Featured Company: Outsource Accelerator [transcript] [audio]

Guest: Derek Gallimore

Presenter: Henry Acosta

Guest Bio: Derek Gallimore is as passionate about outsourcing as he is for business and entrepreneurialism. He started his first business venture at the tender age of 17, when he becomes a self-employed personal trainer. He quickly graduated from this field and moved into other forms of business including property development, standard commerce and online business. Derek believes that every business owner should be fully aware, and utilise this incredible opportunity. In response to general lack of information, he has founded Outsource Accelerator. Outsource Accelerator is the world’s foremost independent and unbiased source of outsourcing information advisory and education.

Segment overview: Outsourcing is a fantastic advancement for all. The concept of developed countries sourcing cheaper back-end services and manufacturing from developing countries has been happening in some form or another for many decades. It offers a huge benefit to the developing countries which it employees and provides a great economic boon for the developed countries which utilise it. Outsource Accelerator is becoming the world’s most authoritative resource for outsourcing and offshoring, specifically to the Philippines. It aims to inform, educate, and encourage people to outsource their business processes to support business growth. Outsource Accelerator is not an outsourcing or a BPO company, it provides the information that people need to help them in their outsourcing journey through blogs and podcasts.

Website: www.outsourceaccelerator.com

To know more about Outsource Accelerator, listen to the podcast below.

The interview will start at the 1:45 mark of the podcast:

Transcript of Interview

Henry Acosta:  Hi, you are listening to the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast and I’m Henry Acosta. Our guest today is Derek Gallimore of Outsource Accelerator. Derek is the Founder of Outsource Accelerator and he is joining us today to talk about his company, what they do and who they are. Thanks for coming on the show Derek.

Derek Gallimore:  Hi Henry, I’m really excited to be here.

Henry:  Derek, thanks for coming. And can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you got started and involved with the BPO industry?

Derek:  Sure. I’d love to. So I’ve been a business, generally like a full range of businesses for about 20 years. I’m an entrepreneur at hat and it was about 7 years ago, I started outsourcing to the Philippines. That was one of my biggest ‘Aha Moments’ in terms of business where someone recommended that I try sourcing, staffing overseas in a cheaper environment. And at that time, I needed 24/7 customer service support for my company based in London and that just wasn’t economically viable from the UK. So I looked into outsourcing to the Philippines and as I said, it was my ‘Aha Moment’ and with one start quickly, went to three start got 24/7 cover and it was just incredible. So from that point then, I ended up building an entire office. In the Philippines, I had about 17 staff in the Philippines and effectively, all my split, the pyramid upside down, this is over a number of years of course. But it basically determine upside down where we had the vast majority of the company’s’ team in the Philippines running the UK company. So that was super exciting. So how do I get here with Outsource Accelerator, I have an office here for about 6, 7 years. I have personally been living in the Philippines for about 4 years now. And I’m just addicted to this outsourcing thing and I really want to spread the gospel and spread the word of how transform to the outsourcing for people’s businesses. So I started Outsource Accelerator in response to that need and basically, it’s all about informing people, getting people aware of outsourcing and then helping them down that part if it’s suitable for them and in their business.

Henry:  Yes and to be honest, when I hear Outsource Accelerator, I only get a small idea of what you guys do. I’m not exactly sure what it is but can you tell us what you guys do and what you guys do for your clients?

Derek:  Yes absolutely. So Outsource Accelerator is a little bit different and that we are a consultancy. But more than where vast becoming the world’s most authoritative resource for outsourcing and offshoring specifically to the Philippines. So it is our ambition to be at these mend people interested into outsourcing as possible. So we remain fully independent. We aren’t a BPO or an outsourcer. We are just basically providing the information that people need to help them on their outsourcing journey. We provide a huge amount of free information on the website. We actually have our own podcast which is Outsource Accelerator podcast. We have huge amount of guides and blog articles and infographics and basically, we are just providing these much information to get people on that outsourcing journey as possible. And then also, people want to take the step further or they want to fast back their outsourcing and implementation, then moving also of a consultancy package. So that’s what we do at Outsource Accelerator.

