Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ricardo de la Blanca >

Ricardo de la Blanca, CEO, DLB Group

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
The first step is to identify a need and attack it; you must have confidence, courage, energy, perseverance and dedication above all.

What did inspire you to start your business?
My inspiration has always been the desire and enthusiasm to build something incredible that can stand the test of time, because in a way, my company, in some degree, is my footprint on earth.

How did you finance it?
The main thing is to understand the type of business you're getting into. Once I understood this business model, I sought spontaneous financing, which is nothing more than the support of providers.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
The biggest Hispanic influence I've applied to my business has been the ability to adjust to changes. Due to high market volatility in Latin American countries, we have learned to be patient and confront any unusual situations.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
One of the things that every entrepreneur should keep in mind when building a business is that there will always be good times and bad times. Something very important that any business should have - whether big, average or small - is a capacity to react and adapt to changes. I’ve been through a few difficult times in my life, and it’s these moments that help me realize the importance of the team that surrounds me. I could say that my team is my business, and it will depend on my recruiting abilities if we are ready to navigate through the adversities that every employer will indeed have to face.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Make DLB Group the most important agency in Venezuela was no easy task. It took passion, dedication and hard work. But undoubtedly the biggest challenge we’ve faced was to make this business go international. The fact of developing the same business in three regions and five countries at the same time is one of my greatest achievements as an entrepreneur.

- If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Every business in any industry must be changing constantly to fit the needs of the market and stay current with technology. Fortunately, our company has been able to adapt to new trends and evolve over time. There’s nothing in particular that we would change radically, as we have designed and structured a company the way we believe it should be.

What was your childhood ambition?
My childhood ambition was to manage my family’s business, Tropicana.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
My father; Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook; Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
In my opinion, all three meals work and each has its magic. A positive aspect about breakfast is that people are fresh, with no problems to think about and less business calls or interventions that usually happen during the day; this way you can put all your attention on the issue of discussion. Lunch is another business opportunity as it becomes the perfect break that can be used to make a certain connection and close good deals. On the other hand, dinner is definitely a less-business-type of meal, it’s an opportunity to bond with a client and get to know him on a personal level, this is incredibly important in the business world to create strong bilateral relations.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Behind every successful business there’s always going to be a few sacrifices suffered. The most important sacrifices I’ve had to make in order to lift this business up is to spend less time with family and friends and have very few opportunities to practice different hobbies.

What is your favorite quote?
“Always Learning/Always Improving” and “Always One Step Ahead” which are the premises of DLB Group Worldwide.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
The easy way is to copy and replicate what’s already been done. Being unconventional means more effort, creativity and doing things differently. It is certainly more challenging, but also more fun.

Biggest mistake made?
Not to have started my business earlier.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I do consider myself an innovator. I’m a person who always seeks to do things differently and I always like to distinguish myself from my competitors. Being innovative makes me offer my clients a unique service, which in turn differentiates them from their competition.

About the company:
DLB Group is a global marketing services integrator and the first independent non-conventional ad network with presence in the U.S., Spain and Latin America. The staff includes experts in the areas of commercial architecture, SMS, Web design, PR, trade marketing, broadcast and print production among others. DLB Group creates impactful plans that support the message between different media bringing memorable experience and brand contact to the consumer. The company has offices in the U.S., Spain, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama.

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