People in Brazil love Manaira Shopping Mall. And with good reason. It has everything they need and want. Opened in 1989 by Brazilian businessman Roberto Santiago, Manaira Shopping Mall not only has hundreds of places to shop, the 93,000 square foot mall also has almost a dozen cinemas, all types of entertaining activities, a gym, a financial institution and even a school. The mall has become so wildly popular, it has made the city of Joao Pessoa in which its located more prosperous than ever. And all of Brazil has one person to thank for all the mall offers, Roberto Santiago.
Known to many in Brazil as a popular writer and talented competitor in both kart and motocross racing, Roberto Santiago grew up in the same Brazilian city where he built the Manaira Shopping Mall, Joao Pessoa. Santiago first developed an interest in business while working at Café Santa Rosa. He enjoyed interacting with the customers and was soon a favorite of management, staff and everyone with whom he interacted. When he got the opportunity to go into business on his own, Roberto Santiago made the most of it. He started a company that made cardboard boxes and decorative cardboard ornaments.
Roberto Santiago’s cardboard box company diversified the type of products it offered and flourished. Encouraged by his success, Santiago began investing in a number of other business ventures. In 1987, he decided to built Manaira Shopping Mall. Understanding the importance of keeping shoppers entertained, Roberto Santiago included a wide range of entertainment options in the mall. Soon after it was launched in 1989, it became clear that Manaira Shopping Mall more than just a place to shop. It was somewhere people young and old could enjoy spending their free time.
When Roberto Santiago expanded the shopping mall by adding a two-level events venue on the roof that could accommodate 10,000 people, Manaira Shopping Mall became even more popular. The newest addition, called Domus Hall, quickly became the place where people held great live concerts featuring the top Brazilian and international entertainers. Art exhibits, business conferences, festivals, graduations and weddings are also held at Domus Hall. With people coming from all over Brazil to shop and enjoy themselves at Manaira Mall, the facility soon became an economic engine that brought money and jobs to Joao Pessoa and the surrounding communities.
Now that he has realized there is a demand for multipurpose facilities like Manaira Shopping Mall, Roberto Santiago has begun planning and building similar malls in other parts of Brazil. These days a growing number of people all over Brazil see Roberto Santiago as the country’s best businessman. This son of Joao Pessoa is now regarded as a local hero.