Meet the cosmetic tycoon, Miguel Krigsner, president of the major cosmetic company, OBoticario, in Brazil. This 65-year old entrepreneur is, according to Forbes, the 810th billionaire in the world, with a net worth of $2.1 billion. Krigsner’s is a fascinating story of a Bolivian immigrant who turned his small downtown pharmacy into one of the major cosmetic companies of the Southern Hemisphere. Apart from his commercial success, Krigsner has also made a name for himself in his aim to give back to the community, especially the environment, by founding the Fundacao Boticario de Protecao a Natureza, one of Brazil’s most important environmental NGO.
Krigser was born in La Paz, Bolivia, on 9th January, 1950, from where his parents immigrated to Brazil when he was a young boy of 11. In Curitiba, Parana, where his family settled after fleeing from Nazi Germany, he graduated with a degree in Pharmacy and Biochemistry in 1975.
An enterprising man at heart, he proceeded to open a small pharmacy, where his true adventure began as he experimented to create lotions and shampoos, while selling medicines. His lucky break came when he decided to sell his perfume blends at the Curitiba Airport, during the mid-70s when imports were banned in the Brazilian market. His fame spread via flight attendants who bought his perfumes and took them to their friends and family, thus spreading his name throughout Brazil. Thus the foundation of the company was built on word-of-mouth fame that Krigsner’s creations gained.