Meet Delia Flores, Founder, and CEO of Delia Flores Group, she is a foreign trade entrepreneur specializing in customs, logistics, and international inland freight forwarding in Argentina and Brazil. She founded Grupo Empresarial de Mujeres Argentinas (GEMA) where is currently its President, GEMA is a civil, national association with headquarters in several provinces of the country and alliances with businesswomen's associations around the world.
Who is Delia? How were you as a kid?
As a kid, I was a generous girl with my friends. I love running barefoot, eating my mum´s traditional food like butter, cheese, bread, and drinking freshly milked milk,
When I was younger, I used to be a determined, perseverant, rebel, enthusiastic, hard worker with definitive targets. And the secret of my happiness is that I still have the same feelings. And I still enjoy facing new challenges and projects with the same passion, full of dreams. I am the same person as I has as a kid but with more experience. When I recalled my path, I realized all my achievements
You hold a bachelor’s degree in international trade at Universidad Católica Argentina and you studied at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business as well. Why did you choose those courses of study?
When I was younger, I looked for a short profitable economic career. It was difficult for a young woman from a small city to go to Buenos Aires to study because we were living in politically difficult times.
The Course at Georgetown University was a present from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the women who participated during the G20 Saudi Arabia Summit 2020.It was an honor and a pleasure for me to attend this amazing course.
“I have learned to be patient, empathic. I´ve learned to listen, to be generous, to see people's needs and try to help and grow, to make networking’s, to give tools”
You are the founder of the Delia Flores Group, a customs service and international freight forwarding company, tell us more about your company, what makes it unique in the market?
The vision, the professional objective, personalized attendance to our clients as a leading woman make the difference. This concept I also transmit to my employees.
You are a foreign trade entrepreneur specializing in customs, logistics, and international inland freight forwarding in Argentina and Brazil. You are an active member of several Business Chambers in Argentina and Brazil. In 2009, you founded GEMA, “Grupo Empresarial de Mujeres Argentinas”, and is currently its President. GEMA is a civil, national association with headquarters in several provinces of the country and alliances with businesswomen's associations around the world. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the years?
I have learned that is not easy to deal with more than 200 women. I have learned to be patient, empathic. I´ve learned to listen, to be generous, to see people's needs and try to help and grow, to make networking’s, to give tools. I´ve learned not to criticize, to understand the situation of people. I´ve learned to study, how to improve my behavior, my performance as a leader every day to give the best of me.
You are an active worker for the economic empowerment of women, focusing on entrepreneurship and greater participation of women in leadership positions and businesses. You were part of the "Empower" Alliance G20 2021 Italy. Member of: B20 Italy in the area of Trade and Investment. What drives you?
I have a need to transcend so I can help other people. I know that I can transmit my knowledge and experience to the community.
I love meeting businesspeople from all over the world: this is why I have friends around the world.
What does a normal workday look like for you?
I start early in the morning, checking the messages, the financial news of my company with my accountants, the managers, and my clients, preparing the day of work by identifying the main issues I have to deal with during the day. So, when I arrive at my office, I perfectly know what things must be completed this very day. I check the messages, the news of my company with the managers which allows me to take the daily decisions, give instructions and suggest different ways of action. I share my agenda with my assistant Patricia who reminds me, at the beginning of the day, of the virtual and presential meetings. We handle a virtual agenda that is very practical to both of us. But I must confess, I love my paper worksheet because I am very fond of crossing out the activities done. I feel satisfaction not to have procrastinated my issues. Frequently, I have to travel to my branches to attend to different affairs.
“There is no worst job than the one that is not done”
What do you love most about your job? & What is the most difficult part?
The most important thing to me is checking the financial situation and taking decisions. I enjoy doing that a lot. I also love having connections with my clients in the flesh or by internet, it doesn't matter. The most important thing is to keep in touch and bond between us.
The most difficult part for me is to deal with human resources. The relationship between the employees and the managers, the conflicts between them, the jealousy, and the laws sometimes are not very helpful for the owners.
