The hustle of a BPO marketplace
Last updated December 6, 2019
I was interviewed by Ron Baetiong of the popular Philippine Hustleshare podcast – this is a repost of the episode that aired a couple of weeks ago. Hustleshare is a podcast about startups in the Philippine economy and I’m super excited to have been invited on his podcast.
We discuss my ups and downs in business, my entire background in business and entrepreneurship and then we get onto outsourcing and Outsource Accelerator. It’s a really good podcast and I hope you enjoy this too.
Derek Gallimore: Welcome to the Outsource Accelerator podcast. This is a short format podcast where we explore business and outsourcing mastery. My name is Derek Gallimore and I am really excited to bring you the leading podcast in outsourcing.
Derek Gallimore: Hi and welcome back everybody. This is episode number 243. Today I am being interviewed by Ron Baetiong of the Hustleshare podcast. So this is a repost of his podcast that aired a couple of weeks ago. Now. Hustleshare is a podcast about startups in the Philippine economy. And so I’m super excited to be invited on his podcast and, we discuss obviously my ups and downs in business, my entire background in business and entrepreneurship. And then of course we get onto outsourcing and Outsource Accelerator. So it’s a really good podcast. certainly I enjoyed the process and I hope you will enjoy something too. And of course learn about the outsourcing environment and community that we’re in here in the Philippines. So enjoy if you want any of the show notes then go to outsourceaccelerator.com/243.
Derek Gallimore: The next wave of outsourcing is for the small and medium size businesses. And they are, they’re hustlers, they’re scrappy, they’re startups like us. and you cannot automate a start up because it’s, it’s figuring out its own way as it goes.
Hustleshare: Welcome to Hustleshare, the podcast that features the daily grind if you need customers around the world to show not our differences, but that our hustles are very much alike. Now here’s your host Ron Baetiong.
Ron Baetiong: Welcome to episode 25 of the Hustleshare podcast. My name is Ron and I’m your host. This episode is brought to you by payrollhero, a time attendance, scheduling, HR and payroll solution for Philippine companies. If you are new to this podcast, welcome to the show Hustleshare are podcasts that lets you learn from other hustlers by listening to them and the way we do that is we dissect every single thing we do on our journeys and our grind and everything else in between. And we veer away from the humble brag. So we do on social media, but I’d like to give you a heads up because we use adult language in here, so there’s a lot of expletives.
Ron Baetiong: Please make sure that there’s no kids around. Now this episode is very interesting because we’re going to highlight our biggest industry, which is the BPO sector and to discuss that. We will have Mr Derek Gallimore, the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator to discuss the hustle of the BPO marketplace. Now Derek’s going to be sharing a lot of insights with us on what he thinks is the opportunity for a lot of the BPO companies that they can take advantage of considering that what he thinks is that there’s a next wave of BPO outsourcing that’s going to happen in this industry and he’s also going to discuss why a marketplace or a BPO marketplace is vital to bridging that gap of businesses in the West and having the BPO boom here in the Philippines. Other than that is also going to be sharing a lot of his personal tips on how he bounced back from a failed business and the learnings he learned from that experience. And lastly, the Derek is also going to be sharing what he thinks is the future for the BPO industry and many more. So if you’re ready to learn the hustle of a BPO marketplace, let’s begin this episode right now.
Ron Baetiong: Welcome to the latest episode of the Hustleshare podcast. We are back after the elections, the rebel has now set in. And guess what guys, we gotta grind again because whatever happened in that election still mean shit. If you don’t hustle. And today’s guest is all about that word hustle. And we’re going to be talking to Derek Gallimore of Outsource Accelerator. Derek, welcome to the show.
Derek Gallimore: Hey Ron, how are you?
Ron Baetiong: I’m good. Thank you for having a thank you for having the time to drop by the, we call it the Hustkeshare studios, but to be honest, it’s just chatbot.ph conference room.
New Speaker: Yeah, for sure.
Ron Baetiong: So again, Derek, I always ask this from, from our guests and whatnot.
Ron Baetiong: What’s your hustle?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, so I am leading the outsourcing market, bringing a marketplace to Philippines outsourcing. So I am all about outsourcing and promoting Philippines to the world.
Ron Baetiong: Okay. When you say about when you say outsourcing, that can be a very broad spectrum and let’s call a spade a spade. The biggest industry that this country, a country has is the BPO industry, which is business process outsourcing. What about outsourcing is a, what about outsourcing that’s really enticing for you and why did you start in this career?
Derek Gallimore: Yep. Well that’s, that’s exactly why I’m going after this industry and helping support promote this industry because it is the single biggest industry in the Philippines. It’s 11% of the GDP, employs 1.2 million people, and it’s about 24 billion in revenues. but it’s, there’s no aggregator platform for this sector, unlike almost any sector, in the world. and I believe that this, the outsourcing can be better promoted if there’s an aggregator platform to help businesses in the west learn about outsourcing.
