Caito Maia, from Chilli Beans, reinvented the market and made his brand the best-selling brand in Brazil
Caito Maia is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Brazil, but he is also a great investor, standing out with the other four in the Shark Tank Brazil program.
As the founder of Chilli Beans, the entrepreneur persisted, innovated and reached a level that few have already reached, even overcoming the bankruptcy of his first company due to poor management.
Want to know more about Caito Maia’s history?
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Who is Caito Maia?
Born in São Paulo in 1969, Caito Maia, or Antônio Gomes Pereira Filho, his registered name, is the owner of one of the most revolutionary brands in Brazil: Chilli Beans.
But did you know that the entrepreneur never dreamed of being an entrepreneur and still less working with glasses?
In fact, he really wanted to be a musician.
In fact, Caito even became the vocalist and guitarist for a rock band, Las Ticas Tienen Fuego, which in 1996 was nominated for an important television award, MTV’s Video Music Brasil.
To earn extra money, the businessman bought sunglasses in the United States and resold in Brazil.
With the success of the business, he thought it would be interesting to expand it by reselling it to retail stores as well.
It was there that his first company, Blue Velvet, a wholesaler of glasses, appeared.
Despite the large number of sales, Caito had a hard time managing it, causing it to go bankrupt.
But he didn’t give up.
He took what was left of the stock and set up a kiosk at Mercado Mundo Mix, a big event held in São Paulo focused on clothes and accessories.
It was the beginning of Chilli Beans, which stood out in relation to other brands and ended up making a huge number of sales right at the opening.
Just a parenthesis: the name of the company has everything to do with the entrepreneur’s personal taste for pepper !!!
Coming back … from there it was just a success.
In 2000 Chilli Beans opened the first kiosk in a mall and in 2001 the first franchise.
Today it has more than 750 stores throughout Brazil and also in countries such as the United States, Portugal, the Caribbean, Thailand, Chile, Colombia, etc.
Caito went even further and started offering backpacks and bags, not to mention the underwear, guitars, bicycles and slippers from licensed companies that have the brand’s logo.
The balconies of Caito Maia
Who would have thought that Caito Maia, after a company went bankrupt for not knowing anything about management, would be able to reinvent itself and become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Brazil.
In fact, he is also one of the prominent investors in the Shark Tank Brasil program, alongside entrepreneurs such as Cristiana Arcangeli (from the fashion segment), João Appolinário (Polishop), Robinson Shiba (China in box) and Camila Farani (angel investor) ).
But what were his big draws, anyway?
1 — Innovation
Caito Maia made a very different business model at Chilli Beans, the self service.
This means that in the store the customer is completely free to pick up and try on as many glasses as he wants.
Another interesting point regarding innovation is in the product designs.
They are very different from what is on the market, with bright colors, golden details, larger sizes, etc.
The brand also launches different models every 45 days, a way to attract more and more customers.
And you, how do you think you can innovate in your business?
2 — Persistence
Caito Maia did not give up when he saw his first business go bankrupt.
He went after to understand administration and finance and bet on the leftover merchandise and selling it at an event kiosk to try to start over.
Later, the entrepreneur included more products besides glasses in the Chilli Beans portfolio and partnered with other companies to conquer even more market, making his brand extremely valuable.
What’s the lesson?
When everything looks bad, look for ways to start over.
More important than putting a lot of money into your business is doing the right thing and the right way.
3 — Growth
Caito Maia became not only a great businessman, but also a huge investor, to the point of being one of the highlights of the Shark Tank Brasil program.
So, if you think your business has already reached a good level, see what else you can do to leverage it even more.
You may be surprised at yourself!
Caito Maia is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Brazil.
Get inspired by your success story to make a difference as an entrepreneur!