Pedro Malo on female empowerment | Belcorp | Video
The New Economy interviews Pedro Malo, Vice President of Strategy and Finance at Belcorp, on giving protection and power to its female workforceShow transcript
Belcorp is one of the largest direct sales companies in the world, with more than a million consultants selling their beauty products. The vast majority of these consultants are women, and the company has committed to empowering them through microfinance initiatives. Pedro Malo outlines Belcorp’s ethical business model and describes how the company is working to empower women throughout the world.
The New Economy: Tell me a bit about the beginnings of Belcorp, where you began and your reach today.
Pedro Malo: The history of this company is its fantastic and its a very inspiring company. It’s a family owned business that was started in 68 , here in mainland Peru, and through the years has been growing double digits and expanded to sixteen countries in latin america. Today we have approximately one million women working with us and benefiting from the direct selling business, throughout the whole latin america.
The New Economy: So what are your commitments to ethical business and social responsibility?
Pedro Malo: Well that is a central point on our strategy and in our agenda, not only in the coming years but that’s been how we have grown our business. The way we say it is that as long as the people that work with us in the direct selling business benefit and grows, we also grow. So in that sense we structure our business and our sustainability model making sure that we focus on empowering all the women and people that work with us and benefit from the direct selling business. We help them to be more self sustainable and having access to all education as well as financial products that we have. And we are also taking very seriously our environmental responsibility.
The New Economy: Tell us a little bit more about empowering these consultants.
Pedro Malo: Let me give you a little bit of background. The first thing that we created was the foundation where we focus on bringing education to women in the central regions of the company. Today the foundation is in several of the countries where we operate we would like to take it to all the countries however that is just one part of our commitment. The way we are seeing is that there is a clear synergy. The success of the consultancy to keep part of our business. The more successful they are, the more successful we are. And we have been growing and putting that in the cornerstone of our strategy. First of all we make sure that the product offering that they have to take to the clients is the best in the market. And it’s very competitive in all the relevant segment. Secondly is we work a lot on bringing the best training for them, so they are more capable of doing business and they can grow their business. And something else that we are working as well is bringing to them all their financial needs that they have and that they have financial access through our company that otherwise would not be possible for them. An example of that is the micro insurance program that we put together, where through working with us they can have insurance and protection for them and for their families. A product that otherwise they would not be able to do. So today they can go and work with assurance that they and their families are protected. another example is the micro credit program that we are putting together where they will have access to credit to grow their business. it’s not only about giving them access to the credit, it is also about giving them the education and the training to use the credit to really grow their business. That is fundamental to make them grow and succeed.
The New Economy: What advise would you give to a company that wants to emulate your ethical commitments?
Pedro Malo: I think the focus that all the companies that want to succeed in todays world, they need to focus on making sure that they have a clear corporate and social responsibility program that ties together. It’s fundamental to make sure that the business model has a clear benefit on the society and through bringing benefit to society, it helps to make the business model stronger. That’s the way we see it and that’s the way we’ve been working.
The New Economy: So finally, what’s Belcorp’s vision for the next ten years?
Pedro Malo: We have a very ambitious program in front of us. We want to be the number one company in direct sales beauty in Latin America. And to do that we want to keep growing our business in all the geographies where we compete. Today we have one million women benefitting and working with us in the direct sales program we want to take that to 3 million. That’s a very ambitious program and that is what we are focusing on.
The New Economy: Ambitious targets for the future. Pedro Malo, Thank you.
Pedro Malo: My Pleasure.