Ron Baetiong: Absolutely. And, there’s, there’s, there’s little, knowledge about it. I mean, from, from, from, from a personal standpoint, there’s, there’s also, aside from the outsourcing market, there’s also the freelance market, right? That I personally, myself was a freelancer at one point when I first started chatbots.Ph, the thing that paid the bills for me because I couldn’t afford to pay myself salary was freelancing. But before that, Derek, let’s ride. It’s, I haven’t said this in a while. Let’s write the hustler shared time machine. So shout out to those people who would want to see. By the way, very soon we’ll be having a hustleshare swag and real, you’ll now see what the fuck the hustleshare time machine looks like alot of tee shirts. But Derek, how did you start your career? And I just wanna know your, you’re originally from where,
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Derek Gallimore: yeah, so I mean, my story, I was born in the UK but raised in New Zealand and then as an adult I lived in Sydney and also London and now here. So I’m used to moving around a little bit.
Ron Baetiong: Any territory basically the Queen has.
Derek Gallimore: For sure. Yeah. Apart from Manila.
Ron Baetiong: Okay. But from that point, what was your first four – eighth year career? So you guys, I’m checking, I’m literally reading your linkedin right now.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean I’ve been in business about 20 years. I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I got into property in Central London when I was about 24 and that I built a, service apartment company bootstrap that, built that to about 20 million revenues. And that’s the reason why I came over to the Philippines because we needed a 24/7 service center to support, the hospitality industry that I’d built.
Ron Baetiong: Did you build a call center from get-go or did you hire a call center or what not
Derek Gallimore: so we were using a BPO and we built our own team and then eventually with about 50 staff, we went captive and built that up to about 70, 80 staff here in Manila.
Ron Baetiong: What happened to that startup? I mean to that, that BPO.
Derek Gallimore: We actually, we closed that down because of a lot of margin compression. So that was a, yeah, that was certainly part of my entrepreneurial journey, part of the entrepreneurial roller coaster. but, and, but because of my experiences in that, super valuable and it led me towards this next, endeavor, which is the outsourcing market place.
Ron Baetiong: So walk us through Outsource Accelerator. All right. So you mentioned earlier that, you know, there’s a big gap over discovering all this talent and also matching it with the, with the proper companies and whatnot. What, what, what’s the problem aside from that, that, that Outsource Accelerator is doing, cause you’re a, you’re seeing here on your linkedin that you’re a save 70% on staff costs, transform your business and outperform the competition. What are the costs of a business without the proper outsourcing? I mean, from a, from a western point of view.
Derek Gallimore: We’ll look, I think it business in the West should outsource hands down. It is one of the most powerful tools in business today. Yet, only about half a percent of the businesses of small and medium sized businesses and the West outsource. And the reason why they don’t is because they don’t have awareness of outsourcing. And if they are aware of it, they don’t quite know how it works. Now there’s of course the Tim Ferriss freelance to kind of model. but I encourage businesses to explore more permanent type of outsourcing, which is I believe, you know, higher quality, more reliable and also may be suitable for the, for the slightly bigger businesses.
Ron Baetiong: Got It. Now, in terms of getting an outsourcing company to work with you, what, without you guys, how was that experience for you looking for that? Were you scratching [inaudible] and apply? Of course we’re privileged because we have a network, right? If you’re an SME in the west, of course, again, natural progression, you’re going to Google and whatnot. Now with, with that, without you guys, how would, how difficult is it for them to get the proper company to work with?
Hustleshare: Yeah, well that’s exactly it, Ron. I am amazed that this industry, this is one of the only industries in the world where the suppliers are in one country and the, and the consumers are in another country and there is currently no marketplace to help those consumers learn about and explore outsourcing. So it is really hard. You know, you just type in outsourcing into Google and then you’re presented with individual BPO’s and are of course going to sell their own product. So we came out with a marketplace, it’s a little bit like a Trip Advisor for outsourcing, to help people, search and explore and read and compare and review, BPO suppliers here.
Ron Baetiong: Now, on the BPO side, I mean the, the supply side, right? how do you vet them? Because there’s a zillion of them out here. Yeah, right.
Derek Gallimore: There’s about 800 hundred, I reckon.
Ron Baetiong: Wow. And these are just the bigger ones. They’re smaller or whatever ones that they’re not, they’re like flying under the radar, right. In stuff mode and whatnot. How do you vet which ones are worthy to work with?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean we, we obviously do a verification process. We’d list about 700 outsourcing suppliers on our website website. It’s by far the most comprehensive listing out there. we also, share information with IBPAP and the associations, right. And then, so we have at three stage verification process. We have, we try and list as many BPOs as we can. and then there’s also Source pro and Source partner to [inaudible].
Ron Baetiong: You mentioned the three step verification process process. Can you share with us what those process, cause again I can just say, hey, I have a chatbot business. You’re technically all sourcing because we have offshore accounts, but that, does that count? What are those three things that you look for in a business? I mean BPO.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, no, it’s a, it’s a fantastic question because the, the issue that you suggest that all of the consumers in the West have faced by the same thing. They’re like, can we trust this? You know, it’s just a website, you know, and they never going to come over here to visit or likely not. so yeah, we use a number of methods now. There’s a lot of opacity in the industry. We obviously get people to tell us how many seats they have. We look at their website, we look at the quality of the business. We look to see whether they’ve registered here. of course we, we list a lot more than that, but once they’re verified, then then we can verify their group.
