Starting out as an IBM intern, Guilherme Paulus is currently one of Brazil’s most influential businessmen. He co-founded CVC Brasil Opradora in 1972, at the age of 24 years old, and through his dedication managed to turn his tourism company into the largest operator in Latin America. In 2017, CVC transported 6 million tourists.
Guilherme Paulus started CVC alongside an investor, but 4 years into the business he was the sole owner. When talking about his vision that helped grow his business, he notes that he did not focus on just one market. While International tourism is strong, he valued domestic tourism. A key factor was when they started chartering flights in the 80s and 90s. Back then international tourism was also strong, but since there was no national operator that was investing in domestic tourism, CVC entered the scene.
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In 2009, Guilherme Paulus sold a portion of CVC to Carlyle Group. The company’s annual revenues are at $5.2 billion and are continuing to rise at a fast pace every year. CVC has a big presence in Brazil, in a large number of malls and Guilherme Paulus plans on opening stores in areas that are less populated, with a population of up to 50,000 inhabitants, in order to attract new clients. His plan is to establish 100 stores every year, and by 2020 to have 2000 stores throughout the country.
He notes that in the last decade the biggest change was online presence. Online is seen as a support for offline, whether for research or to close sales. He collaborates with Omni Channel in order to integrate online vendors into physical stores.
Besides owning the largest tourism operator in Brazil, Guilherme Paulus is also the owner of GJP Hotels and Resorts, which operates more than 20 hotels and resorts in places such as Sao Paulo, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and others. What became as a small business venture in 2005 turned into a large hotel chain in Brazil. Since opening the first hotel, his properties had more than 95,000 people pass through the door, and currently have 5,000 people employed.