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Meeting Henrique Alves Pinto in Jardins Paulista

2012 CoolBrands Around the World in 80 Brands

Brazils New-Generation Serial Entrepreneur


Were strolling through Jardins Paulista, one of So Paolos upmarket neighbourhoods. The street scene is an eclectic mix of luxury boutiques and old-school corner shops, trendy restaurants and high-rise apartment blocks. Its a sharp contrast to the favelas that lie on the outskirts of this metropolis, and once again underscores the huge contrasts and enormous social differences that exist in Brazil. But things are changing Brazil is booming. It is one of the few countries in the world with strong economic growth and each year millions of people rise above the poverty line. Later today, we are going to talk to Henrique Pinto, who is part of a new generation of entrepreneurs. With their new business ethics, these entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the countrys new economic power. We sit down at a caf on Rua Oscar Freire and order two large lattes. Lets see what Google has on Henrique, I say as I take out my iPad. Born in the city of Belo Horizonte, a one-hour flight from So Paulo, he started his first business at the age of 18. Since then he has founded more than 10 highly successful companies from scratch, I read out loud. And as if that werent enough, his businesses are highly diverse, ranging from granite and marble to business aviation, through fruit juices to cosmetics and construction. Seems like everything he touches turns to gold. I wonder if theres a secret, Maarten jokes as he leans back and takes a sip of coffee. Maybe he has a secret alchemists formula that he uses to turn all his businesses into gold. I scroll through the Google results. I cant find anything about a formula, and hes certainly not making a secret of it. He is sharing his knowledge by giving motivational speeches to his employees and high-school students. What does he talk about? Maarten asks. What is the main message? I tap on the iPad screen and scroll down. Let me see... its about the power of the mind. Here he quotes Henry Ford: Whether you think you can or you think you cant, youre right. So actually, I guess hes teaching young people to believe in themselves. Sure, Maarten replies, but its more than just words he shows them that its possible. The guy practises what he preaches. I look at a photo of Henrique on the tablet. Im seriously looking forward to meeting him.

2012 CoolBrands Around the World in 80 Brands