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Brazilian Executive Bets On Hult MBA To Deliver Fast-Fashion Retail Career

André Alcalde led two retail brands worth $133 million in revenue

By  Seb Murray

Mon Nov 30 2015

André Alcalde is from complex and dynamic fast-fashion retailing. The Brazilian executive led two brands worth $133 million in revenue for Lojas Renner, the nation’s largest fast-fashion retailer.

André, who joined the emerging market business as a management trainee and rose to merchandise planning manager, is betting that a $70,000 MBA will give him an edge in a global climate. Hult International Business School’s one-year program sends students to seven business capitals — among them London, San Francisco and Shanghai.

André, who speaks English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, previously worked as logistics manager for Paquetá Calçados, the Latin American shoe brand. Also on his CV are posts at WTS Telecom as sales manager, and a shipping company as operations manager.

What are your most proud of your time at Lojas Renner?  

I joined Renner in 2010 through a national job selection for management trainees. There were over 20,000 applicants and only 73 professional were selected. To accomplish this was already a huge achievement in my career, but I knew that the game was only starting.

After a few months of training and on-the-job experience in the stores, I was called to join one of the brands inside the men’s department to focus on my specific training as planning manager. This brand had experienced managers with 10+ years of retail background.

I’m proud to say that with a lot of teamwork and a disciplined execution of strategies we managed to deliver results.

What's it like working and living in Brazil? 

Brazil is an amazing country. However, the economic scenario of the past five years has been very difficult, with growing inflation and interest rates causing the economic recession that the country is facing today. 

Nevertheless it is a continental-sized country, with a vast diversity of cultures and consumer preferences that make the life of working in retail very complex and dynamic.

How has the international supply chain adopted technologies to improve efficiency? 

Companies are looking forward to improving their supply chain efficiency either by partnerships or reviewing processes. From the point of view of the fast-fashion industry — which demands a well-structured supply chain in order to reduce the time between the development, manufacturing, transport and offering [of] products in stores for the final consumer — technologies are an important part of the processes inside the distribution centers.

High-tech equipment makes it easy to reduce the number of days that a product stays outside stores and, combined with analytical systems, helps to send the right amount to the right place.

Why did you decide to enrol in Hult International Business School? 

After five years of management experience, I thought it was time to go for a different qualification to boost my career. I wanted to expand my way of seeing the business world while living and learning in a different culture.

Hult’s full-time MBA offers the opportunity for me to interact with people from more than 30 countries in one year, and to rotate to cities that play a main role in the global economy. This will allow me to build a solid network that will improve my executive career.

What do you value about the MBA’s locations in seven global business capitals?

In a business world that is more internationally-connected, it is mandatory when building an executive career to able to deal with different cultures and understand the value they bring. Having the possibility to experience that by living and studying in cities like London, Shanghai and Boston, is a strong differential for Hult’s MBA.