Henry:  It sounds like you guys do a lot of interesting work that helps a lot of people in their businesses. It’s great having of that little podcast here on the show with is today.

Derek:  Yes. Tell me about this. It’s an amazing world.

Henry:  I’ve actually read on your profile online that you’ve been at different parts of the world like around Asia, is that correct?

Derek:  Yes absolutely. So I was not ashamed and really quickly born in the UK, I was raised in New Zealand. But then when I was 18, I moved to Sydney in Australia and then I pretty much went back to London. When I was 20, I lived in London, I’ve built a company there. And then I moved back to Sydney and I was effective running a UK company with a Philippine office and I was sitting in Sydney. So I’m used to remote working, I’m used to remote teams. And a result of that, I really have a mindset of  this 7 billion people on this planet and many of them are owning under a dollar a day. So I’m looking at using the planet’s resources, the best employees, the best skills I could find anywhere on the planet. And that is exactly what outsourcing harness is. Because most people have the mindset of basically recruiting the best staff they have within their hometown and that really limit things. So yes, I’ve travelled extensively and I’ve kind of based in Manila now and I spend part of my time in London. So the world is becoming one place since it’s really quite incredible how fast and it’s changing.

Henry:  You can actually say that the world is a smaller place because of the technology as well. I was going to ask and I feel like the Philippines kind of choice to you and the reason for that is there are countless countries that offer BPO services just like the Philippines. I’m sure you see it in your travels. But what made you end up choosing the Philippines as the place to go to?

Derek:  It’s a great question. Prior to outsourcing my team to the Philippines, I tried India, I tried the bookkeeper in India. And nothing against India, it just didn’t work so well. To give people a bit of a background into outsourcing, outsourcing is only about 20, 25 years old now and it was basically in enable because of the cheaper technology and then eventually the internet which basically enabled cross country work to be produced. And as technology got cheaper and there’s the internet got faster and bigger band with more and more functions could be done. And so the Philippines and India basically where the beginning of outsourcing. And so with that, you have this huge amount of experience in these two countries. And they’re effectively, I call the Philippines basically like the Switzerland, ‘The Banking for Outsourcing’. Okay, you get the best of the best in the Philippines and they have 25 years of executively experience the banking up. Now why do I choose the Philippines? Significantly, I think Philippines has a huge advantage of any other outsourcing nation and even India. The key reasons for that, they are super culturally aligned with Western culture. The better or worst, colonized by Spain 500 years ago. That brought … into the Philippines and again, not getting religious or political but basically effective for creation of culture alignment with the West that none other of the countries certainly in Southeast Asia, or Asia or India have. Alongside that, there’s also an incredible level of English here right down to the sort of political workers and taxi drivers and also the Philippines has about one-third of the population is 20 years of age or younger so there’s a very vibrant beautiful population. And as people realize now and certainly it’s happening here, people been used being bread on a diet of YouTube, and internet media, and popular media and all of this is very internationalized, specifically Americanized. And especially the younger people, they’re super, super culturally aligned to the U.S. or certain Western culture which means that it’s just a fantastic culture that defined really well and really well educated here in the Philippines that are super, super motivated to do well and build their careers.

Henry:  The guess I have in the past and the people who are outsourcing here that have talked to you actually they’re really shocked by how good the English is out here and they’re really surprised by how good and competent the workforce is that the Philippines can provide.

