Second to none: Luisa’s legacy launching Revolut Brazil

Priče ljudi · 12. prosinca 2023.Alex Carril

In the vibrant world of fintech, where innovation meets financial services, we often see how an individual’s journey reflects the ever-changing, accelerating environment that surrounds them. Luisa Bernardi, Head of Operations for Revolut Brazil, witnessed the early stages of our expansion in this dynamic market and has been a key architect in propelling its success.

We sat down with Luisa to find out about her time with us, the evolution of Revolut Brazil, and the impact she’s had on the company so far.

Can you share a bit about your journey at Revolut Brazil, especially being one of the first hires during the expansion phase?

I was‌ the second employee hired for Revolut Brazil! In September 2022, I got the amazing chance to lead our first product launch into Brazil — a Global Account. Our head of operations at the time took a bet on me as I didn't come from a fintech background, and guided me through the beginning of this journey.

As we didn't have a big team back then, I had to do a bit of everything. From learning fincrime regulations to discussing screen designs for the app, I worked with our global teams to explain all the complexities of the Brazilian market. And after almost a year, we officially launched in July 2023. Now customers in Brazil can download Revolut and use it whenever they want!

What initially attracted you to join Revolut?

I lived in Europe for 5 years, in the Netherlands and Germany, and Revolut was already widely popular — my friends were using it all the time. I liked the idea that Revolut was making finance easier for people. I love the fact that we have the analytics to show how people spend their money. Brazilians struggle a lot with financial education, so I was excited to bring Revolut to Brazil and show people a different way to manage their finances.

Here’s a fun fact: when I was very young, I'd tell my parents I wanted to work in a bank. But when I grew up and saw how typical banks work, I felt disappointed. It wasn’t until Revolut that I saw this new way of giving people control of their finances that made me feel excited about this dream of mine again. I hope Revolut can change this feeling for others as well.

Can you describe the growth you’ve seen at Revolut Brazil and how your role has evolved since you started?

We’re almost 40 people in Brazil, so it's crazy to think about the early stages when it was just a few of us and now look at this growing Dream Team we have here.

At the beginning, I had to do a lot of things myself, and it was a lot of time reading and figuring out the best way forward. But it was amazing to go through every stage of the product life cycle, from scoping to testing and finally launching.

My job has changed a lot since then. Now I’m managing the team and ensuring we’re aligned, going in the right direction to launch new products, and maintaining a reliable app for all our customers in Brazil.

One of the nicest things was when the people around me started using the app. I love hearing my mom explain what a Global Account is to her friends. My mom isn't into finance, so I'm very proud of her!

What can we expect to see in the near future from Revolut Brazil?

You can expect a lot of new products and improvements in the near future. We’re seeing a lot of interest in our product, especially from Brazilians living abroad who want to send money to their families here. Word-of-mouth promotion is a huge potential for us.

As the head of operations and being a woman in a leadership position in the tech industry, how do you see the opportunities for women in our field?

We’ve come a long way, but there's still room for improvement. I'd love to see more women around me in Tech! This industry hasn’t always been the easiest environment for women, but I was lucky to have people around me at Revolut who have always been extremely supportive and understood the lack of diversity in the industry. I could speak to them freely about how I felt in certain situations, and they’d give me tips to make myself heard and respected.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to enter and thrive in the tech industry based on your own experience?

Believe in yourself. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions. At times we feel like we need to know everything, but when you understand that it's ok to ask questions and that you can learn from others, you‘ll see that the learning curve is much faster. So find the right balance, learn how to read your audience, and feel comfortable showing your vulnerabilities.

My advice to any industry minority is to have a mentor who understands your problems, gives you guidance, and motivates you to not give up. Sometimes that person in your corner can make all the difference.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial. How do you manage your professional responsibilities with your personal life?

I exercise every day. It doesn't matter if I have a crazy day, I’ll always go to the gym and sweat it off. Sometimes I stop what I’m doing and go to the gym. When I get back to work after exercising, I’m way more focused and ready for the rest of the day!

At Revolut, I can manage my time the way I want. It's all about aligning expectations — l’ll always deliver on my work, but sometimes it needs to wait. I encourage everyone to set healthy boundaries for themselves. Being productive and leading a healthy life might be challenging, but is doable and rewarding!

What motivates you to #NeverSettle in your role and how do you continue to find fulfilment in your work?

Having a dream team makes all the difference. Being surrounded by good people motivates me to keep teaching and learning from those around me so we can work together to deliver wow to our customers!

We recently only took our first step to enter the market in Brazil. Knowing that we’re working to improve Brazilians' lives by localising Revolut’s products, makes me feel fulfilled and excited every day to come to work.

Luisa’s story exemplifies the limitless possibilities within Revolut. If you’re seeking a dynamic environment that values career progression and a healthy work-life balance, we’re ready for you to make an impact.

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