Liliya Dimitrova, CEO at Frontex International: “I Admire Leaders Who Are Able to Inspire Others to Follow Their Dreams”
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 Liliya Dimitrova, CEO at Frontex International. She began her career as a marketing and sales manager and has worked in the industry for 10 years. She joined the financial sector in 2014 and became Chief Executive Officer at Frontex and a member of the Board of Directors at the beginning of 2019. Dimitrova first joined the company a little more than two years ago as Chief Operations Officer. She holds a Master's degree in Finance from the University of National and World Economy and an additional specialization in Strategic Outsourcing from the University of Sussex, UK.
Frontex International is a leading company for debt management. Frontex International Services is a BPO company – operating not only in the field of debt collection but also in the field of overall customer relationship management. The companies in the group started their activity in 2009 and have proved to be a reliable, secure and successful partner not only in the financial industry but in many other business lines in Bulgaria. Combining specific expertise, best-in-class technologies and highly experienced employees, Frontex positioned itself as one of the TOP 3 companies in its area of business in the country.
What are the top three skills employers are looking for today?
The qualities we are searching for are universal for the whole servicing industry. Without ranking them: creativity, flexibility, dedication. People can always learn new things and acquire knowledge and skills but these three are the basis of everything.
If you could give your younger self just one piece of career advice, what would it be?
Speak less, listen more. This skill is of immense importance for every job but especially when it comes to working with customers and when it comes to young people who are willing to quickly build up their career. Learning from the experience of others saves time and gives different perspectives to every situation.
What business leader—past or present— inspires you the most? Why?
I would rather talk about certain qualities and not about a certain person. And someone’s personal qualities are very important—people should be consistent and demonstrate the same set of qualities in business and life. I admire people who keep their word no matter what; I admire visionaries who work to create the future they dream of; people of action and not of words; leaders who are able to inspire others to follow their 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 believe that a narrow specialist in one particular area does not have a bright future in modern business life. In the era of AI and machine learning, most of the tasks and duties can be performed by computers. Taking into consideration the big picture with all of its specifics, using creativity in the process and creating non-standard, out of the box solutions is what makes us humans and what makes us irreplaceable.