Ron Baetiong: Okay. So now walk me through the process of with Outsource Accelerator, right. And I’ve gone to your, to your website and whatnot. How did, how easy is it now and where, where, how do you guys enable me as a business owner to get that? What’s the process like?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, it’s really, it’s really just a place to go to hang out. I mean, we provide about 5,000 pages of content. We’ve got about 4,000 articles. We’ve got hundreds of videos. We actually have a podcast as well. So we’ve got 230 episodes on there.
Derek Gallimore: Well, we just provided as much as well, you know, it’s very industry specific so that it’s a,
Ron Baetiong: So what’s it called? It’s just shoutout we’ll put it in the show notes
Derek Gallimore: Is called the Outsource Accelerator podcast
Ron Baetiong: Outsource Accelerator podcast Wow. This is the first time, to be honest, that I’ve encountered someone that would have a podcast on the hustleshare five times this month on that one. That’s awesome.
Derek Gallimore: So yeah, we were just trying to provide a huge amount of information for people so that they can make the best decision possible. And we want to make browsing, discovery, exploration and then also engagement easy for clients.
Ron Baetiong: Got It. Now after you’ve chosen say one or two do you short list or you pick one like add to cart and reg of course there’s gotta be something for you, right. As the middleman there. Right. I mean without delving too much, what’s in it for you to, in your business model to get the start and how can you prevent other Accelerators or whatever to easily replicate?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So the, the, the complexity with the service marketplace is that services are complex. You know, their, their ongoing, they’re high value, they are not finite. It’s not like buying book on Amazon where you know what you’re getting. So there is a lot of complexity there and I think that’s why a marketplace has never been built before, but this is holding the entire industry bank. If we simplify it for the consumers and make it easier for them to navigate, then there’s going to be a lot more engagement. And I believe that there’ll be another 30 million jobs being outsourced in the next 15 to 20 years. It’s going to go big. It’s going to go really big. There’s going to be a tipping point. So there’s only million, 1.2 million employed now. and I believe that’ll 30 x over the next 20 years in terms of small and medium sizes, size businesses outsourcing.
Ron Baetiong: That is crazy.
Derek Gallimore: It’s huge.
Ron Baetiong: Yeah. And again, I think I’ve said it in a couple of episodes already. I always tip my hat to the outsourcing of the BPO industry because I started there. That’s my first job I’ve ever, the reason I speak this way is because I had to learn how to speak English this way. And I went through going through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of calls. I eventually perfected it to the point that I sound natural already, but I did not sound like this. I sound like this just sat and wasn’t that. Oh, what, what, what, what? That’s, that’s how it is. But as a, as an edge, people that went through here, I’ve, I’ve known so many guys that started out the call center and there’s no shame in it to be honest. we, we, we, we started out there, but we’re now killing it in whatever we’re doing on the outside now.
Ron Baetiong: Derek, let’s take a quick break and when we come back, I want to do a deep dive now on the BPO industry and, and why let’s look at both sides of the market because it’s all not, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, right? There’s always deep shit in it. And I want to talk to you about that based on your experience and whatnot, to talk about the nitty gritty of BPO and, and outsourcing and whatnot. More of that after the break.
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Ron Baetiong: We’re back from the break. We’re still with Derek Gallimore of Outsource Accelerator. I’m checking out your website, Derek and you guys have a lot of stuff here already and you, you can go as low as 29 bucks a month. Yeah,
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. That’s for a source coach. So we are, we don’t actually be outsources. We actually provide advisory and guidance for people that want to outsource.
Ron Baetiong: And what do they get for a source coaching? I mean you, you have all here. But for people who don’t have the ability to look at the website now, what, what did they get?
Derek Gallimore: You know, so we offer a range of services that basically helps people get into outsourcing. Source coaches are entry level product. It’s only $29 a month. But in essence we can help people navigate the outsourcing market and help get them the best prices possible, the best outputs possible, the best results possible, the best teams possible, and find the best facilities possible.
Ron Baetiong: Is it fair to say that it’s like a headhunter for BPOs sort of or no?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean it’s more like a booking.com gallery, so it helps people, navigate the market and then we can help them implement, outsource.
Ron Baetiong: You don’t get the lost along the way and then you say, I tried this shit before, it wasn’t good, so you don’t want to have that happen. But okay. This part a Derek is where we do a deep dive. Yeah, right there. This is BPO again. This is our lifeblood. There’s only two big, I mean three. The first one is BPO a here in the Philippines or the the that really make our economy grow. The second one is the, the the overseas Filipino to send money back. You know, our company country is afloat because of that. And lastly, of course the manufacturing and whatnot and there’s still a lot of turmoil now and whatnot. We just recently an elections. A lot of people are at unhappy. Again, it’s just two sides of a coin. How does that affect what you guys are doing given that there’s this a lot of of of, of tension now with with how the Philippines is from the west point of view because you know, we all know that it’s only a question of India to Philippines, right? In terms of outsourcing, but how would that affect us now given this political turmoil that’s happening?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean you’re absolutely right. The outsourcing is the golden goose now for the Philippines. Yeah. I’m the now calling them OFW is as well online Filipino workers. And it enables even the OFW is to have highly paid, professionalized jobs, but in their home countries so that they can now come home. outsourcing isn’t, is incredibly valuable for the Philippines, but there’s now a lot of narrative around it being a sunset industry. You know, AI chatbots is going to like not have the whole thing. but, and so there’s sort of a bit of doom and gloom about the industry, but my narrative is that this industry has only just begun and there is a second wave coming of small and medium sized businesses outsourcing. And this is going to 30 x and this could transform the Philippines.
