Guilherme de Jesus Paulus
Guilherme de Jesus Paulus
|Residence||Sao Paulo, Brazil|
|Employer||GJP Hotels & Resorts|
In a lifetime spent in the tourism industry, Guilherme Paulus has achieved the pinnacle of success in a career that he loves. As the head of the Brazilian tour company CVC Brasil and the GJP Hotels and Resorts, he searched for advancement throughout his life. As an intern trainee for IBM before age 20, he observed the functionality of large organizations.
With more than 20 hotels and resorts throughout Brazil, his GJP company employs more than 5,000 workers who welcomed upward of 95,000 guests since 1995. His success propels him to a lofty status as the most accomplished businessman in Brazil’s tourism history where he serves on the National Tourism Council, as vice president of International Relations of the Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies and chairman of the São Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau board of directors.
Early Life and Education
With the entrance of Guilherme de Jesus Paulus into the world in 1949 in Sao Paulo, Brazil had a visionary whose path to success as a businessman established records. From his earliest days, he seemed to know what he wanted to do with his life, and he had a vision that remained clear to him. As the development of his interests led to university studies, he chose the field of business administration. An opportunity to accept an internship training program at IBM captured his attention, and he started taking responsibility for his future when he was less than 20 years old.
A fortuitous meeting in 1972 with Carlos Vicente Cerchiari, a local government official, introduced Paulus to the idea of expanding tourism in Brazil. The conversational topics coincided with his interests in promoting Brazil. An avid student of business and with a developing interest in entrepreneurism, he fully supported Cerchiari’s ideas for Brazilian promotion. However, he had no funds to invest in creating a tourism business. Cerchiari, however, offered to invest in a new company for Paulus to run as an enterprise. At age 24, he and his business partner founded CVC and opened a store the same year. With an impeccable sense of the best way to promote the business, he chose a location for the tour-booking store that allowed thousands of moviegoers to pass by. As the scenes of adventure filled the movie screens and intrigued them, the patrons carried the images with them as they walked past Paulus’ tourism store. He offered fascinating journeys to anyone who stopped to see his travel brochures, and his path to success in the industry became clear.
Through his extraordinary career, he recognized the importance of giving back to his community. CVC supports the PIET project that trains young people in leadership skills for the tourism industry. It sponsors other charitable projects as well, including the National Project of Professional Initiation in Tourism. Particular interest in providing care for extremely poor adolescents motivates his company to donate funds that provide medical care, psychological counseling and educational classes for the underserved. The support that Guilherme Paulus continues to contribute to the Dr. Klaide Care and Education Institution for more than 10 years makes a difference in the lives of recipients.
With the encouragement that he received from his first success, he opened more outlets across Brazil, seeking locations in large retail malls that had enough shoppers to make the rental of floor space a worthwhile investment. His concept of travel and tourism attracted visitors to each location, and the idea continued to grow and thrive. By 2009, he decided to take the company public and sell 63 percent of CVC to the Carlyle Group for $750 million while he retained 27 percent. The move helped finance his dream of becoming the leader of Brazil’s tourism industry. CVC started trading as a public company in 2013, and the capital that it produced pointed to growth and expansion. As the biggest tourism company in Latin America, its sales exceed $5.2 billion annually.
Recognition for outstanding achievement comes to Guilherme Paulus from governments and organizations around the world. In 2012, he received an honor from France for his contributions to the tourism industry. Prefectures have awarded him honors as well, notably Venezuela’s Isla Margarita, Mexico’s Cancun, Argentina’s Buenos Aires and Bariloche as well as Miami in the United States. Brazil presented him many honorary titles and awards that include the Executive of Valor by Valor Economica, the country’s leading newspaper.
The title of Personality of the Year came to him as an award by Viagem e Turismo, an admired and prestigious magazine. Modern Consumer honored him as well with its Revolutionary Consumer Relations Award. He demonstrates his appreciation of the awards he receives as an entrepreneur and industry leader with membership in the National Tourism Council since 2003 and other civic organizations. His prominence in the industry helped him establish relationships with tourists within Brazil and around the world, government agencies and venture capitalists.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award came to Guilherme Paulus in recognition of the achievements of CVC Brasil Operadora e Agencia de Viagens S.A. as Latin America’s largest tour operator. The contribution of $600 million of his funds attracted the attention of Brazil’s Isto E Dinheiro’s magazine, and his photo on the cover accented the extraordinary award. The hotel expansions that he has orchestrated have employed nearly 2,000 Brazilians.