Aleksandar Mandić, one of the pioneers of the internet in Brazil, dies at 66 | Other matters

He passed away on Thursday afternoon (6), at the age of 66, Aleksandar Mandić. Considered one of the pioneers of the internet in Brazil, the businessman is remembered mainly for having been responsible for one of the first providers in the country, Mandic Internet, and for being one of the founders of the iG portal.

Aleksandar Mandić (image: Instagram / Aleksandar Mandić)

Mandić’s career as an entrepreneur began before the arrival of the internet in Brazil. Working at Siemens, he met the BBS (Bulletin Board System), a system that allowed computers to communicate over telephone lines. In 1990, he left Siemens to create a company focused on this type of technology: Mandic BBS.

In 1996, when the internet was already a reality in Brazil, Mandić transformed his company into Mandic Internet thanks to a partnership with the GP Investimentos group. One of the first internet providers in the country was born.

With the business expanding, Mandić and GP Investimentos sold Mandic to the Argentine group Impsat. It was 1999. At the beginning of the following year, Aleksandar Mandić founded iG in partnership with Nizan Guanaes and other entrepreneurs.

Today, iG is essentially a content portal. But in its early years, the company gained popularity by betting on a business model that was booming at that time: free dial-up internet.

Mandić remained at iG until 2001, but he did not go long without betting on a new idea: in 2002, the businessman recovered his brand and started Mandic Mail (mandic: mail), an email service with a corporate focus.

The new Mandic continued to reinvent itself in the following years, offering different services with a business focus. In 2012, Mandić sold the business for R $ 100 million to Riverwood Capital. Having bought a small shareholding in the group, the businessman spent the following years on his board of directors.

In 2013, Aleksandar Mandić launched his last big idea: Mandić Magic. Renamed to WiFi Magic, the service allows the user to discover passwords for public Wi-Fi networks in various parts of the world.

Last month, Riverwood Capital sold Mandic to Claranet. With the operation, Mandić disposed of the shares he held in the business.

Cause of death was not disclosed

Aleksandar Mandić’s death was reported by his son, Axel Mandić. The cause of death has not been revealed. However, anyone who accompanied the businessman on Instagram knew that, in the last few months, his visits to hospitals were frequent.

In 2020, Mandić spent about 40 days in the ICU because of COVID-19. In May of that year, he managed to recover. However, months later, he was diagnosed with leukemia and had been treating the disease while waiting for a bone marrow transplant.

Pioneerism that leaves lessons

People who had the chance to meet Mandić in person usually keep fond memories of the meeting. I was one of them. In 2008, at an event called ResultsON Day, I was able to attend a lecture by the businessman.

Unlike the other speakers, Mandić dismissed PowerPoint and did not come up with a prepared script. He simply took the microphone and started to speak. He told the story of the creation of Mandic and answered questions by looking into the eyes of those who asked them.

That day, it was clear to those who watched that his pioneering spirit was not just the result of technical knowledge, but, fundamentally, of the treatment he directed to people. In the lecture, he made statements such as:

I like to receive complaints. It’s the best way to get free advice.

Clashing with a client is a certain defeat, even when there is victory.

Aleksandar Mandić

With information: Exam, Neofeed.

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