Ron Baetiong: Yeah, because at the end of the day day, if you look at the pyramid, okay, they’re the top 1000 or whatever thousand that’s up and up in there are the ones that are paying outsourcing. Now eventually when those graduate into more automated jobs or because, well here’s what people don’t understand and I’ll, I’ll share this from a personal standpoint. You know, I’m people, I was like, Hey Ron, your main hustle is Chatbot ph. Aren’t you guys doing this to, to eliminate jobs? No. What we’re doing is we’re actually eliminating redundant and repetitive tasks that people do that, you know, for, for human intellect. It’s a waste for them to do that. So now with that feed time, now they can do things. And it’s weird because as we do that too, there’s going to be new, when you new opportunities that will come. So for example, in our company in Chatbot, I met, I’m not trying to advertise, I’m just trying to sell on the truth here.
Ron Baetiong: there’s new types of jobs that we created. So now there’s things called AI trainers. Yeah, they’re not then people. It’s like what an AI trainer Huh? What is that? So basically an AI trainer, it’s not what people will, it’s not an AI that will train you now. It’s people training the AI for them to, for it to be smarter because they’re smarter. The only way the AI can get smarter is through exposing it to different types of data. And as much as we want to get the date that the AI now to, to, to learn on its own, we’re not at that point yet. We’re in its infancy, probably grade school, but it will take time. And in order for that technology to be properly executed down the road, it would need a lot of human supervision.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think AI is a long, long way away. Yeah. And also, you know, when a thousand people in a room are doing the same task that is right for automation and efficiency, but the next wave of outsourcing is for the small and medium size businesses. And they are, they’re hustlers, they’re scrappy, they’re startups like us. and you cannot automate, a startup because it’s figuring out its own way as it goes. So actually the next wave is far more resilient to this concern about AI and automation than the existing, wave of outsourcing where there’s a thousand people in one room doing the same task.
Ron Baetiong: What did that be a little volatile out though, because I mean, we all notice startups, 90% of startups die, right? I mean from a, from a outsourcing point of view. Okay. As long as y’all get paid, then no problem. But of course you want longevity too. Wouldn’t that be a risk that the SMEs don’t have the same runway as a big corporate?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. Look, there’s a whole spectrum to the market, so we’re not necessarily talking about startups. The small and medium size sector could be up to, you know, 200 staff, 200 million revenues. they’re really quite significant businesses. The worldwide, they contribute about a hundred million employees. That’s about 12 trillion us and revenues and employ about 60% of the workforce.
Ron Baetiong: Middle class currently.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s the majority of society actually. And the big guys, the big boys had been outsourcing for 2025 years now and previously the, the small guys had been excluded and only now they’re able to access the market, but they’re not aware of it. So we’ve got to make them aware of the opportunities in outsourcing. Right. and then, you know, we kind of hit a tipping point and people are gonna start out.
Ron Baetiong: That’s absolutely true. Like, like in adaption of chatbots, right? The first couple, we started out 2017 or late 2016 first ones are early adapters. These are the ones with the big guns like I or make it rain. I don’t know what I’m paying for, but I like it. I’ll go up front and then after that wave, then comes the, the mass, the masses. And now we’re trying to make bank on that because everybody’s like, alright, but we’re no longer the Guinea pig. They survived. We’ll follow. Right? It’s like crossing the Red Sea. Like, okay, he made them the other side. I’ll cable, we’ll follow he’s good. So it’s the same now with outsourcing. That’s the division that you see here and whatnot. Now in terms of the challenges, in terms of the BPO operators, I mean, okay, it’s your job to match them and navigate through all the crevices and meanders and whatnot. It’s always hard to maintain a good quality a service, no matter how, how good, how, how good you operate. It still human beings. And you know, there’s, it’s a double edged sword. There’s always quality issues. There’s high churn in and whatnot and KPIs are hard. How do you manage expectations of clients given that this is the reality of the game here?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. And this is why we offer a lot of advisory. And when you get into outsourcing it’s, it’s almost a bit like management consultancy because you are, you’re diving into a person’s business and you are helping them basically better their business, you know, and that that pulls from management, you know, theories that pulls from the organizational theories. it, it pulls from a lot of skills. Outsourcing itself is a solid industry. I don’t need to tell outsourcing how to be good or what it does. it is Philippine outsourcing is the best in the world at it. We are trying to brand it more as the Swiss banking of outsourcing and get people realizing that this is really a top quality product. And in fact you get a lot of businesses come over here thinking that they’re from the west, they know how to do everything and then they are blown away by the level of sophistication here. The process. Absolutely incredible. And, but having said that, you know, and often it’s the client or the account themselves that needs the training. This is how you outsourced, this is how you delegate, this is how your process map, this is how you run KPIs so that effectively, you know, it’s a smooth transition and they then know how to outsource. So, so we really hold their hand and helped us develop the outsourcing integration us now.
