 employees.

Along the way, she became a strong advocate for women’s rights, racial equality, and one of the richest women in Latin America.

“I am very grateful to have been brought up by steadfast women,” she said. “Because I was born into the cradle of women entrepreneurs, I felt I had a mission to help other women learn to win.”

Trajano, 69, sees his success in business as being able to put himself in the shoes of others and help solve their problems. “My mother raised me to think of solutions,” she says. “When I came home from school saying the teacher had done something to me, he would say, ‘What are you going to do to get the teacher to accept you?’

At the age of 17, he started working in a family shop in the city of Franca, located in a prosperous industrial city almost 300 km north of Sao Paulo, during the school holidays to earn money for Christmas presents.

“I discovered I had a talent for dealing with people,” he says. “It simply came to our notice then. “I learned that in order to sell, I had to enter other people ‘s worlds, to understand how they lived, how much they earned.”

Beginning in the 1970s, Luiza magazine began to expand steadily, և Trajan’s career grew with it. In 1991, when she took office, the company was still a family chain named after her aunt, with several dozen stores within the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. He quickly moved on to professional management to come up with new ideas.

Customers queue to enter Sao Paulo Magazine Luiza store © Bruno Rocha / Fotoarena LTDA / Alamy

The 1990s were a difficult year for Brazilian retailers. The retreat և brought high inflation to profit, և many shops closed. Trajano was contacted by the mayors of small towns who had lost their only large store, asking to open a branch in Magalu, as his network is known. How could he do that profitably?

The solution he came up with was the e-shop, a prototype of online sales. Louisa Magazine opened small stores in less profitable cities with only a handful of staff and no display. Shoppers were advised in the store և VHS videos showed a variety of white goods, consumer electronics, gifts և furniture ընկերության. Orders were delivered to homes. Customers loved it.

The company also made a mark on its internship by offering training programs, comprehensive staff benefits, and strict discrimination rules.

“It simply came to our notice then [voted] “It’s one of the top five companies in Brazil for 23 years,” said Trajano. Luiza Magazine’s offers also include an additional monthly fee for childcare staff, as well as health plans, life insurance, loans, and a helpline for women with domestic violence.

Technology was also a priority. Trajano instructed his son, Federico, who was educated in his business school, to create an e-commerce business in 2001, when Brazilian rivals started their own online divisions. Magazine Luiza continued to invest in bricks and mortars. Launched in 2008 in the business capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo, with 50 new stores.

His commitment to the highest paid model served the company well. Logistics is expensive in Brazil, և Louisa’s concept of online sales խանութ delivery of physical stores allowed her to turn profitable only rejected competitors online.

“We were put under a lot of pressure, especially after swimming in the stock market[in 2011]”To separate dotcom from physical stores,” he says. “I thank my family, who once owned 84% of the shares. They never asked why the shares were so low.” The two original shareholder families still own 58 percent of the stock, and Trajano’s 17 percent stake now stands at more than $ 4 billion, according to Forbes.

Reflecting his great interest in social issues, Trajan created Brazilian women, in order to promote the nationalization of women in 2013 Women’s National Network. Three years later, he stepped down from the daily work of Lugiza magazine to chair the board and spend more time on social projects.

Trajan is unforgiving about defending the interests of quotas in order to increase that proportion women on company boards From its current level of 7% in Brazil. “Until two or three years ago, women did not even think of a board, they did not have a chance,” she says. “Meritocracy can be talked about only when there are opportunities for everyone.”

Three questions to Luisa Trajano

Who is the hero of your leadership?

My aunt was a very strong leader, very concerned about social issues. He donated a cancer hospital to the city. But I do not have an idol. I have always been inspired by different people.

If you were not a CEO, what would you be?

I would be a psychologist.

What was the first lesson of your leadership that you learned?

I learned to be compassionate. Empathy changes places with another person in their world.

The same thinking led him to increase racial diversity in Magalu. He believes George Cave Floyd Last year, he was heavily influenced by a police officer in the United States in Brazil, one of the last Western countries to abolish slavery. “This eight-minute suffocation has had a profound effect on business people and the government,” he said.

Last year, Louisa Magazine announced that it would retain all places in its much-sought-after graduation program for black applicants in an effort to develop future senior black managers. Despite allegations of racism on social media, the company went ahead and selected 20 black trainers from almost 20,000 applicants. Other companies followed suit.

“Brazil had 400 years of slavery,” explains Trajano. “Slavery left not only a financial legacy, but also an emotional one. People did not feel that the country was theirs. It was a very serious legacy of slavery, a very bad way of elimination. “People were thrown into the streets without food, without work, without a home, without a school and without money.”

Trajano recently launched a fundraising initiative called United Vaccines to help speed up vaccinations in the world’s second-highest number of vaccines. deaths from coronavirus,

His fame and popularity in Brazil have led some to speculate that he should run for president next year.

“I am a politician because I have a group of almost 100,000 women who want to become Brazil’s largest non-partisan organization,” she said. “100,000 people speak the same language, although they think differently. “I believe in transforming the country through organized, determined civil society.”

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