Daniel Mazini, Amazon’s Country Manager in Brazil, shares how he presented a plan for the company to initiate operations in Brazil
Daniel Mazini — Foto: Ana Paula Paiva/Valor
When Daniel Mazini needed to visit Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, to present a plan for the company to initiate operations in Brazil, he didn’t expect to find all the company’s top executives gathered to hear him. Accompanied by an American executive, he showcased the six-page document (the maximum Amazon allows for any project) and anxiously awaited Mr. Bezos’ feedback. For half an hour, everyone remained silent, taking notes. Before speaking, the CEO wanted to hear from each individual. He agreed once everyone approved the plan but thought they were thinking small. “I have Brazilian friends who come to the U.S. just to buy sneakers and watches. Aren’t you going to launch anything like that?” Mr. Bezos questioned.
Mr. Mazini, Amazon’s Country Manager in Brazil, remembers the relief he felt upon receiving Mr. Bezos’ approval and how it was enlightening to witness the CEO in action, making decisions collaboratively. To him, it was a lesson in leadership. He’s the guest in the latest episode of CBN Professional, a collaboration between Valor and CBN radio.
After earning his MBA from the prestigious London Business School, Mr. Mazini’s career experienced a transformative and positive shift, building upon his strong foundation in leading consulting firms. It was during his MBA that he became involved in the technology sector and got acquainted with Amazon. “I bought everything for my house from Amazon; a package would arrive every day,” he chuckled.
He eventually joined Amazon and mentioned that through “a coincidence of life,” after two years working in England, he learned that the company was preparing to enter the Brazilian market. “I called the person in the U.S. who was devising this plan, an American gentleman who knew very little about Brazil,” he recalled. He ended up moving to Seattle in the U.S. to assist in developing the project.
He explained that the “working backwards” method was being used for this launch, and it’s applied to every project at Amazon—currently operating in 22 countries and employing 1.5 million people worldwide. Ideas at Amazon always get approached from the end, he said. “We think about the press release and start questioning whether we can actually deliver on all those promises. Some things we can do right away; others we’ll do in a year when we have the scale,” he explained.
According to Mr. Mazini, having an affinity for data is a prerequisite for working at Amazon. He stated that every business is evaluated based on this information. He believes that valuable insights can come from anyone. “An intern can show up with new data and convince me to change my mind,” he asserted. “We like to delve deep into a problem,” he said. Decision-making is always grounded in these elements, but he pointed out that it is possible to backtrack. “If the expected results aren’t achieved, we go back.”
The leadership model within the company, he adds, is extensive. In his case, he explained that there are executives with the same hierarchical level as his, but they oversee specific areas such as legal matters and Prime Video, while he represents the stores, culture, and HR policies. “I’m concerned with the entire company,” he explained. This role allows him to share practices with leaders from other countries like India and Mexico. “Here we have payment slips; in India, they don’t have ZIP codes, and in Dubai, the address is two houses ahead,” he said.
In the end, Mr. Mazini recalled that Amazon approached Brazil cautiously. Initially, they launched the books category. Over time, they added other categories and products. That was Mr. Bezos’ decision, as he had asked to think big but thought it was better to test and advance gradually. Catch the full episode on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
*Por Stela Campos — São Paulo
Source: Valor International