Paolo Delgado - 4th Generation Filipino Pioneering Innovation in Logistics & Agriculture [The Business of Family]


14 September 2020

43 mins 51 secs

Season 1

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Paolo Delgado is the current managing director of the Delgado Brothers Group (Delbros). As the fourth and newest generation of the Delgado Family, Paolo manages the company that has made a name for itself across generations as being the pioneer in the logistics industry. The Delbros Group has a drive and passion to bring innovation and modernisation with hopes of growth and betterment of the Philippines and to the Filipino people.

Presently, the DelBros Group consist of over twenty subsidiaries and have member companies both locally and internationally ranging in the industries of logistics and transport, technology, and food production.

Standout Quotes

  • "We live now in a very globalized world where technology has really reached a point in which it can alter our ways of life. From AI, vertical farming, etc. There has been a real desire to shift out of traditional businesses and to use our traditional businesses in more digitally-savy manners." – Paolo Delgado [5:33]
  • "We all believe that the company is in our care for a portion of our lives. During this portion, it's our responsibility to help it thrive and to make sure that it can successfully transition to the next generation. It's not something that we look at to sell, not something we consider 'ours' other than that period of time that we are responsible for it. We have created a very clear understanding on the kind of stewards that we want to be." – Paolo Delgado [7:46]
  • "Active stewardship is something that is constantly mentioned in our family meetings. Family representatives in our companies need to very clearly outline parameters for the different management teams that align the actives of the company with the family's approach." – Paolo Delgado [8:13]
  • "Documenting the history and the legacy of the family is important in understanding what and who came before us. It reenforces that our strength comes from unity and that we keep our businesses and our family true to their core values. It's knowing that the company and the family need to be challenged and disrupted to avoid stagnation." – Paolo Delgado [17:08]
  • "We do a regular pruning. Family businesses I think are looked at as something that should be run and should take care of all of the family members. In our experience, there is nothing wrong with shifting ownership. That usually means buying out family members that are not as interested in the business or perhaps can't contribute as well to the business as others… It has made making decisions easier, it’s allowed us to continue a family business that might have been under threat much sooner.” – Paolo Delgado [27:07]
  • "Respect, shared values, the understanding that fairness is not being equal. We want to be fair, not necessarily equal. That nobody owes you anything and that you work for it. That you take a long-term perspective and strategy that decisions at least in the family organization needs to be made over generations rather than five or ten years that you would normally see an organization." – Paolo Delgado [36:43]
  • "For me, what's most important for my wife and I, is that our children grow up being happy with the person they have become. My wife and I talk a lot about what we want for our children but ultimately much like the family business we believe we are stewards for them for a portion of our lives. Ultimately they go off and live their own lives and start their own families." – Paolo Delgado [41:03]

Key Takeaways

  • Becoming and demonstrating organizational value to remain sustainable in the long term
  • Paolo Delgado’s challenging and rewarding entrance into the family business
  • The lessons and challenges from the past generations can be the basis for policy and reforms in the family organization of the future
  • Some insights from a logistics background on the passion and visions for the future of agriculture
  • Three key agreements included in the charter for DelBros Group
  • Allowing the family charter to be open to improvements in the future generations
  • The sensitive topic of removing family members as a strategy for extending the life of the family organization as a whole
  • What Paolo sees as requirements for a successful and harmonious family partnership
  • Why fair isn't always equal in the family business

Episode Timeline

  • [2:02] The origin story for the Delgado Brothers Group
  • [4:31] What DelBros Group current is today
  • [7:35] Leadership focus on future success in generational transitions
  • [9:08] Paolo’s challenging but rewarding start in the family business
  • [16:31] Placing value on the documentation of family history
  • [19:21] DelBros Group Investments into the future of agriculture
  • [24:10] Personalized but business centered family gatherings
  • [25:24] Three agreements included in the Delgado family charter
  • [28:02] Why pruning in a family organization can extend the longevity of the business
  • [30:45] Clarification on Delgado family opportunities in wealth creation
  • [32:28] Paolo’s thoughts on the next generation talent for the family business
  • [36:37] Requirements for successful and harmonious family partnerships
  • [38:34] The difference between fairness and equality
  • [41:03] Paolo’s focus on leading his children to personal happiness and fulfillment

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Episode Links

  • Delbros Group — With over 70 years of experience spanning four generations of leadership.
  • Delgado Stewardship — Delgado Stewardship: 4 Generations of Delgado leadership
  • Delbros ARCHIVES — The Delgado family has a long history with the Philippines and the world: from Generals and entrepreneurs, to statesmen and religious champions.
  • Vertical Farming & Agriculture — In a move to revolutionize the process of its food production drive, Delbros introduced the first ever autonomous and vertical aeroponic farms in the Philippines through GOOD GREENS & CO.