Business Sense

WATCH: Lazada Philippines CEO prefers not to have his own office

Ralf Rivas
WATCH: Lazada Philippines CEO prefers not to have his own office
34-year-old Carlos Barrera is leading one of the country's largest e-commerce platforms, but doesn't have his own office. Here's why.

MANILA, Philippines – The Lazada Philippines headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig features vibrant murals, depicting the essence of Filipino culture and values.

It also features concentration pods to block out the noise, as well as a state-of-the art studio for live selling events.

But this headquarters has one notable absence — CEO Carlos Barrera’s office.

He would rather spend his time chatting with the staff of various departments and sit with different teams throughout the day.

“It’s about being close to the business,” the 34-year-old said in a Business Sense interview.

“It helps me when I spend time sitting on the floor with everyone, especially I sit normally in the morning with the commercial team, in the afternoon with the buyer team. It really helps me also understanding, seeing what’s happening and spending more time with sellers. It helps you develop a better appreciation of how the business works and what are the pain points,” Barrera said.

This hands-on approach isn’t just a personal preference. Barrera said it’s woven into the fabric of Lazada’s culture.

“I feel it’s more about being close to the business, right? And the reality is that as a company, we try to be very frugal and hands-on. So, it’s better for us to do it this way,” Barrera said.

For Barrera, the ideal employee needs more than mere skillsets.

We want to have people that care deeply about what they do. I believe that you can learn about the business, but it’s very hard to teach passion. So, you need people that have the fire,” Barrera said. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.