Published in


Silvio Santos: from a street vendor to one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Brazil

Silvio Santos started his life as a businessman at the age of 14, working with his younger brother as a street vendor on the streets of Rio de Janeiro.
But he never missed an opportunity.

No, it was not money, but his desire to make it happen that led him to take over his friend’s company, Baú da Felicidade, and found several other successful businesses over the years.

Want to know the beautiful story of billionaire Silvio Santos?

So continue here and read this text until the end!

The trajectory of Silvio Santos

Did you know that Silvio Santos was a street vendor?

That’s right!

Born in December 1930 in Rio de Janeiro, Senor Abravanel, his given name, was the son of two Jewish immigrants born in the old Ottoman Empire.

Her father was from a region that currently belongs to Greece and her mother from a city that is now in Turkey.

They had 6 children, but Silvio was very close to his younger brother, Leon.
It all started when the businessman, at 14, was inspired by a man who sold capinhas for voter titles on the street.

He did exactly the same thing and started the job as a street vendor with Leon.

When using his striking voice to attract people to buy his product, Silvio ended up being invited to do a test on Guanabara radio.

Despite having passed in the first place, including the comedian Chico Anysio, he soon returned to work as a street vendor, since this job gave him more money than the other.

Silvio ended up leaving the job at the age of 18, when he was drafted into the Army, after all, she was incompatible with his activity as a military man.

He then returned to work as an announcer on a radio in Rio de Janeiro.

With entrepreneurial blood, at the age of 20, the businessman set up a loudspeaker service on the ferry he took every day to cross Guanabara Bay when he went to work.

Basically he advertised some products between one song and another.
This balcony worked so well, that some boats started to include a bar and a bingo to liven up the passengers.

Silvio even gave the idea of ​​providing a bingo card to the consumer when he bought a drink.

Not bad!

At the age of 20 the businessman decided to live in São Paulo and there to present raffles and shows in caravans by artists.

At this time he even graduated as an accounting technician, but decided to continue as an announcer at Rádio Nacional de São Paulo.

To increase income, Silvio created the magazine “Brincadeiras para Você”, with hobbies, crosswords and even riddles.

He sold it himself in the shops of the city.

But the fact that he would become a billionaire was yet to come.

In 1958, the friend and broadcaster Manoel da Nóbrega was struggling to manage his company Baú da Felicidade, a system of booklets in which the customer paid the installments of toys throughout the year and received the products at Christmas.

Nóbrega had sold several booklets, but was having difficulty delivering the goods, so he asked Silvio for help to resolve the situation.

But the entrepreneur went further and simply took full control of the business, which in 1962 became the huge Silvio Santos Group.

What did he do that was so special?

It maintained the credit system, but created stores where people could exchange the paid booklets for toys and appliances.

More than that, in 1961 Silvio debuted his first TV program, called “Vamos Brincar de Forca” (currently “Programa Silvio Santos”), which intelligently relied on the Baú da Felicidade advertisement.

Over time, Baú started to distribute a series of products in addition to toys and appliances, including cars and houses.

Between 1965 and 1975, Silvio also founded and bought more than ten businesses, such as Baú Construtora, Marca Filmes and the Vimave concessionaire.

In 1969 he created Baú Financeira, which more than 20 years later would become Banco PanAmericano, and in 1975 Liderança Capitalização, which in 1991 started to sell TeleSena.

The dream of having their own TV station happened in 1975, with TVS.
The initial investment was US $ 10 million!!!

SBT appeared in 1981, when Silvio won the concession of 4 more channels.
And do not stop there!

In 2006 he founded Jequiti Cosméticos and in 2007 the Sofitel Jequitimar Guarujá hotel.

But as not everything is flowers, the troubled moment happened in 2010, with a leak of R $ 4.3 billion at Banco PanAmericano, leading the businessman to consider selling all his companies and living in the United States.

But that kind of attitude was not part of this great entrepreneur, right?

What did he do?

He pledged several of them to pay off the debt and invested all his energy in Jequiti, which has been growing 20% ​​per year, twice the rate of the cosmetics sector.

After 4 years of crisis, the Silvio Santos Group remains firm, reaching revenues of US $ 5.9 billion in 2013 and profit of US $ 800 thousand.

Silvio Santos has a lot to teach us

Let’s see what we can learn from Silvio Santos?

1 — You can start from scratch

Silvio Santos was a mere street vendor, but he had a different vision for business.

It was this vision coupled with his will to do that led him to put the best business ideas into practice.

For example, it was enough for friend Manoel da Nóbrega to ask for his help so that he could simply take over the whole business and make it a real empire.

2 — Don’t be afraid

If you feel like Silvio Santos: practically a born entrepreneur, don’t let your dream go.

Put your idea into practice, without fear of being happy.

Do you think he knew where he was going?

Certainly not, but the fact is that he didn’t let time pass when opportunities arose.

Silvio went ahead several times and made it happen.

3 — Innovate

Do what no one else is doing.

Have focus, persistence, resilience and planning, but think of something really promising.

That was what made the difference in Silvio Santos’ life and can do yours too!

Silvio Santos is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Brazil and certainly has a lot to teach us with his successful trajectory!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Presleyson Lima

Presleyson Lima

I help entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs get results in their business through information security, talk to me now.