Cristiano Miano, an EO Sao Paulo member and President of Grupo Digi
While conducting business overseas brings with it countless opportunities to learn and grow, there’s something to be said about embracing your surroundings. For Cristiano Miano, a serial entrepreneur from Brazil, leveraging the local economy and creating a niche helped him find success and significance.
- How did you get started in your industry?
CM: “I started a web-development company when I was 19 years old. I programmed websites for small companies, and now, after 15 years in business, we have three companies in the advertisement and communications industry.”
- Who influenced you to become an entrepreneur?
CM: “My family and friends. My mother played an important role with her guidance and support. My entire family is made up of entrepreneurs. My father, mother, grandparents and uncles own their own businesses.”
- How does your company stand out from competitors?
CM: “Our three companies within Grupo Digi all have unique value propositions that give them advantages in the market. One of our strategies and main objectives is to have each of our companies answer this simple question: ‘What would our clients miss—and not be able to get from other companies in the market—if our company disappeared today?’ That helps us stay ahead.”
- What are some benefits of being an entrepreneur in Brazil?
CM: “Brazil is a dynamic and flexible country. The market is big, we are a friendly nation and we don’t have any international conflicts. All of that helps when it comes to building a business.”
- How has the economic situation in Brazil affected your business?
CM: “The local economic status has transformed my company to be financially mature and flexible. The Brazilian economy gives my business opportunities for growth, and at the same time creates a dynamic and financially capable company. However, it is important to be prepared for eventual changes of laws and rules, as well as the dollar rate and other movements within the international market.”
- If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live and why?
CM: “I would choose to live in the United States, specifically in the Silicon Valley area. Businesses in my industry, and in the innovation economy, seem to flow much better there. People in the Silicon Valley area are also more prepared and ready for innovation business.”
- What should people know about EO Sao Paulo?
CM: EO Sao Paulo is a relatively new chapter that launched less than two years ago. However, the chapter is growing quickly, and I believe we will reach 100 members very soon. Our chapter was founded by a core group of nine board members who had very little knowledge of anything EO-related. Many of our members connected with each other through the Harvard Business School at EO’s Operational Planning Meeting.
- What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?
CM: “This advice was given to me by my first boss and mentor: ‘We should not live by the stress of achieving something bigger. It is important to enjoy the journey and eat the strawberries we find along the way.’ Upon first hearing this, I didn’t understand. Today, I am able to appreciate this advice and give value to it. I have been an entrepreneur for more than 15 years, and I’m still looking to achieve more.”
- What does being a part of a community like EO mean to you?
CM: “Being an EOer makes me feel more connected to different areas in the world. I feel welcome in every country I visit, whether for business or pleasure. Being as part of EO also lets me feel like I’m making my mark in the world by working with communities, families, companies and the entrepreneurs themselves. I always have a thirst for learning, and am eager to pass on my insights to others.”
- What one thing you would like to cross off on your “bucket list”?
CM: “I would like to sail the world in my boat before I reach my 50’s. If not a world tour, then I would like to sail for 90 days and visit different areas around the world.”