João de Sousa Aroso
Founder and CEO of Leadzai
João de Sousa Aroso as the Founder & CEO at Leadzai — formerly known as Advertio — is on a mission to empower the next 200 million businesses to thrive effortlessly online. Prior to Leadzai in 2009, João successfully launched his first startup which ultimately led him to being invited to be part of the team that bought and restructured the Portuguese Yellow Pages. In 2014, already at the Portuguese Yellow Pages he was responsible for leading the digital products turnaround. With an experienced and talented team to back him, he successfully led the efforts that drove an increase of 30% in YoY growth.
Q. As a new member can you tell us about your company?
Advertio is a performance-based platform. So we run campaigns for our partners and our customers on Google, Facebook and Instagram with the major difference being that we don’t charge per click or the media spend in itself, we only charge the results.
Q. Many people started hobbies in the lockdown, is there something that you have done differently during these difficult times, a new hobby or new interests?
I learned that I appreciate long walks alone. That’s something that I didn’t used to think about. The closest I came was commuting to the office. Now since I no longer go into the office I started to walk and really appreciate long walks with my dogs and myself.
I use that time to wind down from the day shifting from the professional portion of your day to the personal view. I think it helps to have an interval where you take some time for yourself. So, I walk the dogs for an hour and maybe listen to music.
I have two dogs, they have Portuguese names.
Q. Do you have any hobbies or special things you’d like to do?
Yes, I play padel tennis. It is a sport that started in Mexico. It’s similar to tennis but played in doubles. So, instead of an open court like tennis, where the ball actually can go out, Padel is like non-stop. The ball hits the wall behind you, and it keeps on going. It actually grew popular in Argentina and I learned to look to play it in Spain. I played, quite often, although I haven’t played in the clubs recently as they are closed. Normally it’s something that I do close to on a daily basis when we are not in lockdown. So, if it was now, it would be something like, I don’t know, incomplete.
Although I still have a lot of things that I want to do in my life. So, if I look back now, hopefully, it’s still very incomplete, there’s still a lot to cover in the future.
Q. Can you tell us what was one of your first jobs, as you got out of school, or university?
So, I think that when I was 16, my first job was as a bartender during the summer. I wanted to make money, to go on a trip with my friends, because my parents didn’t want to pay for it.
I think the first time I earned some money on my own, I was 13 or 14 and I rented online servers, and then tried to sell web hosting plans so I could buy a playstation.
Q. When it comes to food, what is your favorite comfort food or cuisine?
I really like Brazilian meat. I like the way the meat is cooked; it is really good because it is simple and easy. It is clearly something I go for when I need comfort food.
Q. And do you cook yourself?
No, I’m terrible. Really terrible. If I had to share recipes, they would also be terrible, but if we have a Siinda engagement I will try to contribute something, I will do some research.
Q. If you had a message to send to your colleagues, partners, or the other Siinda members, what would that be?
We’re living in a time, even before I joined the industry, it was a time with a lot of transformation. Similar to the time that we’ll live from print to digital.
I think these times are like a second amazing chance. There’s a lot of change in the industry, SME’s are behaving really differently than they were before COVID.
I think there’s a great opportunity to shake things up and to create new products, as well as gain market share.
So, I think it’s an opportunity we haven’t seen in a long time. So, let’s grasp the opportunity, exciting times, we are in exciting times.