Roberto Santiago is probably the most popular entrepreneur in Brazil these days. The 58 years old Joao Pessoa native is the owner of Manaira Shopping Mall, the best mall in Brazil. Santiago’s interest in mall building seeming came out of nowhere. Years ago he became known as a talented driver who took part in motocross and kart championships. He also was had a relatively large following as a writer. But it’s as a businessman that Roberto Santiago has really begun to make his mark in Brazil over the past few decades.
The first experience Roberto Santiago had with business was when he took a job working at Café Santa Rosa. He was a hard worker who got along well with others and impressed his bosses. Santiago was also very good at communicating with customers. After a period of time at Café Santa Rosa, Roberto Santiago decided to go into business on his own. He created a company that made cardboard boxes. Initially Santiago specialized in boxes for packing and shipping. Eventually, he branched out and began to make decorative figures out of cardboard. Those items were popular with tourists and Roberto Santiago’s business prospered.
In 1987, Roberto Santiago began buying land in Joao Pessoa to create a new business. Over the next two years he went on to design and build Brazil’s most popular shopping destination. In 1989 he opened the incredible Manaira Shopping Mall. This mall has it all. There’s a complex of state-of-the-art cinemas, bowling alleys and a gaming arcade with entertainment for teens, tweens and young adults. Manaira Shopping Mall has hundreds of stores selling food, all the top brands of clothing, shoes, toys, houseware, tools, music and more. There’s a bank, a gym, a school and a food court with fast food, fine dining and every type of food imaginary. The mall’s a big hit.
In 2009, Roberto Santiago did something that took Manaira Shopping Mall to a much higher level. He built Domus Hall on the roof of the mall. This amazing two-story facility can hold 10,000 people and has seating for 4,000. It’s fully air-conditioned, has private rooms on the top floor and the best sound system imaginable. It has hosted weddings, graduations, fairs, exhibits, conferences and fantastic festivals. Plus, Brazil’s top musical acts and the best artists from all over the world have held phenomenal live concerts there. These concerts are still talked about all over Brazil.
Local people and merchants love Manaira Shopping Mall. It has boosted the economy of Roberto Santiago’s home town of Joao Pessoa tremendously. Property values are rising, people and businesses a flooding the city and the local community is prospering. And its all because of Roberto Santiago.