Ep. 151 Business Process Outsourcing and the Entrepreneur, with Yoni Epstein
Hey is Johnny Dumiso. v O fire and it's the entrepreneurial you this show for dedicated and passionate Caribbean entrepreneurs seeking daily inspiration brought to you by author Speaker Speaker in Award Winning Entrepreneur Hanukkah watkiss porter. You must be prepared to ignite. We needed to risk capital capitals but our experience with local financial institutions was that they were cautious and slow to act an interest rates for far too high. We had a real concerns about financing our business through outside equity investors on the possibility of interference. Could we get a fair valuation for for our business. We had our own ideas about the business and its value. Should I go the traditional route of bank financing or should I try Jamaica cosstalk exchange so we made a call an experience. Transformation of our business through conversations John Mahfoud seal of Jamaican fantasies and we are listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Give us a call today at eight seven six nine hundred seven three two seven one to begin your transformation summation through conversation. We want to see your company listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange in two thousand fourteen. We one on account. That was should've been at that time. Our transition to the next stage of growth in our business with borrowed money. Our intern rented newspaper. We sent people to the states to train and we came back to start hiring people and about six weeks after that the the client literally went dark on US stopped responding to our emails stopped. Stopped coming on calls and started to really get worried because we obviously Thomas. He took on some expense and plan to be able to start meeting our commitments and they just walked away if you deprive yourself outsourcing and your competitor is do not. You're putting yourself out of business. Lee Kuan Yew. Hi My people form. What one how are you today? Welcome it's is episode. One hundred and fifty one of the entrepreneur. PODCAST I'm your host Annika. What Kiss Porter? Today's episode as with Yanni ABC's now the Multi Award winning Yanni is a phoning chairman and CEO at Ideal Beepu. The region's largest homegrown. Beepu Beepu with its is in four countries and a large network of at home subject matter experts around among the fifty most influential collectives for the Latin American and Caribbean region yon is efforts helped to enhance the region's global positioning while establishing igby appeals diversified geographic footprints. I'm really excited because today we are going to be talking about business. Process outsourcing and the entrepreneur. When you're welcome? Thank you very much absolutely before we diving. What's your favorite thing about Jamaica Jamaica? It's diversity don't many islands in the Caribbean. How AWAM Warm set of people that are indigenous asylum carbon islands are just a big beach whereas you know Jamaica arena. Landa would oughta water. You have the mountains. The rivers have the beach. There's so much opportunities and diverse. See here so I think we're far surpass everybody. Yeah Yeah I can see in terms of diversification on still I guess we could perhaps even segue into a business process outsourcing but not had quite yet because I wanted to get a little bit into the ten year will Yanni was like. Oh Gosh so Than I was I was I had the entrepreneurial spirit because south on my brother's Another friend that you sit up road we used to go and Take all of the the golf balls from that. They've Golfer shanked into the Bush by to us Take us to make lemonade. And it would set up a table right by the golf by the golf course Golf balls on so so so that the trump era spirit from them but the mischievous side of Around from that age either because it the kid the kid was with us he decided because he was older that time he must get a bigger share any essentially to call it a money and bullied and left so we had to set up for him and let them know that even very young that we were partners. Any Kathy see for yourself. You'll forget that we ended up at salting properly. Okay so I think you're gonNA leave that to imagination right. Yeah all right. Why did you want to be when you grow up? Actually when I was a kid I wanted to be a pilot. I can fly Adalina okay. What I'm not a pilot's license by commercial plane but but I okay awesome sauce awesome so now we are going to get into I told me PUGH and You know I have watched that company Penny from you know not really very closely but from where I sit. I get to see the amazing things that you're doing and the accomplishments and you know I remember attending ending one of those on business. Process outsourcing conferences. He was the first of. Its kind that we had was having Montego Bay Jamaica Goes regret Jamaica and I could from the look of things your company pretty much dominated the whole thing. You know Just being a partner and you you are actual A very big supports all of our those within the industry as well and for those who don't really know a love to hear what is your enemy. It's a paycheck stores for. It would be peel. So you know. I tell repeal when when we speak to a prospect of plants are are differentiate is our culture cloture as Jamaican organization. You know that Culture Rings Haute a lot greater than our competitors on grown who are also global global competitors so so we we have hung are hot very heavily on our coach. bats where extremely entrepreneurial as as owner ONA OPERATES A. I'm very much involved in the business on a day to day aspects of things. You know that that goes from managing operations to developing. I've been culture as we continue to grow most of these plants that we have are also working with some of the large players globally on one of the things. They say that they don't