ASEAN Life Vol: 2 March - May 2014 - Page 24

cover story MAE FLORES A FILIPINA AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR IN INDIA Yes, the innovation is usually there. You can hire programmers with specific skills for any project. They’re a dime a dozen. What you cannot always find are employees who can incorporate beautiful imagery and creativity dance, theater, and music in the Philippines to their left-brained programming work. And since she was three years old. When she that is what we worked ‘tooth and nail’ to immigrated to Chicago in her “tween” train our young employees to do from the years, her mother and aunt continued to beginning --- which is why this initial phase nurture her dance training. By the time turned out longer than usual.” In their start-up company, Mae Flores acting skills, Mae Flores knew that working soon found out that each day was not only in an intergenerational and intercultural different from the previous day but that atmosphere was important to her. as a COO, she was in charge of employee © alice garcia she moved to Los Angeles to develop her morale, human resources, accounting, and Then came India. Working with her “partner-in-crime,” location hunting aside from being the in- “It’s hard to teach them unless I get down on my hands and knees and physically show them, which I did. house interior designer and strategist. Marco Bartoli (the CEO), Mae Flores, shakes you to the core. Their willingness to speak their minds, she pointed out, “It’s to be enslaved in whatever way we chose “GiLUXE, a technology company that community that suited their entrepreneurial hard to teach them unless I get down on can shock anyone. It’s been quite a road but specializes in the development of early-stage needs. Enticing the best young talents in India my hands and knees and physically show we got them there. Hallelujah! We taught technology projects ranging from robotics to join their company, GiLUXE included free them, which I did. That’s quite literally what them to be independent thinkers! One of our to artificial intelligence, machine learning, living facilities on-campus. The employees we had to do with EVERYTHING --- show employees told us during a review that if he computer animation, computer-generated lived in a three-bedroom villa with three them everything from beginning to end. The were to leave the company now, he knows motion picture special effects, Internet, and bathrooms, a full kitchen, a mini-game room, right way to clean the office, how to treat that the greatest gift we ever gave him was video games. GiLUXE’s approach combines I wound emotions, and who allowed them the Chief Operations Officer, co-founded “I just know that there needs to be more of us weaving our way through this American culture, making a difference in our own ways.” The co-founders discovered a set-up similar to a Silicon Valley campus, a gated lounge, and free wifi --- with a free gym and co-workers, the right way to submit work, not the salary or the free housing --- that it is accountability, responsibility, independent the gift of vocalizing his thoughts and ideas.” thinking, and others.” n 2010, Mae Flores, a young American culture, making a difference in our own ways. internally-developed technology products clubhouse benefits in the premises. GiLUXE of Filipino ancestry, spoke before a I think we get so consumed in just surviving with outside high-potential, early-stage also hired a local housekeeper who cleaned diverse audience at a bi-annual because as a people, we are surely survivors ventures.” house, did the employees’ laundry as well as empowerment conference convened by the --- and always have been. But through that, The start-up phase that the co-founders and employees went through made them Marco and Mae believed that a three- cook the employees’ favorite regional dishes Marco and Mae worked hard a stronger, connected family that learned on other intangibles such as how to value each other. The result is a paradigms and values. high productivity level, “the most elite work National Federation of Filipino American we forget that there’s so much more to us month incubation period for their Indian since they were recruited from all over India. Associations (NaFFAA) in Burlingame, as a people. I really hope that through the employees was a realistic plan. 18 months Aside from getting home and California. “Building the next generation of arts and entertainment, although a small later, the co-founders agreed that as entertainment amenities, the employees’ “We literally had to teach them all over community advocates in an intergenerational vehicle, I can help motivate, empower and entrepreneurs, they had to learn how to commute to the office was literally a block again, back to pre-school,” Mae continued. Mae Flores, who is now back in hometown away. “We wanted them to unlearn whatever USA to work on GiLUXE’s global operations, they had initially imagined working for an summarized what she had learned in India: international company would be like.” “I feel so strong! India, the land of inequality, possible.” setting” was the conference’s theme. Mae, an inspire not only children and youth, but even adjust to the culture, the people, how people aspiring actress in Hollywood, was already single mothers in their 40s starting over, adapted to them and their work habits, The partners always arrived at their well-kno ݸ