Roberto Santiago is one of the most successful and beloved business people in Brazil. He is the owner of two of the country’s most popular shopping and entertainment destinations Manaira Shopping Mall and Mangeira Shopping Mall in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba state. Santiago is was born in Joao Pessoa and with the success of the malls he is now considered a hometown hero. But Roberto Santiago had been a popular person in Brazil long before he built the malls. He wrote a popular entertaining and enlightening blog and had been a well-known driver who won awards in motocross and kart championships.
The transition from sports and writing to entrepreneurship was a gradual process for Roberto Santiago. First he began working at Café Santa Rosa. Customers loved his warm, welcoming personality and the owners of the café like his discipline and work ethic and Santiago quickly became a favorite. After a period of time Roberto Santiago got the opportunity to go into business on his own. He started a company that made cardboard shipping boxes. He then started producing cartoon characters made out of cardboard. They were a huge hit with the tourists and enabled Santiago’s wealth to grow. Roberto Santiago also became involved in real estate for a number of years and had lots of success.
Then in 1987, Roberto Santiago began buying land in Joao Pessoa to build the first of his malls. It took two years to complete, but when it opened in 1989, people began coming from all over Brazil to do their shopping and just have fun at Manaira Shopping Mall. The mall has everything children and adults want. Built between two beaches, it offers shoppers a spectacular view of the surroundings. The mall has ballrooms, bowling alleys, 11 cinemas, an 18,000 foot gaming area with over 2,000 electronic betting machines, hundreds of stores, a food court with a wide array of fast food and fine dining choices, a gym, an amusement park, a financial institution and a college.
Even though Manaira Shopping Mall was already very popular, Roberto Santiago made an addition to the mall in 2009 that took it into the stratosphere. He added a two-level rooftop concert venue called Domus Hall. The facility is air-conditioned, soundproofed, has the latest high-tech music systems, seating for 4,000 and can hold 10,000 people. It has been used for graduation ceremonies, weddings, festivals, exhibitions and conferences. Domus Hall was also the site of some amazing live shows featuring top Brazilian and international artists.
The success of Manaira Shopping Mall has been great for the city of Joao Pessoa. Crowds are flocking to the city, businesses are relocating there, property values are rising and the local economy is booming.