Latina entrepreneur Silvina Rodriguez Picaro transformed an external crisis into a business opportunity for her marketing communications company. She is the founder of the well-established, award-winning marketing communications agency, SRP Communications & Brand Design, SRP Interactive, and SRP Health Care Communication. Her company has offices in both Miami and Buenos Aires, and serves a variety of clients from startups to global corporations.
At SRP, their theme is: we understand; we create; we connect; we deliver results. Silvina is dedicated to her clients and passionate about helping them expand their businesses to the next level through marketing communications. Her motto in business and in life is “Let’s make it happen!” and that’s exactly what she does.
Her career in the corporate world began when she was just 17 years old. She then earned her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and graduated as Valedictorian of her class at the age of twenty.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, it was inevitable that she too would eventually start her own venture. First Silvina worked for various companies, establishing herself in the world of marketing. After graduating college, she moved to São Paulo, Brazil where she worked for a renowned design company, learned a lot, and made good friends. When the “Collor de Mello’s Crisis” happened in Brazil, Silvina was forced to return to Buenos Aires as it was too difficult for her to live as an immigrant woman in the expensive city of São Paulo.
In Buenos Aires, she continued to work for various companies, including a prestigious newspaper. This position is what lead to the start of her company. She performed very well in her role and the company rewarded her with a raise and a promotion. It was at this moment that Silvina saw the future stretched out before her.
Following the family path of entrepreneurship
“I decided that taking that path would lead me to be an employee in the corporate world,” she explains. “Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, that was something that just wasn’t in my DNA.”
Silvina stuck by her motto– “Let’s make it happen!”– and turned her entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. She went back to school and earned her Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications and then a Marketing MBA. From there she grew her business as the Argentinian market opened its economy to the world and her company was able to gain international clients such as Unisys, BASF, KPMG, and Liberty Mutual. Additionally her previous employers became her clients as well.
Silvina continued through tough challenges and obstacles such as the Argentinean crisis in 2001 which Silvina describes as “the most significant challenge I faced as a business owner.” During the crisis, the economy was crippled and many of Silvina’s clients owed money which was unlikely to be collected. This lead to the devaluation of the company’s assets and business levels dropped.
“Looking back on it, I feel that we acted like the well-known business story of the frogs in the milk bucket,” says Silvina. “We kept on paddling tirelessly until we sensed something hard below our feet. Having converted the milk into butter, we jumped out of the bucket.”
Silvina and her team stuck to her can-do motto and turned around the situation. They worked tirelessly and pursued all options in search of a solution. For clients who could not afford them, they swapped products and services. It was a “win-win” situation that allowed everyone to continue doing business together. Those products and services were then shared with the company’s employees who now could enjoy restaurants, entertainment, clothes, groceries, and more as company “benefits.”
“I think, at this point, we had the happiest employees in the country, while most of our competitors just disappeared!” says Silvina.
As they continued to succeed and grow as a company, they were able to establish a location in Miami in 2002 and become the international Marketing Communications Agency SRP is today.
What it takes to build a successful company
Building such a successful company requires a strong support system. Silvina cites her family as her source of strength. Her parents and sister are all entrepreneurs themselves and her husband is her business partner, an incredible leader, and overall her best friend. Her teenage daughter, Kayla, also inspires her everyday. “She is my link to the GenZ’s, a more aware generation. She helps me understand things in a different dimension.”
Alongside her family, her friends are also incredibly important. Having kept friends since kindergarten and constantly making new ones, Silvina has created a huge network of supportive people.
“This incredible network of friends spread all over the world are…an invaluable source of help and life advice when I need it.”
When asked to give some advice of her own to other aspiring Latinas, Silvina stresses a strong network and self-motivation–that can-do attitude of “Let’s make it happen!”
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“Don’t wait for the perfect timing,” she says, “you need to create it! Motivate yourself; there is nothing so powerful as your inner energy. Create your network, build a team you can rely on and always keep moving forward in the direction of your goals.”
As Silvina’s journey demonstrates, all things are possible, even in the face of hard obstacles success can be achieved through persistence, innovation, and hard work.