Derek:  Yes, it is. It’s really amazing. Basic outsourcing is popping up in every developing country where it cost lower. Then there’s a reason for outsourcing should and could have in there. But the reality is that the Philippines has a 20, 25 year ahead start on all of those countries. So if you’re looking for sort of higher complexity outsourcing or the more comprehensive BPO which is Business Process Outsourcing, then you are not only buying into outsourcing but you’re buying into that 25 years of operational experience of the Philippines has. So again, it’s like the Switzerland or banking for outsourcing. But then also, the Philippines is quite unique in terms of its culture alignment and the adoption of English is almost native tongue English now and certainly has more and more with the younger kids. So yes, I think a huge opportunity.

Henry:  I’ve actually noticed that some little kids, they grew up speaking English really well. For some reason, some people and their families, some kids grew up talking with English as their first language.

Derek:  Yes. It’s amazing. And again, this is the whole concept that I want to get through the people that they really need to embrace outsourcing because it is happening. Because technology is breaking down the relevance of geographical distance and it’s breaking down the relevance of orders. And people now don’t learn how to be a good coder, or developer, or whatever social media manager. At university, they learn all of that online. So you’re going to get the same person seating in Manila, Philippines as your arm in Silicon Valley. At 13 years of age, they’re all going to be looking at the same old posts, they’re going to be looking at the same YouTube tutorials, they’re going to be speaking English to the same proficiency but the average salary here in the Philippines is $300 a month or $70 for the blue collar workers and the average salary in Silicon Valley is about $6,000 a month. So what you’re getting is a leveling of the plain field because now, more and more you have exactly the same skill, access to skill levels you doing the Philippines because people are able to self-educate and yet the living expenses and basically the cost of doing business in the Philippines is so, so much cheaper. So I’m really excited for the Philippines because basically it levels the plain field and like no other parliament history, it gives people the opportunity to earn money based on meritocracy, based on their skills as opposed to the luxury of where they will form, or where they’re sitting, or what university they went to. So it’s super exciting and a huge option too for the Philippines but also huge option too for employers that are sitting in whatever the West in a high cost place and they want to grow their business, they want to build the skill-based of their employees that they can afford the $10,000 a month they cost a higher developer in whatever city they’re sitting in so super exciting.

Henry:  We’ve been talking so much about the advantages of outsourcing here in the Philippines and how it’s so great. But, we did want to keep things in perspective. Can we talk about what these advantages are the costs with outsourcing here in the Philippines?

Derek:  Absolutely. So I’m happy to talk about the disadvantages and they cannot be look over. Outsourcing is not a magic bullet. It does have its own issues. And the reality is you own the phase of it, you can save about 70%, 80% even on your staffing costs. But there is extra friction in there. And the reality is you have a remote team, if you’re outsourcing to the Philippines and there is a friction in that. Our culture differences that you need to be aware of and used and sort of accommodate those and then use them to your advantage. Again, this is a point of friction. So if we’re clear about this, if the costs were the same, then the ideal would be to have your team sitting in your office from your hometown, in your hometown, that would be the ideal. But the reality is when you can save 70%, 80% then it means that it opens up a huge amount of other opportunities. When you can save such money, there are other these points of friction and that is the fact that they’ll remote, so you’ll already have a relationship over Skype or email, there are cultural differences that you have to learn to navigate these things and things that have built a little bit differently in the Philippines who don’t get that the same level of efficiency. But again, we’ve packed to all of these into the pricing and then ultimately, you’re looking for a net gain and that is what … as part it to do when outsourcing because that sounds a reason why it just quite. So the next gain should hopefully be a cost-saving of 30% to 50%. And again, I don’t want to just open at a month, but the really exciting is it’s not just about saving cost. It’s about the potential you can do when you take outsourcing to it’s fullest. So it’s not just about getting the same … cheaper but when you have access to cheaper resources and skilled resources and affordable price, then you can start asking yourself, ‘What else can I do? Can I build new products? Can I do extra research? Can I build new marketplaces?’ And you literally have an army working for you that your competitors don’t and that army then creates the basis on your strategic competitive … So sure, come start outsourcing to save money that the real exciting bit is when you’re building up your team and you see that you can harness a huge amount more strategic … and competitive with … The net result is benefit but there are disadvantages definitely. And again, that’s why if I could blow the jump about Outsource Accelerator. It’s good to get a little bit of orientation for us so that you are helped into great outsourcing into your business.

