Dilyana Vasileva, CEO at Seewines Logistics: ‘Life has many faces and requires many types of knowledge’

In a series of interviews, we will feature some of the region’s prominent business experts coming from various industries. We now introduce you to Dilyana Vasileva, CEO at Seewines Logistics. She holds a Master's degree in International Tourism from the University of Economics in Varna and has worked as a receptionist and hotel manager in the Bulgarian sea resort Djuni. She then opened the first Fresh Croissant shop in Sofia and sold the business after four years of operation. Wine and wine-producing have always been a part of her family as her ancestors were one of the first investors in the wine company Sungurlarski Misket Cooperation. She joined Seewines as a consultant and owner’s representative in 2015 and last September became CEO of Seewines Logistics, the trade division of the group.

Seewines is a young Bulgarian company that invests in biodynamic viticulture and wine production in the two most distant parts on the Bulgarian map - the outskirts of Kavarna town to the North-East and the villages of Harsovo and Melnik to the South-West. Seewines supports the biodiversity in the vineyards and around them and practices gentle and environment-friendly viticulture. Seewines Logistics is the division that operates in wine trading. The company imports wines from five continents and offers an experienced journey in the world of wine: online on their shop and offline in their Gallery Seewines in Sofia. “Our aim is to introduce unknown grape varieties, wine styles and regions to the Bulgarian market and help Bulgarian wine enthusiasts widen their knowledge and choice,” Vasileva said.

What are the top three skills employers are looking for today?

Most of the employees nowadays are really skilled and in most cases have achieved a good education level. However, this alone does not automatically make them good employees. This is why we look for:

- Passion for the things they do;

- Diversity in skills and interests;

- Good communication and teamwork skills.

If you could give your younger self just one piece of career advice, what would it be?

Languages open doors -- the more, the better. And languages are best learned when traveling. Travel itself opens our eyes and makes us more tolerant of the diversity of the world we live in. So, my advice is: travel and learn languages (I didn’t have this chance earlier in my life).

What business leader — past or present — inspires you the most? Why? 

Steve Jobs - he truly believed in what he was doing and pursued his goals towards fulfilling his dreams. This had not always been the easiest thing but he was persistent and had passion for what he was doing - and was always paying attention to the smallest details! And as we all know, the devil is in the details. I love the speech he gave to the Stanford students -- it is still very inspiring to me, and especially his advice to "stay foolish, stay hungry"! One should never stop learning new things or looking for more ways to expand their knowledge and widen their horizons. It’s never too late for any kind of education. In these days of modern technology, when information is all around us, it is especially easy to stay “foolish", hungry and passionate when following our own path and fulfilling our own dreams.

The liberal arts education puts emphasis on discovery, creativity and critical thinking: by exploring a lot of disciplines, rather than focusing on just one. In what ways do people who have received a liberal arts education bring value to business? 

I truly believe that we, as human beings, are very complex and there’s never only one side of the coin. The wider the study spectrum, the more complex the person. Thus, I believe that from a business perspective, this gives a person many advantages when facing and solving everyday problems or when negotiating. A person with a liberal arts education would be able to look at the business challenges from different perspectives and be more creative and flexible in bringing the best out of every situation in business life. I mentioned Steve Jobs - he also studied several, one can say, strange subjects, such as calligraphy. But all these skills and knowledge were very useful for him at a later stage and serve as proof that we need wider learning in education in order to be able to face the complexity of life. Every single aspect of knowledge brings value and builds up our personalities. It is not optimal to be polished on one side and rough on the other. Life has many faces and requires many skills and types of knowledge. And so does business - as long as it is done by humans.

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