Honored by the International Business Magazine in November in Paris as an Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Decade, one of the most admired women today for her entrepreneurial spirit and for being one of the strongest defenders of women’s empowerment, Luiza Helena Trajano gave an interview to the magazine in times of resilience and overcoming, following:
What measures has Magazine Luiza taken to confront Covid-19 and the pandemic crisis?
From the very beginning we were very concerned about the health of everyone, staff and customers, so much so that we were one of the first to close the stores before it was mandatory. Magazine Luiza was already very good in digital, but we were concerned about helping entrepreneurs who were not yet in e-commerce. Quickly, we created formats to help small and medium entrepreneurs and put on air the Magalu Partner, which opened our platform, with more ease, for small and medium who did not have e-commerce yet and could continue selling through Magalu. We are also taking all measures and using all possible resources so that, at this first moment, we do not fire anyone.
In your perception, what are the main losses of Covid-19 for small businesses?
There will be a lot of losses for small and micro businesses, but the first need is to take care of people’s health, because we can have a new CNPJ, but not a new CPF. The government is taking several rescue measures for small and micro businesses, and I recommend everyone to seek information to use the legal financial resources to get through the crisis. It’s a very serious mo-ment for the small ones, so it’s necessary to hold the interest and get the credit to them.
What is the main learning of the business community from the Covid-19 crisis?
The world, people and companies will no longer be the same, and we will have significant changes in everything we know, but I hope we can come out better. Among the various apprenticeships, it is important to reinvent yourself in this period and use this time to streamline projects that were stalled. For example, many companies, from all segments, had not yet entered the digital world, and this crisis definitely revolutionized the culture of mobile connectivity. Many had to quickly reinvent themselves for this reality.
How is it possible to participate and contribute to the Women of Brazil Group, in which you are one of the founders?
Today, the Women’s Group of Brazil already has 41 women participating in 55 nuclei, in 14 countries. We want to be the largest non-party political group in Brazil, contributing with public policies in all areas, health, education, sanitation, racial equality and dozens of others, gathering women from all social classes and skills. Any woman can collaborate and get to know the Group by visiting www.grupomulheresdobrasil.org.br.
What do you think of the quotas in the companies?
I defend quota everywhere, because when we understand that quota is a transitory process to settle an inequality, we change the perspective. We have several social debts and inequalities that require the adoption of quotas.
What are your expectations regarding Brazil’s economic recovery in 2020 and 2021?
This situation is totally new. Nobody imagined it would happen and we have no way of predicting what will happen to the economy in the coming years. We are only sure that it will be slow and will require efforts from everyone. I hope that the government will inject a lot of money into the economy, especially to support jobs. Businesses will have to reinvent themselves, but I believe we will become better people, and many lessons, such as the culture of giving, will come to help in that recovery process. I am sure that Brazil has the conditions to get out of the crisis, but certainly the world will not be the way it was.