Ron Baetiong: In terms of all the BPOs who are expert and they’re all experts in their own field, who are now gutting for the same clients and where they’re going to go to you and like and whatnot. How do you, how did they promote that now before Outsource Accelerator? Because again, it’s a battle. It’s a very saturated market. Right. And you mentioned around 800 of them. Yeah, that’s a lot of competition right here. And the chaplet game, there’s like a good handful or two that are really legit. And then there’s a ton. There are a small time a, they’re going after their big five. But for us, there’s still a lot of, and here’s what I always tell the, that my, my, my, my peers, I don’t call them my competitors, they’re my peers. Where’s the same fish in the same ocean. But at the end of the day, there’s enough kelp, there’s enough krill for us to eat. We don’t need to be predatory towards each other. We can survive and co inhabit the same coral reef or whatnot. For outsourcing now they either promote their own chefs, some are, some are cutthroat. So how do you balance that out with, with what do you would you guys do now?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, look, I, the BPOs have a really hard job of them. As I said, this industry is one of the only industries in the world where the supplies is sitting here in the Philippines and all of the customers are sitting in the u s the UK, Europe, and the vast majority of them have no idea what outsourcing is. They have no idea even where the Philippines is. and what they know about the Philippines is maybe, you know, controversial. It’s a developing economy. So the BPO is have their work really cut out for them. And this is where they need an aggregate, a marketplace, something like booking.com for outsourcing. And that is where we come in to help promote the Philippines to the world and show businesses out there in the west that outsourcing is available to them and it’s not as hard or as scary as they think that.
Ron Baetiong: Now in terms of the business moderator, okay, well you said $29 a month. There’s a couple more tiers here for 12, 13 12 net or 1299 bucks or $1,299. What did they get on the next year?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, so these are just, our productized advisory packages. we’re trying to make them simple so that people can click and engage quickly. we wanna make outsourcing as simple as possible to engage in. So we provide simple pricing, simple products. with the $1,300 package. We basically sit them down, we do a needs analysis, we look at their business, their org chart, their strategic plan, and we map out for them the best approach for outsourcing. We teach them about outsourcing the different types of service provision and help them select and implement outsourcing into their business.
Ron Baetiong: Got it now, in terms of the supply chain, how many and interplay saying, how many have you, you guys have already? Just a lot and look. Yeah.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. So we have the most comprehensive directory. It’s got about 688. and you know, we have a huge amount of information. We’re, we’re obviously still gathered
Ron Baetiong: Australian Global is here. Look at that and,
Derek Gallimore: and Sterling’s here,
Ron Baetiong: Shout out Sterling.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, we do. So we do video BPO tours. We do expert interviews with the owners and senior management. As I said, we do podcasts with the owners as well. So it’s all just flooding the world with information about outsourcing so it can basically build comfort levels, awareness and, and sort of, they know how to do and can onboard now.
Ron Baetiong: It’s not all fun and games Derek. And we know this. Right? what are your challenges here in Outsource Accelerator? Well, what do you think would be the biggest, dragon you have to slay.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. Look, as you know, I’m sure marketplaces are difficult to build because they’re these big fly wheels and it’s difficult to get these foam wheels moving. We have fantastic supply, but what we are finding is that the world is still unaware of outsourcing. You know, I was in New York in January and highly sophisticated business people still had no clue what outsourcing was.
Ron Baetiong: In New York city?
Derek Gallimore: Absolutely. And this is the realization that, that, you know, this is a gold mine here. Once we get people educated about the opportunities of a globalized workforce, which, which ultimately outsourcing is, how do you ciao. I mean, you bet you do. You literally go from say, how do you evangelize this? Because we had the same challenge in chaplain at the age. A lot of people didn’t know what the hell we were talking about. Like what’s our chatbox right now?
Ron Baetiong: It’s not a chat box. There’s a chat bot. It’s like a robot for chatting. Oh, so what’s a chat box? That’s right. That’s why I cut my hair this way because I started pulling them out. Then like, no, like, oh God. Right. But for you guys, I mean do you, what, what do you think are the things that are working for you to get this? You’re technically like evangelizing this religion out there.
Derek Gallimore: So look, we are sort of single handedly promoting Philippines and outsourcing. We want to take it to the world. of course, you know, we’ve got 5,000 pages of content. We’ve got hundreds of videos, podcasts. And it’s not because I like writing or, you know, and it’s even quite a boring subject, but I think it needs to get out there. And the way that people will learn about this is through, just just reading stuff, getting comfortable with it.