get that white blood level of service they're not talking to the C.. Level within those companies that they operated and we none of us are perfect. We all have our issues issues with being able to talk to the top guys and girls in the team to be able to resolve unmitigated in the future as a huge differentiator took on what separates I tell from from the wrist and of course Perhaps I need to go back. I literally because Business Process outsourcing repeal has become a buzzword you know not just in Jamaica and the region and I guess globally as well but Many persons may still not know for SOMAC- macy would be a giant gun so what essentially is business. Process outsourcing business process outsourcing is where company methods it could be anywhere in the world. US Canada south. America Europe China They essentially outsource on non on core aspect of their business so far agreements sick If you're Mrs. Is Selling Hotel rooms you're you're the core core aspect of your of Your Business is to develop Patel Rooms Provide a service while guest is on property to ensure that they have a great vacation attention and they come back. You're you're non-core aspect of business are one of them is actually receiving that phone call on making that reservation dimension for the customer a nuts business process of sourcing comes into play because we are in jurisdictions are naturally cheaper than most first controls on we will provide a cost saving. But we're also able to provide a better source of service. Because our core business is might Komo hire people manage people training them motivating them ensuring that their their Meeting your requirements in in service delivery and representing presenting your brand. That's our core business. So that's his way business outsourced business. Process outsourcing actually has come. Vote all right so you talked about the fact that you know Based on where we are geographically located we are in a bit of position where more poised you know to attract businesses international business. His will clients who want to You know perhaps the benefit of cheaper labor more affordable Labor But in terms of the AH the intangibles the attitudes and the mindset hall is are people doing as it relates to business process outsourcing Jamaicans surpass surpass everywhere in the world You know we we go up against some competitors. That have offices in the Philippines have offices in Central America offices in India on and the Jamaicans always are coming out on top. And that's his. That's his because all ultras UH Jamaica A natural culture to want to provide good service that you want to build a report on to how Accent is it is neutral but our accent is very cool everybody wants to be a Jamaican right. So so when somebody calls Somebody enough Saudi to get somebody the Philippines. It's just a accommodation that just froze from start to finish. I'm gets a business. Don't whereas a Jamaica kind of people starting to talk about you saying board Daca. What shutdown frazier to want? While Bob Marley wants to know about the mind you know all of these different things and it just it bills that report. Even when you're talking to an IRA Optimum that you're trying to resolve where it was a dispel that they the roughness from the IRA coastal because of our Jimmy. At accent in because of of our our I would say are unique in our slog to be able to provide provide services to customers all right so the impression that When you're in this industry then you're being trained on accents and and perhaps the standardize accents source? How the whole do you because sometimes you start talking to you? Call a customer service REP and and you have to get to Jamaica. Who In my mind sometimes does not sound like a Jamaican? So is that encouraged you know to kind of the gentleman is standardize accents. If you will you know I think that if you look at the history of this industry in Jimmy what ruled it started in India in the in the late eighties into the early nineties and because of very thick accent they trained in men's to try to speak English to speak America And if the Filipinos when the industry transferred there again the follow that same train because the negativity that was coming onto North America was like I don't WanNa deal the I can't understand I don't want to do this. I can't chat on the son of so there have been aspects on Israeli different by plant some plant's for Su- accent neutralization. It's Scott thank you for the Jamaicans love to news right so that is naturally it. Also almost naturally comes easy for US writes Appreciate on on all those a low you know the Claire Aspect of our Komo than and some plants demanded some implant said Look I love it. And that's a differentiator for Jamaica. Because I've never heard somebody say a cast on how a Jamaican talks back have just never heard of an and no matter which carbon atoms own from whether it is by Hamas oxygen Are Antiga are treated out. Our everyone looks at the arena. ARENA JAMAICA TO BE PRODUCTS. I'M GONNA talk about clients in a big blood Saying on our people one of any has been my experience and I see it all the time that we have one of the biggest challenges with Customer service issues. How do you train your people? to mitigate against that and to mention the standard that your company says automating it comes the few things so so firstly as I mentioned at the beginning of our discussion is culture. You Know Jamaicans love to be apart from something that is going somewhere so you have to. You have to develop a culture that's is motivating them on a date day-to-day basis after a culture. Show that is also trading him. If we if we talk about the Fox that you know I would say over eighty percent are Hieaux of Jamaicans. Don't actually GonNa Johnson On on a big percentage. Actually don't get a chance is so the To instill trading into your Cultura uh-huh