Exclusive Interview With New MonaVie CEO Mauricio Bellora
Published: 21 May 2013
A More Meaningful Life Experiences
OBTAINER recently sat down with new MonaVie President and CEO Mauricio Bellora and gained interesting insights into the strategical positioning of the company.
OBTAINER: Let’s start with your background. How did you get into the direct selling industry?
Mauricio: Actually, I have a PhD in Pharmacy and Biochemistry, so my professional career started in pharmaceuticals. In pharmaceuticals, you have this illusion that you’re helping people. So, when I had the opportunity to join Mary Kay, I really started wondering what I was doing, and if I was motivated by the right reasons. One day I met one of the distributors and had a very personal and touching experience learning her story. I realized that day that in multilevel marketing, you’re helping people improve their lives—you’re helping them be better. I’ve been in the industry ever since; about 27 years.
OBTAINER: What is your background with the direct selling industry, then?
Mauricio: As I mentioned, I worked with Mary Kay. I also worked with Natura—the third largest MLM company in the world and the largest in terms of market capitalization. For the last few years, I’ve been working as a consultant to direct selling companies.
OBTAINER: What is your vision for the future of MonaVie?
Mauricio: We’re looking to rebuild MonaVie based on its values and code of ethics. We’re committed to helping people live A More Meaningful Life. The future of MonaVie is to follow its values. We have had some rough times in the past. MonaVie was so hungry that it grew too fast. Well, there’s a price for growing that fast. Now we’re focusing on what we have and building a company that is sustainable.
OBTAINER: You mentioned rough times. Your European market has faced a few challenges recently.
Mauricio: If you’re going to build a sustainable company, you can’t be afraid to do what is right. Regardless of your rank, there are certain rules that you have to live by. At MonaVie, we follow our values, regardless of the consequences. Does that mean that we may have challenges? Probably. But good things always come back to you—and so do the bad things. MonaVie is a place where we host ethical, hard-working people. We’re looking to help people be better.
OBTAINER: So, what is the future of MonaVie?
Mauricio: The world of multi-level marketing is changing. Companies have to build a base of customers through their distributors to survive and ultimately to grow.
OBTAINER: MonaVie has historically been an “opportunity” company; are you moving away from that?
Mauricio: Everything in life is about balance. I don’t call it “product and opportunity”; instead, I think of it as “push and pull.” How much of each do you have? How much push versus how much pull? How much is opportunity? How much is product? You have to have both. Yes, we’re moving more toward product, but opportunity is still important. The opportunity has to be engaged with the product. Most of your new distributors are former consumers—that’s your reserve.
OBTAINER: That’s a bit of a break from old models.
Mauricio: Yes, but it’s really in response to the rising generation. Everyone talks about the baby boomers—well, the baby boomers are gone. There is a new thinking out there. The Zeitgeist of the younger generation is very different. They care more about life. It’s less about financial freedom for them and more about having a more meaningful life. I think you could say that I have had a successful life, but when my sons—I have four sons—look at what I’ve accomplished, they say that it’s not worth the price to pay to have that kind of success.
OBTAINER: How do you get this younger generation interested in your company?
Mauricio: You have to use the communication tools that the new generation uses. What matters is how you communicate and what your values are. And you have to be real. The new generation knows if you’re real or not. If you’re not committed to your values, they’ll know it.
OBTAINER: What kind of person are you looking for to bring into MonaVie?
Mauricio: Everyone. We don’t really care about your background or your qualifications. We want to know if you’re here to work hard and if your values are consistent with A More Meaningful Life—that’s it. Are you ready for A More Meaningful Life opportunity? Then we are here for you. What we’re offering is a truly democratic opportunity—anyone can be a part of it. But we have to be responsible in how we create expectations. People will make money with MonaVie, but they’ll have to work for it. That is honorable. That’s how you want to tell your children that you made your money. That you worked for it.
Another vital aspect of the More Meaningful Life opportunity available through MonaVie is the MORE Project. MORE Project isn’t a charity—charities are outdated; they don’t work anymore. MORE Project is a sustainable community effort. With charities, you just give a man a fish. That doesn’t work. Even teaching a man to fish isn’t enough. You have to be by that person’s side catching fish with them. In those situations, everyone changes—the person receiving the help and the person helping. That’s what I mean by “sustainable community.” When you just have people giving, well, when the money runs out or—more likely—the desire to give runs out, then the charity is done. It’s over. Even when you’re there teaching a person how to improve his or her life, it only lasts as long as it takes to teach that lesson. But when you have a person truly involved; when that person stands next to the one being helped and develops a relationship with him or her, then that will last. That’s what MORE Project is about. If we wanted to just give money to the kids in the favelas, we would do that and be done. We want to change lives. So MonaVie distributors go down there and serve. They meet the people they’re helping. Yes, they give money, but they also give themselves. That’s sustainable. That’s a pathway to A More Meaningful Life.
OBTAINER: What about your markets? How are they doing?
Mauricio: The US and Japan are coming back. We’re seeing growth again there. Europe is also very interesting to us, especially Portugal, Russia, and Poland. Brazil is definitely a rising star for us as well—and that’s not by chance. The leadership there has worked very hard to build a sustainable business. They have a very young and excited distributor base there.
Obtainer: Any new products coming?
Mauricio: We’re working on new products. I can’t tell you anything about them—they’re not ready yet. What I can say is that we’re focused on the four quadrants of health: antioxidants, blood sugar stabilization, energy, and stress. Our products will focus on those quadrants. There is a clear direction and purpose there. Our products have to make sense in terms of those quadrants. We’re implementing the process that will deliver those products efficiently.
OBTAINER: Any last thoughts?
Mauricio: Good times are coming for MonaVie. We’re not willing or expecting to grow 100 percent each year. That’s not sustainable. If you’re rich in a week, you’ll be poor in two. We want sustainable growth. We want to provide A More Meaningful Life—not a more meaningful week.