Patrick: Hello, Patrick Findaro here with “Franchise Findings,” Season 2. Together with my brother, Jack Findaro, we’re going to be looking at the franchise cost, revenue, historical profits, failure rate, and other metrics to consider before investing in Valenta BPO.
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P: Today, I’m very excited to have two guests, Jayesh Hasim, who started Valenta BPO with his brother back in 2014. Now it’s a franchise system with about 45 units globally, and they only started franchising in 2019. They figured out their corporate location and grew that book of business, then went into franchising about five years later.
I’m also with Kishore Siva, who’s the managing director of North America for Valenta BPO. Today, we’re going to go into a franchise that is in an industry that people don’t normally think of. It’s in the IT services industry. I think with some degree of complexity, you don’t have as many competitors. And generally, different margins, more attractive margins, and a lower cost to open up the business.
I’m a big fan of service franchises overall, and Valenta BPO is no different. And look forward to having a conversation with Jayesh and Kishore about Valenta BPO and the greater IT services space as a whole. Thank you guys, for joining.
Kishore: Yeah. Thank you, Patrick.
Jayesh: Thanks, Patrick. Good to meet you.
P: Jayesh, I understand you started the company with your brother in 2014. Grew up in Australia. You recently moved to Canada. I’d be curious just to hear a little bit about the early stages of Valenta BPO and how you got into this industry of IT services.
J: Yeah. Thanks, Patrick. The way it came about is, before we had Valenta BPO, I started a franchisee myself. It was a brick-and-mortar franchise in financial services. We were offering services to customers. We were providing them with mortgages, insurances, and so on, and a lot of back-office work needed to be done. It was out of our requirement that we set up a back-office initially. We wanted to set up an office, we wanted to set up a system so we could scale other franchises.
We set up a system to be able to expand other franchises. The back office we created started to work well. And we realized that if we need it, others need it too.
P: Kishore, we met back in November at the Franchise Brokers Association event. It was great to sit down and chat about your experience and your great career trajectory in banking. How did you decide on Valenta BPO to join and team up with Jayesh, and kind of what attracted you to this industry?
K: Yeah, no, it’s hard to believe it’s already been a couple of months since we were down in Orlando. My background is I spent 25 years in banking, mostly in New York, a couple of years in London. And got to a point in my career where I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial. I ended up working with someone who helped me through the process, Jeremy Bollington, who I think was in Orlando and you might have met as well.
He did just a great job of introducing me to several franchise concepts, but the one that resonated most for me was Valenta BPO. I ended up joining both as a franchisee in Westchester County, New York, where I live, north of the city, and also as one of the managing directors for Valenta BPO here in the U.S. I get to see the best of both worlds, able to work with clients and then also able to help franchisee candidates go through their journey process and their discovery process, and then continue to support them once they join us as well.
P: Could you give us a little overview, Kishore and Jayesh, on just how this segment’s broken down and kind of dumb it down for me and other folks that don’t know that much about IT services?
J: When we started the business, our very first client was AON, a global insurance company in the financial services space. We started initially providing them with back-office staff. As we evolved from there, we identified the gap for consulting, process consulting, in particular, because we were seeing that there were gaps in the market.
We then launched that consulting service. Then more recently, we identified the opportunity for digital transformation, and this is all about getting bots to do work instead of humans. It frees up human time, that way people can do more productive things. At the same time, we can get bots to do things about 20 times faster than humans working 24/7 with 100% accuracy.
J: Today, we take that holistic approach. When we start working with clients, we try and see if we can first automate a process. If we can’t or if the process needs to be fixed, we’ll get that taken care of. And we’ll finally come back to what’s the best way to increase that efficiency for clients.
Now that automatically, working in the digital transformation space puts us into a category, which is IT, into IT or managed services. That’s how it comes down to that. But at the same time, we could be classified as management consultants as well if you look at our process consulting as a service. In the franchise industry itself, there’s a lot of value that we could add to other franchisors. If you look at it that way, we can service that industry. There are so many different industries into which we can sort of categorize ourselves. But I think to your point, IT is what would make the most sense.
P: I imagine you become like a trusted advisor where these clients you’re hopefully doing other work with them. And there are other services that you can provide that Valenta BPO currently offers or probably will offer in a couple of years from now.
J: Yeah. For us, when we secure a client or when we start a client engagement, we always take a client-for-life approach. We need to understand what is it that they want to achieve in their business. If we understand that, then we can provide them with the right services at the right point in time to help them achieve that growth. This is where our managing partners (which are our franchise partners) come in.
They become the trusted advisors. They’re on the ground, the strategic partners for our clients. With a whole range of services, we may start a client engagement with digital transformation. After a year or two, they may start taking up our digital marketing service or there could be some consulting engagements along the way. There are plenty of opportunities, of things that we keep doing for our clients once we start…
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