you're also bettering person. So when when Jamaican see a a trajectory of that nature within your ultra they want to be Arthur Avenue. They want to be successful. So the first aspect of things is developing a culture that you want to be successful did The next aspect of things is this is from a compliance perspective. This industry is very very High on Flat so all of the phone calls are recorded bearup Arup speech analytics tools. That are telling you what the agent is to be saying versus what they're not to be saying their trainers and coaches. That are listening to those phone calls on Earth coaching developing agent so from a compliance perspective. We have to follow certain things therefore when they step out or make a mistake we have to rectify that back with garrels Contract would be in jeopardy. Are those penalties or whatever the case may be from that respective so so it's kind fellow two sides to the other compliance in the culture sector and that's how we keep people you know in in line all right. Let's get to our I tell. BPL Yanni and tell us what. When did you start and what inspired you to start? So I tell. People started in in two thousand twelve with them. Seven employs What inspired me to start is if I was to go back to when I was in college Actually when my grandma my I got from it she said that you have to get a job in order to payback doc for half of the car and if an insurance the gas and so on and so forth so I was being taught a lesson that if you want something you've got to earn it And I I got a job at a restaurant within tables and a friend of mine Autumn Stewart's whose family owned San Jose shorts said it to me. Why are you going to go work in a restaurant work reservations with us? The more money said all right so I left the restaurant than started working on the phone. MM says a call center agent in college art time selling vacations. The Sun is never going to sign those So that was my first. The Education of what a call center was all about. I can't say that that was the best call center. Agents are the most reliable call center agent that But it gave insights into the industry. And then when I when I left school I had an opportunity to come on. Oakland Air Jamaica. That was in two thousand and four so between two thousand Four and two thousand twelve when when I start is A. BPO Alvis alert. The INS and outs of the industry they know she. It was very small in Jamaica. Times but I believed in Jamaica on people because I saw what I was able to achieve working for some news Developing or call center into here so I knew that the opportunities where they're also knew that based upon the market nobody knew about Jamaica was really a leader or could be a leader in this industry. I knew that there was opportunity so when we started the business left Simul I'd reached point where again. That's not their core. Competency United reached a point where I think ad ended my tenure by achieving the goals that I wanted to achieve for them a said it was time to step out and this risks Myself a Lisa were just married a few years before that and and we had our first child on the way and we both still a big risk by And she actually was just started So we both took a big risk said you know what if not now then never so i. To Be Bill was was more story. We started with Gaza with seven people today. Today we are almost three thousand employees across five different countries. Because we've just recently announced the last are going to be opening In April of twenty twenty so when nine five countries although just over three thousand lives very very impressive. I must say back to item again. What was acquiring your first Clients unlike what was that experience. It was tough. You know the the hardest thing to overcome was that we had. We've had experience in the call center. World we had the infrastructure. We had the facility but we were not providing any service today so it is was very difficult to convince someone to take a chance at us and I felt that we started. We started in June of Twenty twenty twelve and the first account we actually started into calls on was in August of two thousand twelve and it was Was Three people and I will never forget the first check that we invoke invoiced out for was twenty seven hundred dollars equity bitter it at a time but you know we had up line. who had revacy built builds our model that we had some some cash relative sustain us as we continue to grow to business and finally find new plants a mighty Endo's by the end of that for the first year the first six months of twenty twelve? We add Read about forty five. Maybe fifty employees had three accounts that we're working with and and we're on our way EH. But through this journey the the the job is not necessarily gotten easier. And you know it's always been a boats votes you know if you only have fifty employees. How are you going to take on? Mike clamped by work of fifty employees. I'm doubling the size of your business. How is that going WANNA work? So that's always been. The biggest hurdle to overcome is instilling confidence in that. Client that no matter how many the seats they give you our jobs to provide that you can support it. Anew can sustain that growth and back today issue well suggest the issue of funding was itself. Fun Dad Did you have to raise capital externally. How how did that go? So we've we've raised capital in in in several different ways throw journey. So number one We we had I had some cash. A- die had saved up as well says we gotta alone from from Lisa's father to start a business about five months into the business Who are put up on Opportunity was put to us with a longtime friend of mine? who was all around more experience in business and he wanted to to get gene fogel twenty percent so we had done some equity financing with him and And then from there we took on Debt financing along