PR / News

Martin Flordeliza: Reflections From Creative LIAisons

11 November 2021
Mentee: Martin Flordeliza, Creative Team Head, Leo Burnett Manila, Makati City 
Coaches: Rupen Desai, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Dole Sunshine Company, Singapore; Nish Shah, Chief Strategy Officer, Initiative Canada, Toronto and Andre (Deco) Soares, Senior Art Director, Walt Disney Company, LATAM, Buenos Aires. 
Grit, Passion, and Magic!
There are a few people whom I consider my mentors, but I never had a mentor from outside the Philippines. LIA’s Creative LIAison program is such a blessing, because I gained three more mentors with different backgrounds and from different countries. All of them are equally talented and experts in their respective fields. I really learned a lot from them and I would like to share some of the insights I had talking to them.
Grit in what you do.
My first mentor was Rupen Desai, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Dole Sunshine Company, Singapore. Rupen, who has worked both in advertising and the client side emphasized the need for Big Ideas that are purposeful and creates social impact. He said that if you have a great idea, don’t hesitate to reach out to clients who will believe in them. This is where grit comes in - be confident with your work and pitch them to people who can help you turn them into a reality. Rupen also emphasized that if you want to break out in the international stage, you need to have an idea that is big enough for the world to pick-up.
Passion from outside work.
Nish Shah, Chief Strategy Officer of Initiative in Toronto was my second mentor. He said that: “It’s an unreasonable expectation that all your personal fulfilment in life will come from work. Get motivation and inspiration from other sources.” Nish pointed out the importance of having other passions beyond client paid work - may it be through art, joining classes, or helping out in your communities. When I asked him how to make it in the global stage, he said that it’s important to get your name out by getting published or be invited to judge awards show. It’s also a way of giving back to the industry.
There’s magic outside your comfort zone.
My last mentor was Andre (Deco) Soares, Senior Art Director at Walt Disney Company, LATAM. It was a fun and casual talk with Deco, and I learned a lot about his experiences from transferring from Buenos Aires to Brazil and how he landed his job at Disney. It wasn’t a magical ride and it actually took him months of planning to get there. From his story, I realized the importance of breaking-out of your comfort zone - and sometimes there’s magic in other places and by seeing things differently. But Deco reminded me that if you have a dream, you don’t just jump in. You need to plan ahead and be focused on your goals.

Thank you again, Rupen, Nish, and Deco for the time you shared. I really learned a lot and I look forward to catching up with you again. Thank you, LIA for this unique learning opportunity and for making this mentorship program happen! All the best.