Pandora in Brazil: breaking barriers to reinvent the jewelry industry
Pandora, Danish-based queen of affordable jewelry, faces a unique challenge in Brazil: to recreate the jewelry market, making it more egalitarian, more diverse, and more open to people at all price points. 2017 has been a rough ride for Pandora so far, but if the years leading up to it were anything to go by, the company is in a strong position to reinvigorate the Brazilian market. It is, after all, the same journey that Pandora led in its other markets years earlier.
Pandora’s ascent was so incredible that even now, it is up 534% over the past 5 years
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
At the helm of this quest to get charm beads and other lower-price point accessories popularized in Brazil is Rachel Maia. In Brazil, it is still unusual to find a black woman at the helm of a major business, and Maia is aware that it puts her under increased scrutiny to perform. She says: “I’m an example that it’s OK for women to fight to be in leadership. And more than being an example of female leadership, I want to be an example of competent leadership.”
Maia might not look like many of the country’s other top business people (she is part of a collective of female bosses that includes that local heads of Twitter and Kimberly-Clark Corp.). But that could probe to be an asset. Who better to champion Pandora’s ultimately egalitarian message?
She also knows her way around the jewelry business – and business more generally – having formerly held executive positions at Tiffany & Co., 7-Eleven, and Novartis.
Maia’s challenge is to return Pandora to double-digit growth in the country. This is no small feat, as despite an ongoing economic recovery, the country’s foreseeable future is cloudy, blighted by an unpopular “caretaker government”. Nonetheless, she remains optimistic about the goal, and her ability to deliver it: “Financially, you have to prove that diversity works,” she says “a person like me can bring success to a company.”
Dominion holds Pandora in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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