Derek Gallimore: But you know, we’re doing the vast majority of what we do as digital. We need to get our digital footprint out there. We need to get it on Facebook and youtube. and then so also when people are typing in, you know, outsourcing, outsourcing Philippines, that they’re met with a large body of content so that they figure out how to do this. You know, a lot of people that have heard of outsourcing have heard about the Tim Ferriss freelancer kind of thing. It’s good in a way, but we want to sort of professionalize it and show the world that there is this incredibly sophisticated market out there. Look, not, not dissing the freelancers and Upwork, that’s an incredible industry. And you know, again, the Philippine Filipinos are during the world proud and what they’re doing.
Ron Baetiong: It’s just, again, it’s, it’s two pages of the same book, same skill set. To be honest, it’s just a matter of how you want to be dealing and be a represented by a big company. Because the thing with freelancing to versus outsourcing, freelancing can be very volatile. Anytime I’ve had, I’ve experienced a decline, just says, all right, we’re done. And I’m glad I get a deal. I owe, I owe my time. But the stability that it does not provide a scary as fuck. So every lack of a better experience for sure.
Derek Gallimore: And it’s getting harder, like it’s hard for people to get on the upwork platform setup
Ron Baetiong: Where it now has payments and whatnot, because they’ve got an appeal that’s why there’s smaller ones for popping it up their rate. However, they don’t provide the same amount of quality and whatnot
Derek Gallimore: And there’s no job security, there’s no HMO you know there’s, there’s not a lot of sort of tax and you know, so it’s, it’s not a great industry for people. And I think as the outsourcing industry broadens, I think it can cater better for more of the population. Correct.
Ron Baetiong: Again, it’s the same book as a different page, kind of pick your own point
Derek Gallimore: because actually if you take it to an extreme, I really think outsourcing freelancing is really just employment and as the world globalizes, we’re going to be moving away from regionalized, geographical employment to just one world globalized employment. And that’s when the Philippines will really shine because there’s incredible, incredibly skilled people here, incredibly well qualified people here, you know? And that’s when it will be able to shine.
Ron Baetiong: Absolutely. Now, Derek, let’s take a quick break again. And when we come back, it’s hustleshare time. Are we going to be asking you a lot of tips and tricks in how to navigate and how to be, able to navigate the outsourcing world and all your personal tips as well. And what are that after the break?
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Ron Baetiong: And we’re back for the final part of the hustle share podcast. We’re still Delek Deb Delek. Sorry about that. Derek Gallimore, Outsource Accelerator. Derek. It’s hustle share time right. And I want to learn a lot from your perspective because, when did you move out here?
Derek Gallimore: I’ve been here about five years now. Okay.
Ron Baetiong: Prior to this, what was your perspective of the Philippines? it’s at 60 below here,
Derek Gallimore: When I first come my staff about eight years ago. Before that, I really had no idea about the Philippines and most people don’t. It’s off the radar.
Ron Baetiong: Really?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. But now it’s improving. Now you see that in terms of tourism, there’s a lot more people coming here, backpackers and things. And it’s, it’s now getting on people
Ron Baetiong: Because geographically, It’s also like not in the chain. It’s like if you’re in Southeast Asia, by to put the archipella or the, the peninsulas and whatnot. You can literally backpack back from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, you’ll, it’s right. It’s a land travel.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah. For sure.
Ron Baetiong: So here you’ll have to literally fly in because unless you want to swim, then yeah,
Derek Gallimore: I think it’s one of the best kept secrets, obviously, and that’s why I’m here. But it’s, you know, I think that it is held back a little bit because it is so many islands and it’s really difficult to build infrastructure when you’ve got 7,000 islands to cross. So I do feel free, but it makes for great island holidays, you know,
Ron Baetiong: Absolutely. You just pick your poison and whatever you want to get right. But it’s all going to be tropical and whatnot.
Derek Gallimore: For sure.
Ron Baetiong: Now, And from, from that point of view, before you went here, how did you do your hustle in terms of building, I, I’m, I’m very curious about this, this one, this one part of your, your, your journey. you were to s owner of City, Marque, what is, what was City Marque and what are the things that you learned in that journey? Because you ran this for awhile. It’s 2009 to 2016.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, it was about, what was that seven, eight years. And, and that was, as I mentioned, the corporate housing or, or serviced apartments. and I bootstrapped that. I was really proud of that business. I bootstrapped that up to about 20 million revenues. We had about, 18-90 staff, in, across both London and, and Philippines. and we had about 250, service apartments in Central London. but you know, I obviously like lived extreme highs in that business, but also went through some extreme lows.
Ron Baetiong: What were those lows? I’m just curious.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean, we had to close that business down, which was very painful for me. Of course. yeah. And, but you know,
Ron Baetiong: the latest episode, if you read the one that before to this mm. I came clean with my former investor, my wormer investor. And that was tough. Like I was holding back tears. The one with Monette Norete of kickstart. It was a globe and we were, we went back to what those meetings were or what that feeling was. I understand.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, it’s a tough, you know, it’s a really tough thing, but some businesses just, you know, don’t succeed. But I learnt a huge amount, you know, and funnily enough I learned some significant things, and also saw the power of booking.com and the platforms that they had over my business in, in, hospitality. Then, and, and you know, I took those lessons and I’ve moved there into Outsource Accelerator now.