the way but non traditionally because financing through the Food Camacho bags of have. Always been. Help Julia. And we've action. We've we have some lines of credits but we've never actually borrowed money from Russia. We've always we've always went to investment hoses Mary G Geek APODACA places like that To raise the debt financing to do whatever we were doing and then more recently We took a we took on more equity capital and unsold thirty. RT percentage of the business fifteen to pan gem investment and fifteen to Portland private equity So that was seen you know addition equity capital to continue to roll to grow the business. Now good for you good for you and as we head into a close of this conversation Yanni add to get from you. Why should entrepreneur? Consider outsourcing what stage really entrepreneurs stage businesses should consider outsourcing outsourcing their processes. So I mean it really all depends on on what's happening in business again. It goes back to the simple question is the task itself is whatever is non-core to your product or your service. You should outsource someone is GonNa do it more efficiently and cheaper than you can do it. Because it's not your core core part of the business so that that is the That would be the simple question that I would ask anybody at any size of your business give you an example of a client of ours. WHO started a business in the US? They started with two employees which a fun to employees for them and today eighteen months later we have thirty earthy employees for them because their businesses grown because they took the decision from day one to outsource the non-core aspect of of their visit. Any final thoughts feel appeal. I'd final thoughts in an entrepreneur assault near listening wondering if you should take risk the chance and do it I would say that's why not right. You know every everything in life is a risk we none of us know what they all come is going to be. None of us. Know if if it's it's going to work are not going to work. What's the one thing that you will know if you don't try it's forever going to hold you as you continue to to grow in in life and there's definitely ups and downs? It's never perfect. All those things that you see on online about being squiggly lines on all over the place On trump in today's great tomorrow's Next Day ten times harder next week is a phenomenal week and the roller coaster gets more enjoyable and more amazing as you go along on your journey so if you thinking about it that a chance if it doesn't work try again. There's always opportunities out there I I'm very mindful. I need to wrap up. There is just one question. I think I need to ask you and it is. What has been your worst entrepreneurial moment Yanni fourteen we one on account? That was should've been at that time. Our transition to the next stage of growth in our business with borrowed money. Our winton rented new space. We send people to the states to train and we came back to start hiring people and about six weeks after that declined. Collaterally went dark on us. South responding to our email stuff stopped coming on calls and decided to really get worried because we obviously took on some expense and plan to to be able to start meeting our our commitments and they just walked away so I literally jumped on a plane one day and went to Orlando where they're based to try. And you know. Be that Kenya Kit Again to make sure I got. We got our money and give us give us some stupid excuse and and we decided we were going to sue them and then they wanted to culture sue US and one day I woke up and said you know we don't have been wanting to fight so I'm either going to sink the business fighting lists or I'm going to suck it up. Lose a ton of money and figuring my way out of it and that was a decision that I took. That was the best decision that I that I made at the time. Suck it up and lose a ton of money I can relate to that I mean there's always a way out there's always a we absolutely woodley an immediate very small way depends on how you look at it perspective. Everything had to do that too. I was being sued because somebody Komo was infringing on their copyright the trademark whatever. But that's another story and eventually settled not out of guilt but oats of peace of mind than you know what it just just just calling today and and move right on and that's the nature of the beast you know To Be Celery and entrepreneurship is can be convert exciting in great journey but also wanted his very dark and lonely and I know that all too well so congrats on all the you know being able to accomplish with your team. I know it's not on you. Know a solar influence. You have an amazing team marrone. You know adults and you're doing quite well and I want to say Congress next to you. How big up to Lisa an amazing person as well so yeah I'm going to ask you know if you can just Share with me. How our community negative touch review and then we just right here sure nor is so My email is Yanni dot obscene at heal dot com office number eight seven six six nine five three six nine seven I tell. BPO SMART solutions on instagram. And I will be on facebook three three out. Thank you thank you Epstein now might be performing thank you for tuning into into this episode with the Nafta certainly look forward to connecting Libya next week. In the meantime get access to my membership Kouroum for a one time payment of their. US Dallas thirty dollars this consists of eighteen CNN for centrifuges experts from four countries over four days where they dropped significantly nickens bombs at an entrepreneur U. S. conference giving this the content and not only because the media's awfully but because the support this show and support glow dot com stashed away or on the show notes of your favorite card. Remember how you were born to win to be a winner. You must expect it all good.