Henry:  Exactly the reason why people should listen to our podcast and actually consult with you guys, Outsource Accelerator.

Derek:  Absolutely yes. Because I mean you Henry probably aware of yourself that outsourcing is a huge thing in the Philippines. It’s a big, big employer and people that work in the outsourcing industry, they go from outsourcing job to outsourcing job. So when you get a new client, it’s nothing new to you. But typically, when someone starts outsourcing so someone comes from the West and they begin outsourcing, it’s all new to them. And the … is that it’s actually the business owner, the skill guide, you might be super wealthy, super successful, super profitable in this home country. But when you comes and starts outsourcing, you’re actually the student and you goes through this learning process, you’re actually and so it takes a little bit approaching, a little bit of education so that they don’t the same mistakes … does and so that they don’t have to grow in pains that everyone is commonly does. So ironically, it takes a little bit of training, the training if you will and that’s one of the services that we certainly can help with,

Henry:  I have actually noticed that when people outsource here and when it does actually get poly utilized properly or when it gets used to its full potential. A lot of them bring out their employees to their main headquarters wherever they are from – that could be from the U.S., UK or Australia. And it’s amazing how much they start, how much care they start putting out here and to their employees all the way out here in the Philippines. And it create sort of, I don’t really want to say family-environment but it’s sort of a culture that is leading towards something like that.

Derek:  Yes it’s incredible. I mean I would take the step further and say it’s a bit like smoking … You get people and this is a cycle that I kind of tell people happens in their life. First of all, people are scared of the Philippines. It’s a country a long way, they just hear about the bad news, bad media, they think that outsourcing might be like sweat shops and stuff like this, these ethical concerns. And then eventually, they might start outsourcing their accounting or get one bookkeeper. They find that that’s okay, they might get one or two people or a part time person to help with their customer service. They find that that works out for right. But then, they have the bug. So then they hopefully, if you can get them over here, they come over here, they see how fantastic people are, how incredible the facilities are and how big the opportunities are. Then they build the team and then they want more and more people. And it becomes almost like this fascination with the opportunities that outsourcing present. And then, they started with one person and in quite often, they can have bigger teams in the Philippines and they do in their home countries which I find absolutely incredible and that’s exactly the journey that I want to just help people start because I know that it’s an amazing journey once you started. And then if you …a longer journey very commonly, you see people in BPOs with 20, 30, 40 staff and then the next stage is that they want to go out on their own, they want to incorporate and then often, they think that they can start their own BPO, why not have a few extra seats that they offer to them, business friends. This is a very sort of common part that we have see and I’m sure you’ll see that as well. And to me, the biggest hurdle is actually just getting past that fear, you know Philippines is a scary different place, it’s not. And just getting them, for getting that journey so that’s where Outsource Accelerator is involved. One of the things as well, if I can just tell about this. One of the disadvantages of outsourcing is again, people’s expectations of outsourcing. There are unfortunate cases where people hire someone and they don’t work out. And this is very common whether it’s in your hometown or outsource in the Philippines. And it doesn’t work out, then not great people or maybe they didn’t have a lot of great direction at the start. And then it becomes a disaster and my concern then is that people then brand outsourcing or the Filipino or Filipino workforce as a disaster. And this is the biggest sadness, I see is that they’ve tried it once, they have one person that didn’t worked out and maybe didn’t best in our time up front in training the people and it didn’t workout for the whole thing as a waste of time and it’s terrible. And so again, this is where it’s important to set expectations and to set them on the right process and to say, ‘Look, invest them at the time up front. Invest in this person and do it right’. And it will work out and that’s why there are different things to consider so you have to plan this properly. And the risk is otherwise, just sometimes it doesn’t work out and also some staff don’t work out but don’t then just right off the entire 110 million people seating in the Philippines don’t right off the entire construct of outsourcing because it really is this incredible opportunity that can transform every business out there. It’s super incredible.

