Casai's CGO on Growing a Business During a Pandemic
At Casai, we know the key to success is growth. In the last 12 months, we launched 127 new units in Mexico City. In the coming months, we plan to launch over 100 more in other Latin American cities. Our sophisticated approach to growth has been led by our incredibly talented growth officer, Daniel Hermann. Keep reading to meet Daniel and learn about his experience growing a business during a pandemic.
Daniel has been with Casai since September 1, 2020. Before, he worked as Head of Growth Capital at Selina. He also spent more than 10 years structuring M&A transactions in Latin America at Citigroup, Bradesco BBI and Banco Votorantim. Daniel holds a BA in economics from PUC-SP and a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Daniel was born and raised in Brazil but currently lives in Paris with his wife Carol and their 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter Alice. In his free time, you can find Daniel cooking or running. One of his greatest passions, unsurprisingly, is traveling the world.
Why did you choose to work at Casai?
Casai, as a product, solves all the problems I had when traveling for work. As a company, Casai has gathered an incredible team that is ready to transform hospitality and improve guest experience significantly.
Can you tell us about your role as the CGO and the growth team at Casai?
Our growth team’s responsibility is to find units in the perfect locations for our design. Then Casai’s product and operations teams are able to provide to our guests the perfect experience at the perfect spot. We work together with many internal teams to decide which countries, cities, neighborhoods and even which streets we should utilize. Once all this work is done, we create partnerships with key real estate players to scale fast.
Can you elaborate on the growth journey Casai has taken since you started working here? What has the journey been like?
We are now focusing on growing in a more capital-efficient way and planning our expansion outside of Mexico City. It’s a very exciting journey, growing Casai throughout Latin America, and an even more special feeling to soon expand to my home, Brasil!
What sets Casai apart from other places you’ve worked?
I was very lucky to work in incredible places and teams throughout my career. The main difference about Casai is not only that it’s a product I identify with so much, but also a sharp and hard-working team ready to get our amazing product out there.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your time at Casai?
Growing a business during a pandemic and living through uncertain times have surely been huge challenges. These experience, however, will bring a lot of resilience to Casai that we can carry over to keep growing during more stable circumstances.
What accomplishments at Casai are you most proud of?
Being accepted by the team as a whole, and feeling like I’m working amongst friends and family, that’s a must in order to reach success.
How has the pandemic affected your decision-making when planning for growth?
We need to be extra cautious when thinking about the liabilities we are assuming as a company and negotiate contracts that are more flexible and less capital intensive. That’s been a key for growing a business during a pandemic for many hospitality companies.
What are the biggest trends in the market right now? How is that influencing Casai’s growth?
As a result of the pandemic, our guests are looking for more space and privacy, which is benefiting our business model within the hospitality industry. Now, many of us are also able to work from home – which can be anywhere. Casai quickly captured this shift by launching Getaways by Casai, so we can offer to our guests the possibility to visit leisure destinations with the certainty that they will have the same Casai experience. We are starting with leisure destinations in Mexico, with more locations in Latin America coming very soon.
What is unique about the Latin American market?
The Latin American market combines incredible hospitality destinations, with vibrant cities that have a lot of real estate opportunities. On top of that, and the best of all, Latinos are always incredibly hospitable, which will helps our guests feel like locals, even if their home is far away.
Where do you envision Casai in the next three years?
Casai will be one of the largest, and surely the best, hospitality company in Latin America. For guests, we will be synonymous with quality and a unique luxury experience. For landlords and investors, we will be the preferred and most profitable, partner. And for employees, the best company you will ever work for.
What advice would you give companies who are planning for growth at such an unprecedented time?
Flexibility, sense of urgency and focus on the guest/client.