Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Carlos Barreto, the visionary founder of Cleverman, a revolutionary company that blends technology and consumer goods to empower men in embracing their best selves through personalized grooming solutions.
In this insightful interview, Carlos takes us on his remarkable journey, from his early experiences at Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola, where his passion for male grooming flourished, to his role as Global SVP at Revlon, which further fueled his dedication to the grooming and personal care industry.
Amidst the challenges of a global pandemic, Carlos successfully launched Cleverman, a testament to resilience, determination, and his unwavering commitment.
Not only does Cleverman mark a significant milestone in Carlos’s entrepreneurial journey, but it also embodies his experiences as a Hispanic immigrant in the United States.
With a thriving customer base of nearly 30,000, Carlos shares the secrets behind Cleverman’s success, including their remote-first approach, fostering open communication, and empowering their diverse team.
Join us as Carlos Barreto shares his insights on fostering an engaged workforce, overcoming business challenges, and capitalizing on the digital wave.
Discover how Cleverman continues to redefine the men’s grooming market while nurturing a culture of innovation, inclusivity, and success
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Carlos Barreto: The journey to where I stand today began with Procter & Gamble (P&G), where I fostered an interest in male grooming. From there, I transitioned to Coca-Cola, honing my skills in innovation on a global scale.
At Revlon, as Global SVP, I was trusted with diverse portfolios, further fuelling my passion for grooming and personal care.
The culmination of my personal and professional journey led to the creation of Cleverman – a distinctive blend of technology and consumer goods aimed at empowering men to embrace their best selves through personalized grooming solutions.
Born amidst the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, Cleverman stands as a testament to resilience, determination, and an unwavering commitment to our mission.
This endeavor holds a special place in my heart, as it not only represents a significant milestone in my entrepreneurial journey but also embodies my experiences as a Hispanic immigrant in the United States. It fills me with immense pride and gratification, as we continue to grow and evolve.
I am also deeply committed to fostering an ecosystem that encourages, supports, and inspires fellow entrepreneurs to embark on their own journeys, and to rise above their unique challenges with tenacity and resolve. This, I believe, is the true embodiment of the Cleverman ethos.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Carlos Barreto: Our greatest achievement in the past year has undoubtedly been the successful launch of Cleverman amid the challenges of the global pandemic.
We successfully raised our seed funding, built a solid team, and expanded our customer base to nearly 30,000. This accomplishment has been a true testament to our team’s resilience, determination, and unwavering belief in our vision and the value we bring to our customers.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle to keep talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued, and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are you adapting to the current shift we see?
Carlos Barreto: The key to maintaining an engaged and motivated workforce is a culture that values respect, transparency, and empowerment. At Cleverman, we foster open communication, acknowledge hard work, and encourage everyone to share their ideas.
Our remote-first approach, supported by virtual meetings and team-building workshops, is designed to make everyone feel heard and valued, regardless of their geographical location.
We are a testament to the belief that geographical diversity need not be a barrier to a cohesive, supportive culture.
Online business keeps on surging higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for the year to come and how are you capitalizing on the tidal wave?
Carlos Barreto: Our business model is centered on harnessing the power of digital transformation where we focus on merging technology with consumer goods to provide bespoke solutions to our customers.
For the year ahead, we plan to further strengthen our online presence by expanding on platforms like Amazon, enhancing our technology to offer seamless, personalized customer experiences, and leveraging data analytics to better predict consumer behavior and meet their evolving needs.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Carlos Barreto: The greatest challenge for us, as a startup, is managing growth sustainably while driving profitability in an investment landscape that has grown increasingly demanding.
We’re tackling this challenge head-on by focusing on three key pillars: optimizing our direct-to-consumer platform, expanding our product range and distribution channels, and enhancing operational efficiency to cut costs and boost profitability.
2020, 2021, and 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Carlos Barreto : The past few years have emphasized the need for agility and resilience. To thrive in 2023, businesses must be vigilant about evolving market trends, invest in technology, and prioritize customer satisfaction.
Equally crucial is to nurture and retain talent, as they form the backbone of any organization. As for my advice, I’d underscore the importance of resilience in the face of adversity.
This, coupled with an unwavering focus on customers and employees, is the formula for success in the post-pandemic world.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Carlos Barreto: For me, success in 2023 would mean seeing Cleverman grow sustainably and carving out a larger footprint in the men’s grooming market.
On the company culture front, it would mean cultivating a work environment where team members thrive both professionally and personally, feeling valued and satisfied.
On a personal level, success signifies striking a harmonious work-life balance. The entrepreneurial journey, while rewarding, can be demanding and energy-intensive. As the engine driving Cleverman, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and achieving a balanced personal life are paramount for me.
I firmly believe that success isn’t merely about financial accomplishments; it’s about driving a positive, enriching impact across all aspects of one’s life – from customers and team members to personal well-being.
Navigating 2023, I aspire to foster an environment where innovation thrives and where each member of The Cleverman team feels empowered to contribute their best.
Success, for me, would mean that we not only meet our business goals but also create a positive and inclusive work culture that encourages personal growth and job satisfaction.
As a founder, my vision extends beyond the horizons of business growth and profitability. I strive to create a sustainable enterprise that can withstand market fluctuations and continue to provide high-quality, personalized solutions for our customers.
And at the core of it all, I envision Cleverman as a platform that supports and values its people, fostering a culture of continuous learning, mutual respect, and shared success.
Every achievement, big or small, moves us closer to our broader vision for Cleverman – to redefine men’s grooming by offering innovative, custom-tailored solutions that inspire men to embrace their best selves. I am committed to this journey and excited to see what the future holds for us.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Carlos Barreto for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Carlos Barreto or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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