Graduate Spotlight and an Opportunity to Help: Marco Sachet

Graduate Spotlight and an Opportunity to Help: Marco Sachet

Marco Sachet is a founding Graduate Student of GCSEN’s early program design while at Baruch College in 2011. He is also as the founding Graduate Assistant of GCSEN for GCSEN’s first program - Babson College/GCSEN joint program with Bangkok University School of Entrepreneurship Management (BUSEM) in Thailand, in 2015.

A native of Brazil, Marco channels his 4P Social Entrepreneur passion as Founder/President, Director of Egis Senior Living Group, which has 3 three Residential Homes for the Elderly in the southern Brazil area. These homes regularly provide a comfortable, nature focused and active lifestyle for seniors who can no longer live alone, with activities for families, a private forest, individualized diets, and more amenities, including proprietary specialized software for digital monitoring of seniors to prevent accidents. 

Photo from Garden Ville website

GCSEN Network News spoke to Marco last year, and he talked about the deeply emotional aspects of his work. So many of the family members he interacts with are in distress, worrying about loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and/physical disabilities. “It’s not just a business, it’s something more- that’s why we have to focus on the emotions.”

Marco says he learned many important lessons from his time at GCSEN – mainly, that business can’t just be about money. “I think about the lessons of GCSEN often. It was ingrained in me: Preoccupation with people. Businesses are made by people, are made for people, and it’s very easy to lose sight of that and just think about money and numbers, but numbers alone don’t make a business. GCSEN focused a lot on finding purpose- focus on more than money alone. Everyone goes through hard times, and if you focus on money alone you will find yourself adrift from your “WHY?”, lose your “Will and Motivation” and have a hard time finding the “WAY?” to motivate the people around you and make dreams come true.”

Opportunity and Optimism is sometimes challenged by circumstances beyond our control.  Sadly, recently Marco’s business suffered a huge but not setback. Our GCSEN Network News readers may know that there have been devastating floods happening in southern Brazil.  According to Marco, the damage is many times larger than Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. 

If you would like to help support the flood victims, give to the Red Cross here.

Marco reports:

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

“The whole state has been flooded, with over 85% of municipalities affected. The capital Porto Alegre is half underwater, with some neighborhoods 7 feet deep.  There are water shortages, power shortages, and a large death toll. Hundreds of thousands of people lost everything- their furniture, their electronics, their clothes, their documents, their vehicles, their homes. Everything. Many businesspeople I know have lost their livelihoods…

My business has been struck. Hard. There's about 4 feet of water on the first floor… We've been able to evacuate our Senior Residents…And then the first hotel that we moved them to also got flooded!  We managed to move to a second hotel, where they are to this day. But this second hotel had no power or running water for a few days; so we struggle each day forward.

We've arranged two entire floors (at the hotel) for our use and set up a temporary operations center, with 24h nursing care and medical assistance. Daily activities (food service, entertainment, psychological support etc.) are up in place and everything is running "smoothly", as we've had no incidents. My team is truly showing their colors on the ground- people have been working nonstop for weeks, myself included (remotely due to logistics). 

Many of our Villa resident families are thankful for our efforts, and some offered help, which we happily accepted. I'm currently safe in my home in São Paulo- a 16 hour car drive (the Porto Alegre airport has been completely destroyed- imagine NYC’s JFK, LaGuardia and Newark underwater). It's dry here in Sao Paulo, but I really wish I was there with boots on the ground. Unfortunately there's currently no way to get there, as all highway/access roads have also been destroyed. 

Photo from Marco Sachet

We've been maintaining close communications with all the families, and today sent an invite for all the relatives that took seniors home to bring them back to our care, at the hotel….The Villa buildings suffered extensive damage, which is still to be assessed in more detail. 

The electric installations, furniture, industrial kitchen, everything we couldn't move to the top floors has been lost…It is believed that the current water level of around 4 feet in the building will take at least 15 more days to recede, if not longer…So the seniors will be staying at the hotel for a while, maybe a couple of months, at a massive expense on my end…When all is over I will have to reconstruct from the ground up. 

Personally, fate has struck me a severe blow and I'm feeling it (having just recovered from a Vaccine related stroke). But I'm a fighter, I won't give up unless victory is truly impossible. 

I feel responsible for all the stakeholders in my business, customers and employees, and will do everything in my power to keep it afloat. In any case, I also see that I need to diversify my economic activities, and am already drafting some new business plans for when this moment is through. Climate change is real and I need to be ready for it. 

It would be of great help if you could raise awareness across the GCSEN Network over and send help, not to me, but to society overall. As I told you, people lost everything and the flooding may get worse.”

GCSEN wishes Marco Sachet, and all the people affected by the flooding, our love and concern. We hope that recovery is swift and that everyone is able to find the help they need.  Marco’s deep caring for People, Planet, Profit, and Place – ESPECIALLY PEOPLE  – is truly inspiring, and we know it will get him through these difficult times. We’ve got you Marco and will do all we can to help! 

If you would like to help support the flood victims, give to the Red Cross here.

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