Henry:  I agree and once it works for one staff, it creates a huge snowball effect.

Derek:  Absolutely. And the same thing is people kind of … for all of this and they’ve worried about how it’s going to transform jobs and Outsource Accelerator now is actually writing a white paper about why outsourcing is win-win or everyone involved. So you can get our website and look for that. But specifically, one of the reality is that outsourcing is inevitable. Just like the development of cars compare to the horse and carriage, you cannot stop it and because technology is breaking down borders, outsourcing is happening, So there is a huge opportunity to harness the best skills in the 7 billion people that are on this planet. There’s a huge opportunity for you as a business owner and the reality is that if you don’t do it, if you don’t harness this, then your competitors will and this is an inevitable thing where eventually every business will be outsourcing part of their staffing. So again, I encourage people to embrace it, start it, lead and get on this outsourcing bandwagon.

Henry:  With your experience, what’s usually the tipping point when a businessman seriously starts considering outsourcing for their business?

Derek:  That’s a good question. When outsourcing started, 25 years ago, it was only the big conglomerates that did it, it was like IBM, and it was Dell. These huge companies and it’s just like when Hedgefonds started, it was only the billionaires that could access it and it’s only the big conglomerates that have Swiss banking. But now, outsourcing has developed and there are more and more access points for the SMEs but also startups. So I encourage everyone, 25 years ago, it was only viable if you had maybe 5,000 staffs seating in the U.S. because it was a lot of costly infrastructure and investment to set this thing up. Now, like hiring service and building a website, everything is so, so cheap and you can start outsourcing with one staff member or even half a staff member like FTE. I would suggest if you are solopreneur or a starter, then look at outsourcing right now because you want to set your business up in the right way, right from the start because if you … into, you’ve got 20 employees and then you’ve built through an outsourcing model, you’re having to rebuild things. So I would suggest that outsourcing now is right for any business. And of course, there’s a whole … for our work quick thing which popularized outsourcing to a degree where the first thing you can do or should do and when you’re a solopreneur or an entrepreneur just starting up. Get a virtual assistant over in the Philippines or anywhere that can help you and leverage your value time and value creation time to make you more efficient. So there’s basically, in short you should start now.

Henry:  For sure. I’m sure at this point, a lot of our listeners would be interested in reaching out to you and even talking to you so they can know more about the Philippines and the benefits of outsourcing. Can you tell us what’s the best way for them to be able to that?

Derek:  Absolutely. So we open 95% of our content for free and we have a podcast which is Outsource Accelerator podcast, got to have listen to that. Our website is outsourceaccelerator.com. There’s huge amount of resources there. People can email me directly which is [email protected]m and just get in touch. As I said, I’m happy to have a chat with people. We do also offer the world’s best consulting package that again, all the information is on the website. But there’s a huge amount of free resource and I just encourage people to take a look at that.

Henry:  That sounds great. And thank you so much for getting on the show Derek. I really appreciate it. It was great having you on.

Derek:  Fantastic Henry. It’s been a blast. Thanks.

Henry:  And that was Derek Gallimore, the Founder of Outsource Accelerator. We just finished talking about the BPO industry here in the Philippines and why it’s so great, the pros and cons of outsourcing here in the Philippines. And if you’d like to know more about Outsource Accelerator, you can visit them at www.outsourceaccelerator.com. And if you like to know more about the companies that are involved in the BPO industry here in the Philippines, you can visit us on our website at www.offshoring.com.ph. Transcripts and audio files are all up on there too. So if you’ve missed anything, you can just go back and read the transcripts. This is the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast and I am Henry Acosta. Thank you so much for listening.