Ron Baetiong: What were those lessons though? Because like for me, I wrote like a blog. No, I wrote a blog a when we first started party foul died just to document it because eventually people will forget. I mean, I will forget, especially you’re in, you’re at the highs at the peaks and whatnot. Everything like, yeah, I’m the man, whatever. Right. But it’s actually the lows that define you and those are the ones that really make, make you or break you. And if you move past it, and if you don’t forget what those are in one thought for you, when you went to City Marque, close down, what, how was that journey like to, to go back up and now put outsource itself? What are the lessons first and how did he get back up?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean, look, I actually wrote a blog as well, an article on Quora and that, that went a little bit viral about my, my journey.
Ron Baetiong: I’ll put that on the show notes.
Derek Gallimore: yeah. And it was, it’s super tough, you know, but what I found is that actually the 18 months, the, the sort of 12 months leading up to it was really freaking tough because I was doing everything to rescue this business owners pivoting. I was selling all of my other assets, putting the money in, you know, sort of scrapping around. And what I actually learned, one of the lessons at that point is that some of the, the struggling businesses and maybe the most efficient businesses out there, if you’re making a ton of money, a ton of profits, you don’t actually need to be that efficient. Whereas some of the ones that are struggling, they have stripped back everything. You know, they are highly efficient businesses. But a little bit like Kodak or sorry, a Nokia, maybe they’re just now the wrong business in the wrong time. and you know, we saw a lot of margin compression happen throughout that process. and we unfortunately just had a heavy, big platform because we were sort of going the Silicon Valley route in that we were trying to build a platform to have a ban a thousand properties on and we got to 200 so we didn’t have those efficiencies.
Ron Baetiong: On a personal note, what were your lessons though? I mean, I’m pretty sure there’s always, I’m like, for me, I’m a better version of myself now. I was an idiot back then. I’m still an idiot now, but I’m a better idiot now. What was that for you? Because those are the things that really like, you wear that on your sleeve and once you get over that hump that, you know, the biggest burden is when you fucking like and you realize and you accept it. I fucked up, I failed. And of course when you do that, you introspect like, ah, how, how did that, how did that lead to hear from, for, for you, how did that to happen?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean I, and I take it absolute responsibility for this and I can say, are the market changed? And there’s margin compression. But you know, I’m at the helm and I take absolutely responsibility because I am the decision maker and I’m at the top of the pyramid. you know, what did I learn? I mean, I’ve learned, I, I’m not gonna do that again. I’m gonna, you know, and I, I’ve learned, and I think you learned this with age as well, but also being through businesses, being through failures, you learned to be more conservative, which I think is maybe both the good thing and a bad thing. you learn to, you know, take profits. This isn’t all just about building this big beast of a machine. It’s about making something that works, that sustainable, you know, and as a strong
Ron Baetiong: And you bootstrap that.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
Ron Baetiong: That was tough. I mean, even if you have VC money and people, I was like, yeah, we made it. We, we, we got funded. Like, no, you did not, because all that can go away in months if you don’t know how to fucking handle that. Yeah. And that happened to me, it was, it was the dumbest shit and whatnot. But yeah, AVT I was though I was the first time founder before, right? There was, this wasn’t your first a startup before, right? Yeah,
Derek Gallimore: No, I mean I, I built a property portfolio before and on a certain property development and things like that, you know, and it’s, it’s definitely, I don’t want to, celebrate failure like they do a little bit in the US I think it should still be, you don’t want to go down the failure route. So I think everyone should aim for the moon. and it, and it shouldn’t be too glorified by saying, you know, I’ve had six failures, but you definitely learn a huge amount by, by going through the hardships in life. And I reckon if you’ve had two or three businesses that have just succeeded and you’ve sold, succeeded, sold, then you’re in for a big fall potentially because you’ve just had a lot of lucky poker hands. you know, and, and then I think you can potentially take the world for granted.
Ron Baetiong: Absolutely. Bouncing back alright. So City Marque, I mean, for, on a personal note, again, this is where we do the hustle share now. How did you now take all those things that you didn’t want to do again, to, to, to launch outsource of hundred because you guys have so many things here. What were those tricks to bounce back? Because it’s never easy. You’re battling with your own self doubt creeps in if you are a confident, more full before and now you’re know that that was like, Oh shit, now I’m hesitating and whatnot. How did you overcome that and what were those key things that put you right back on track?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, I mean the ego takes a hit, obviously. You’ve got to redefine yourself and rediscover your purpose. the year leading up to the closure was really, really tough. When it closed, I actually felt free out than ever because I had sort of unloaded that, that weight, that obligation, all of the hard work. and then within a week or two, my creative juices had returned and I’d started to get super, super excited again about the next journey. but also, you know, I’ve now been in business about 20 years, so I take all of these lessons, and I’ve put them into Outsource Accelerator and you know, very specifically I saw from the other side, the hotel industry how powerful the platforms where like a Airbnb and Agoda booking.com in promoting the industry and effectively what all of the hotels do is their affect the outsourcing their sales to these platforms to, to booking.com and go things like that.
