She Turns Crisis into Opportunity and Creates an Incident Management Company – June 17, 2022

She Turns Crisis into Opportunity and Creates an Incident Management Company – June 17, 2022

Ana Flavia Bello, 50, from São Paulo, never planned to start a business before becoming partner and CEO of CoSafe Latam, a center specializing in crisis management. She has built a successful career in large companies leading teams and projects. “I’ve been doing well down the road and I think it’s going to stay that way. Until the organizational changes at Coca-Cola Femsa changed my plans.”

The fields in which she worked were reduced, and Anna Flavia’s position no longer existed. At that moment, she received an offer to serve as a consultant and support the company’s crisis management team. “I’m in my 40s and I know this position is good for my employability, as many companies tend to focus on younger female executives. Also, with the arrival of my daughter – me and my husband, I Married. Meets adoption criteria – starting a business will give me more time flexibility,” he said.

The executive started working with a few companies, but after observing the market and trends, she realized that modern crisis management tools already existed outside of Brazil. “I thought: why not approach the subject digitally here?”. In 2019, Ana Flavia founded Alerta de Crise, a digital platform for managing and communicating events and crises.

To grow the company, she delved into the startup market and the main pillars of building a business, such as a minimum viable product (MVP) with a low initial investment — just the resources needed to test a project, and the scope of the investment. Additionally, it hired developers to create the tool.

‘I feel like an alien in an investment meeting’

The second step is to find contributions. “I was in a few conferences and at first, I felt like an alien because there were so few women and most of them were young. But that wasn’t a barrier; I knew it was part of the game and part of my maturity as a A businesswoman,” she said.

In the entrepreneurial world, I am an apprentice. I watched lectures, took online classes, and watched tutorials for young people half my age who knew a lot more about these topics than I did.

mother over 40

Ana Flavia also noted that later becoming a mother helped in this regard as well. “My life has changed a lot during this time. Suddenly, after 40, I learned to be a mom and be a person without a job — the famous corporate badge — a start-up,” it said.

She remembers telling her husband at one point, “I don’t know where all this is going to take me, but it’s definitely taking me farther than I am today.” Entrepreneurs don’t just talk about success, it can and can happen Not to happen, but to meet new people, gain knowledge and develop as a professional and as an individual.

According to the executive, the process was more difficult because she was alone at the company, had no team, and had a large number of clients. “Investors love the business and see the potential, but they question the fact that I still have no team and only one client,” he said. “I need to demonstrate that the business is scalable, that is, it has the potential to grow rapidly.”

The importance of networking

But Ana Flavia emphasizes that she knows “no” is temporary, and with each meeting, she learns more to grow. One investor even called some time after the meeting to ask if customers had increased, she remembers.

To gain market share, Ana Flavia beefed up the network. The idea is to make the brand and its work more widely known. “I looked for referrals on the topic, and I started producing content and talking more about the topic at events and in class,” he said.

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Ana Flavia Bello: ‘Everyone starts small. It’s part of it and we can’t paralyze ourselves’

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This period coincided with the start of the pandemic in Brazil, which made crisis management a priority for the company. “I started getting invited to live and online lectures, and crisis alerts became more well-known,” she said.

According to her, a network of contacts is critical to the success of a company operating in a niche way in the enterprise market (B2B). “While the sale is for the company, people are on the other side. They’re not just buying a platform, they’re buying the people behind CoSafe. It’s a matter of building trust and showing credibility to the market,” he said. Say.

United with the game

It was there that Ana Flavia’s road met Alexis Nicou, one of the founders of Sweden’s sectech CoSafe, a company specializing in communications and crisis management technology for sectors vulnerable to accidents and other types of crises, such as industry, transport companies, schools, and Universities, hospitals and airlines.

“My startup is a competitor to CoSafe and the only Brazilian company offering this service. Since we are in the same segment, I contacted the company’s then Brazilian CEO and he introduced me to business partners for Exchange impressions about the market,” it said. Ana Flavia was asked to lead operations in Latin America when executives decided to leave the Brazilian company’s command.

This is the perfect wedding. Ana Flavia draws on all her expertise in crisis management and consulting, while CoSafe has a modern, tested platform and a complete team. The company started operations in Brazil with an investment of around 1.5 million reais, and today it provides organizations with end-to-end services, including consulting, training and a digital platform for communication in emergencies. Clients include organisations such as Gerdau and Banco BV.

Now, they’re working on version 3.0 of the platform — more modern and user-friendly — so that anyone can play. With more than 100,000 users worldwide, this number jumped 400% in the first year of effective operation in Brazil. To meet demand in Latin America, the organization has also invested in new hires and doubled its team size earlier this year.

‘Resilience is required to change plans’

“A merger was not in my plans, but when I got to know the company, I saw a lot of synergy between the businesses and our goals and values ​​were very similar,” explains Ana Flavia. According to her, those who are too reliant on a particular business and don’t have the flexibility to end up abandoning what they’ve built in order to build something bigger from scratch are missing out on opportunities.

“I understand that we are going to go further than everyone running their own business and being a competitor. I need money and a team, they need leadership and knowledge of the Brazilian crisis management market, apart from networking, which is exactly what I was doing in previous years Established through crisis alerts.”

She emphasized that, in addition to the synergy of goals, personal affinity among the partners was also key to the merger. “For a founder, having someone on the other side of the world take care of his ‘child’ requires a rigorous choice. Trusting the person, his character and his ability to lead the company forward is paramount,” he said.

An important pillar of success in Ana Flavia’s entrepreneurial journey is self-confidence. “If we don’t believe in ourselves and what we’re creating, who will?”, he noted. “I’ve always believed in myself and my abilities,” he said.
What helps in this regard is not neglecting to research the market and keep an eye on trends and opportunities. “I knew the company was solving a problem because I got into the field and did research with more than 30 companies of all sizes to check the attractiveness of the business,” he said.

For her, the first step is to believe in and aim for the future. “Everyone starts small. That’s part of it, and we can’t be paralyzed by it. It’s necessary to plan and take one step at a time to get where we want to be.”

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