You have participated in congresses, fairs, and trade missions in Central America, Brazil, Scotland, Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Peru, Russia, South Africa, and Tunisia. You are the author of the book "Abriendo Caminos al crecimiento de las Mujeres en Los Negocios and the co-author of the book "O Caminho do Sucesso" invited by the Brazilian Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (OBME) and participated in CSW 60 and CSW 61 at UN Women, New York. What's the recipe for your success?
I believe is, the passion and enthusiasm I put in everything I do and hard work
What is one strategy that has helped you to grow your business?
Clear vision, objectives, to know what I wanted to be, hard work with passion.
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?
I read a lot, probably my favorite ones are Adriano´s Memory, Alexandro Magno and I also learn from other businessmen. I pay attention to how they work and learn a lot from their experiences.
“We are not perfect, and we should not try to look like it. There is no need to shine in all that we do. Women must choose where they would like to put their energy to follow their dreams”
What are the Do's and don’ts in female leadership?
You have to be near the people, what you must not do is abandon.
Philosophy: I have some phrases that always accompany me: there is no worst job than the one that is not done”.
“Everything that happens is convenient” It is a way of watching life with optimism.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like reading, walking in the park, sunbathing, swimming, listening to music, and I love dancing.
Many authors say women can and must strive to have everything – a shining career, a blossoming family life, and a perfectly balanced lifestyle all at once, others point out that– then women are placing unrealistic expectations on themselves if they believe they can have it all, I don´t know if you are married and have kids, so according to your experience, what do you think about these statements?
We are not perfect, and we should not try to look like it. There is no need to shine in all that we do. Women must choose where they would like to put their energy to follow their dreams. I recommend them to try to do their best and to ask for help when they need it.
What are your plans for the future?
I would love to improve my international performance as a lecturer. Increase my truck fleet company in Brazil.
There is still the glass ceiling for women in the world: Fewer opportunities, jobs underpaid just for that fact of being a woman, etc. Have you experimented with the glass ceiling? If yes, what are the biggest challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
My biggest challenge was to make my way in a world of men, the sector where I work is absolutely masculine: freights, transport by trucks, foreign trade, the port. And opened my company in another country (Brazil), to be a foreigner opening a company was not easy. It was also imposing myself in the big city, growing and developing myself coming from a province in the interior of the country
“Anything you set out to do can be achieved. The limits are in our minds and only we limit ourselves. Opportunities always present themselves when one has clear objectives. It is necessary to be brave, to go after dreams”
What tips, can you give to young girls who want to become an entrepreneur like you?
- To have a dream that works as a machine that moves us to fulfill our goals
- Clear vision and not to abandon them in the first difficulty. Be perseverant
- To learn from mistakes and go ahead
- To look for professional advisors, mentors. You will always find someone to help you
- You should believe in your project.
I think in your position, many people may have the wrong idea of who you are, and what do you (professionally), with this idea in mind, what is being Delia and what´s not?
I am a woman who wants to improve professionally and as a person. Evolution is the word that identifies me.
Who is the woman you admire the most and why?
- Hilary Clinton: Among other things, Hillary was the one who gave the initial kick towards equal rights for women, and equity, in that epic speech in Beijing Conference, 1995, in front of 30,000 women leaders from around the world: “is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights. “
- Christine Lagarde and Golda Meir because they are/was in a businessmen's world, managing finances.
- Angela Merkel, for me, is a great leader, amazing and inspirational. A simple, accessible, but determined leader with a great vision. Leading with her vision, one of the most powerful countries.
- Coco Chanel, as a businesswoman, is a pioneer
What else do you want to add or share with us?
Anything you set out to do can be achieved. The limits are in our minds and only we limit ourselves. Opportunities always present themselves when one has clear objectives. It is necessary to be brave, to go after dreams. Make decisions, take on challenges. Assume failures as learning and move on. Celebrate every achievement, even if it's small!!
Name: Delia Raquel Flores
Sector: Foreign Trade? International Transportation
Company: Delia Flores Group
Designation: Founder and CEO
Country: Argentina & Brazil