Roberto Santiago: Building a Business Empire in Joao Pessoa, One Mall At A Time

While today businesses are primarily seen as profit-making concerns, they can be a lot more than that. Businesses can also support local communities and make them more attractive business destinations. Additionally, they can act as sources of pride for the various stakeholders that interact with them. One such business that ticks all these boxes is the Manaira shopping mall in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. The mall is not just a facility at which goods and services are traded; it is the heartbeat of the surrounding community and a great source of pride. The man behind this force of a mall is one of Paraiba’s finest businessmen, Roberto Santiago.

At the time Roberto Santiago decided to develop the Manaira shopping mall, it was a very big risk. Malls were not as prevalent and popular then as they are today. Therefore, there was no sure way to tell whether members of the public would flock to the mall, especially given the humungous size of over 130 thousand meters squared. Further, he also went against the grain by choosing to locate the mall in a small city in the state of Paraiba while the norm was often to have projects of that magnitude in bigger cities such as Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. However, regardless of the associated risks, Roberto Santiago went ahead with his plan and constructed the Manaira shopping mall between 1987 and 1989. Soon after the mall opened its doors to members of the public, it became glaringly apparent that he had made the right choice.

Three decades later, the Manaira shopping mall remains extremely popular with the residents of Joao Pessoa. In the 150 stalls at the mall, residents are sure to find all the products and services that they need. Additionally, they are assured of consistent entertainment at the mall’s gaming area, bowling alley or movie theatres. Numerous high end-restaurants dot the mall’s floors while an affordable food court that does not compromise on the quality of food is also available. All in all the mall, the mall offers great shopping and entertainment value to people of all ages and backgrounds.

In recent years, Roberto Santiago has been looking to further extend his shopping mall business by adding more malls to his portfolio. Thus far, he has also developed the Mangabeira shopping mall which was completed in 2013. The mall is also located in the city of Joao Pessoa and joins the big list of investments that he holds in the small Brazilian city. His loyalty to the city even where other regions in the country may have seemed as more lucrative investment destinations is something that has earned him great respect and admiration among its citizens.