Ron Baetiong: Just like Trivago is like doing it and Trivago was like making it rain on any cable TV or whatnot.
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, these guys are just eating up the market and that makes sense because they specialize in sales while the hotel specialize in operating and delivering the service. And so I took that model from hotels into the outsourcing industry saying that these guys have got a really hard job ahead of them. you know, they’re small, medi big size BPOs, but they really need to concentrate on delivery of the service. And we can go out there, specialize in promotion and sales. And get them their clients.
Ron Baetiong: Got It. Awesome. Now I’m curious because at the end of the day, we’re not a one man team, right? What’s your strategy in building a team, in, in terms of what it, because you’re always, you’re, you’re basically selling teams here to, to up to two people, right? But for you, you have to be the prime example of how you build a team. What are the, what, how do you build yours and what’s your strategy and making one?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, look, I, it, it’s, it’s, people are people, so there’s so many, it’s multifaceted and it’s incredibly difficult. I think the basics, apply in terms of treating people well. having a common purpose, common values, a visible mission that everyone has bought into. you know, and I’m certainly no expert. I’ve now hired maybe 200 people in my, my career, with Outsource Accelerator. I’m very lucky to have some of the team that I had from my previous business, so I’d been working alongside them now for, you know, the last maybe six years. but it’s, everyone’s great. but it’s just about finding their, their, you know, mission their venues, and hopefully aligning with, with the mission and values of the company.
Ron Baetiong: Absolutely. Now, what do you see? I want to see it. It looks, it’s a mixed bag at the moment because especially outsourcing here in the Philippines relies heavily on a lot of factors. You know, talent is one. So talent of course there’s never going to be running out because we have a very young population. We’ve become experts on this and whatnot. what do you think is next for outsourcing here in the Philippines and what’s something, what we’re not seeing, aside from again, outsourcing to are selling to SMEs or as a smaller than medium size businesses, in the west, what, what do you think is, is, the outsourcing industry going into? Is it Dystopian or are we looking at a brighter future ahead?
Derek Gallimore: No, I’m definitely an optimist and certainly an optimist for Philippine outsourcing and the Philippines. Generally, the Philippines doesn’t realize the incredible opportunity they have with this sector. You know, as you mentioned, it’s a young population. It’s a highly educated catered population. They all speak English incredibly. and outsourcing is going to hit this second wave where there’s another 35 million smaller medium sized businesses in the world that are going to start outsourcing soon. We just need to connect those two. We need to make people more aware of outsourcing, more comfortable with the concept of outsourcing and get Philippines on the map. And I really believe that this industry through globalization will be, you know, 30. I mean, it, it, it’s a big crane, but I believe that this will really potentially 30 x over the next 20 years already. And you know, it’s a, it’s a game changer for the Filipino economy and you know, it’s not, we’ll eventually move away from this concept of outsourcing and it would just be referred to as globalized employment. You know, when you think everyone’s now on Skype and slack and you know, messaging and chatbots. It’s a relevant where people are sitting now and that is an incredible opportunity for the Philippines to shine because if your qualified, if you can do a good job at something then you can get a job on Wall Street by sitting in your own butt on guy in some province in the Philippines. The opportunities are leveling out now.
Ron Baetiong: How do you make sure we realize that future though? Because it’s easy. I mean there we see, we see the light but we’re in the tunnel and again there’s a lot of turmoil and possible round moves that can put us one step forward, five steps back in what we’re doing. what do you think from your perspective do we need to do to maintain that we realize that vision or that that that that bright future and we don’t go the other side of the tunnel where it goes back to hell
Derek Gallimore: yeah, look no one is going to give anyone a job for free. People have got to be well trained people. You’ve got to be good at what they do. They’ve gotta be the best at what they do. So, you know, you’ve always got to educate better yourself. There’s got to be the best outsourcing industry in the Philippines, in the world, you know, the Philippines has to be careful that it does. It doesn’t lose this to Vietnam, to Eastern Europe, to India and it needs to continue to build this industry. But I don’t want to scare people. It’s doing incredibly well at what it’s doing, but it needs to continue along that path of education and, going up the value ladder and, you know, IBPAP, the government is all doing a fantastic job at this, but people like anything neat to try hard and continue along that progression.
Ron Baetiong: All right, thank you Derek. And again, for people that the, that you want to or for companies, let’s talk or companies or any SME that might be listening to this podcast at the moment. How do they do that and where do they go?
Derek Gallimore: Yeah, anyone just take a look at the website, get involved. it is outsourceaccelerator.com and anyone can reach out to me, which is [email protected]
Ron Baetiong: All right. Thanks Derek, and appreciate you being here. Thank you.
Derek Gallimore: Okay. That was me being interviewed by Ron Baetiong of the Hustleshare podcast. I hope you enjoyed that. If you want any of the show notes, of course, go to outsourceaccelerator.com/243 and as always, if you want to ask us anything, then just drops an email to [email protected] see you next time.