First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Guilherme Massena: We’re all fine; everybody is taking care, working, and only goes out for the essentials. It’s not easy, but we need to take care of our grandpa, so we are doing it both for him and ourselves.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded or Joined Dobra
Guilherme Massena: I’m 26 years old, a business administration graduate, and an entrepreneurship enthusiast. Dobra was founded in March 2016 by my brother Augusto Massena, my cousin Eduardo Seelig and I. The primary objective was to build an open, relevant, and better world. We came up with this idea because we saw the need to change our community.
We began by selling on-demand paper (Tyvek) wallets. In Brazil, there was not such a big company working with these kinds of wallets. Today, we work with paper shoes, paper bags, paper frames, paper light fixtures, etc. We’re located in Montenegro, a small town in the south of Brazil, far away from the big cities, and we sell them via our website.
How does Dobra Innovate?
Guilherme Massena: We innovate through our products that have enabled us to achieve our purpose. We are a team of 18 people and working towards self-management. In our social projects, we collaborate with local artists to bring the best customer experience in the Brazil markets.
It’s quite a challenge to define how we innovate; however, we are inspired by companies like Zappos, Reserva, Morning Stars, Semco, and Basecamp. We have invested in books like Reinventing Organizations, Exponential Organizations, and Conscious Capitalism.
Dobra is a new generation company that relies on technology to carry out its operation.
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The last video of our @querodobra series is out! We interviewed Alcides who left a big company with 4,000 employees in São Paulo to come work for Dobra, 1000 km away from his home. We loved his story so we wanted to share it with you! . Watch to find out. . 📝 why implementing rules is not a bad thing. . 🎭 why there is a blurry line between work and life at Dobra. . 🐕 what coming to an organization with no CEO entails. . 🤙 what an agile coach does in an organization that has a “natural way of working”. . Thank you @alcidessillva for your great insights! . . . #futureofwork #reinventingorganizations #remotework #tealorganization #purposedriven #newwaysofworking #innovation #work #makeworkfun #makeworkworkforyou #makeworkbetter #worklifebalance #worklife #inspiring
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business, and how are you coping?
Guilherme Massena: We believe that Dobra didn’t reinvent itself but adapted the new reality. Our sole purpose remains the same, and the main change was the way we bring value to our clients. If a wallet, a pair of shoes, an eco-bag doesn’t bring value during a pandemic time, what can we do?
The first thing we did when the COVID-19 pandemic began in our region (March 16th) was to study our cash flow to understand how long we could survive. We discovered that we could run the company up to August even without making any sales. This news gave us the freedom to “walk through different paths.”
- We developed a website called Dobraflix to share business ideas using videos from Dobra and other partners such as Murilo gun and aeroli.to, MIT Brazil, etc.
- We made our entrepreneurship course available for free and by July 25.000 students had enrolled.
- We developed a catalog called mapadasmascaras.com.br or “mask’s map” to link people who want to buy masks with those who were making them from their houses. These are individuals that relied on these small businesses to generate income. In one month, we had more than 3.000 people selling masks on this website. Both sellers and the buyers are not charged anything.
- We’ve developed new courses. We teach how to do almost everything, including customer experience, customer journey, and so on.
- We’ve developed a marketplace called “feirinha da dobra” or “dobra’s fair.” So far, 22 companies out of 100 have been interviewed, completed Dobra’s course, and are selling their products on our platform. They pay a commission for each sale.
Therefore, by making our course available for free, our projects are successful and bringing us a scalable business such as a marketplace. Although Dobra is a new company during this pandemic time, our purpose has remained the same, and we have discovered several ways of doing business.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Guilherme Massena: I believe that every moment is a learning time, and it’s no different even now during this pandemic. The main lesson I have learned at this time is that having goals coupled with proper management, a business can overcome any challenges. The two factors will create a good connection between people (employees and customers) and the company. This connection is what is making us stronger.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety? How do you Project yourself and Dobra in the Future?
Guilherme Massena: Actually, it’s tough to deal with this, but I try to spend my free time playing videogames, listening to podcasts, and hanging out with my girlfriend and friends online. I believe this “no thinking” time is healthy for my mind and helps me focus on Dobra.
COVID-19 has affected the future of many companies, and it’s hard to make plans. We don’t know how soon we will be able to go out for dinner.
For now, Dobra is considering expanding to Australia and Canada, and we’re studying the new normal. Therefore, we aren’t allowing the pandemic to stop us from building the future we want to.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Guilherme Massena: It’s hard to say who our competitors are; we actually don’t focus so much on them. We look to ourselves, our purpose, our clients, and our projects. Understanding what people want Dobra to do for them keeps us in the game.
Your Final Thoughts
Guilherme Massena: Thanks for this opportunity. We have been able to discuss our business with your audience. They can also follow us at @querodobra and talk to us about anything.