We talked to Camila Maria Viegas de lima to Viverde Casa about housing improvements and COVID-19.
First, how are you and your family in these covid-19 times?
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: In the beginning, it was more difficult. We had some losses in the family due to COVID-19, but now we’re recovering.
Tell us about yourself, your career, how you founded Viverde Casa.
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: I am a woman who graduated in Architecture and Urbanism. I have always been in volunteering or social entrepreneurship. Since 2009 I have been advancing my studies to understand social housing in Brazil and the application of the principles of sustainability in architecture. I started taking ideas off the paper from the second half of 2018 because I saw the opportunity to improve houses in the market. I could achieve this by working with house improvement service providers who work in informal and developing a safer hiring model. I established that many of the public contracting housing improvements were women and most of their work was unfinished due to lack of professional qualification; this harms society. I started the project of a labor mediation platform for the female audience. In 2019 we pivoted a solution to serve the male audience, representing the majority among professionals in the market; so came the Viverde Casa.
How does Viverde Casa innovate?
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: To innovate, you only need to be willing to take risks and know the market operation well. In our case, we facilitate connections, introduce technology, and a historically very artisanal process. We develop our own methodology that allows the professional to train while working and facilitate the process of contracting construction products and services by different stakeholders.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you dealing with it?
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: The pandemic has hit our network-expanding schedule in some local communities. We had scheduled our MVP launch for February, but everything stopped there in Brazil during this period. Many works closed in different cities, and our communication structure was not yet fully aligned for the digital version. So far, we continue to feel the effects, mainly due to the rise of construction materials that hinder the closing of new contracts and the billing of the entire construction chain.
Have you had to make difficult choices, and what lessons are learned?
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: It’s been a period of big decisions. For us, the hardest thing was to give up some people on the team. However, we also learned a lot, and it was a year of growth after all. We have been able to validate our products and exceed our goal of socio-environmental impact. We were responsible for positively impacting more than 500 people during the pandemic, and we are building new partnerships.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and project into the future of Viverde Casa?
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: It is not always possible to be 100% stress-free, but I try to meditate or do Yoga. Concerning the company, I keep the plans in sight and try to establish a routine between operation and constant improvement.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: My biggest competitors are my main customers, the service providers who operate autonomously. I will stay in the game by offering them the benefits of being part of a network of skilled professionals with superior service and professional recognition. That is, by constantly improving our value proposition through our differentials of networking and social and environmental responsibility, we will continue to grow.
Your final thoughts?
Camila Maria Viegas de lima: I believe in the win-win relationship to promote any initiative’s sustainable and scalable growth. This is how Viverde Casa has been developing, and so we will change the current housing scenario.
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