According to Global Slavery Index (2018)there are more than 610,000 victims of human trafficking in Thailand. Mat Boyle, a experienced sales professional, told Visionary Marketing about his journey to building a business development outsourcing company Onlinetooffline (O2O) for former victims of human trafficking. Mat opened this BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) center in the Philippines and aims to grow it to 10,000 employees by 2023.
BPO as a tool in the fight against modern slavery
Where does this concern for modern slavery come from?
“I was in the automotive industry at the end of 2006. It was then that I met a man who works in Thailand with the Thai immigration police for the fight against human trafficking. He saved children and women from horrible situations where they had been forced into prostitution and become slaves. »
“He told me anecdotes about his work, and the more he told me, the more it moved me. I ended up convincing him to take me to Thailand so I could see with my own eyes what his team was doing. »
“I spent three weeks working with them on the front lines of these rescue operations. I am a father of six children and at the time my youngest was 13 years old. I was walking in the streets and I saw children of the same age as my son forced into prostitution and situations that no child should ever know. »
“We abuse these people and promise them jobs that don’t exist. When I got back to Australia, I was like, ‘I have this massively profitable business where I make a really good living. How can I have an impact on the lives of these children?’ »
“I went back to my job, in the conference room to train sales people. Suddenly, I had this moment of enlightenment. I thought to myself that all these people in Thailand were exploited because they needed a job. »
“I thought that if I could replicate all the systems and strategies that had already proven successful in my business, I could find ways to restore a place in society for these people. Instead of companies paying me to train their sales teams who didn’t listen to my advice, I could create an outsourcing team and give them work. If I could create jobs for these people, I would become an employer Marketing ethics covers a very wide field of themes. First of all, we must see marketing ethics as a sub-branch of business ethics. which offers these people excellent employment opportunities. So I could do something useful. »
“I found an employment template that contains a The marketing value proposition consists of highlighting the benefits that an offer or a product will bring to a particular customer segment or persona. powerful for customers because we help them solve problems that matter to them”.
Tell us about the birth of O2O?
“We currently have a center in the Philippines. This center carries out sales actions for the benefit of Hedge Funds for investments in logistics companies as well as large companies that sell business services and consultancy assignments. We have developed a long-term business model to ensure the quality of the service provided. »
“The model we created can be replicated anywhere in the world. At the moment, we have no established plans beyond our next center, but we know that the next objective is to open one in Thailand. These centers would create jobs to advance and serve these communities.”
How many jobs have you created?
“My goal by 2030 is to create 10,000 jobs. We already have an operational center in the Philippines. Although this one is on an exponential growth curve, we have worked hard over the last two years to embed sustainability into our product to ensure that what we give to customers is delivering results as we work on processes complex sales. »
“We can now replicate what we are doing in different countries around the world. Our growth curve is well oriented and we are getting closer to the objective. »
What were the sacrifices you had to make to create this BPO center?
“I started donating to modern slavery charities. But it got to the point where my wife tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I was going to have to mortgage our house and that I had to find a solution before personal bankruptcy. During the transition, we therefore lost our house and everything we had. My personal financial reserves collapsed because I hadn’t properly calculated how much it would really cost to help these people and to make this site operational. »
“We also haven’t received a dollar of investment in donations or government grants. 100% of what we did came from cash and our personal savings. As difficult as it was for my family and I, it was worth it, because we want to make sure that we can run our businesses in the least profitable way to transfer the benefits of our work to these communities. »
How does this BPO center work?
” The majority of our clients are based in the United States or the United Kingdom. We work three 8-hour shifts each day to adapt to three time zones. The systems we have in place all work for non-voice campaigns, so we don’t have to do any telemarketing. We use a variety of technologies, from voicemail to LinkedIn inMails to SMS. »
“We also work with our clients to provide them with webinars that allow us to generate leads and set up appointments with An essential activity because B2B companies lose between 5% and 15% of their customers each year. »
“What’s really important to me is to control the quality of the reach and the content of the messages to ensure a good place on the The very notion of the B2B or B2C market is at the heart of the marketing approach. A market is the meeting of supply and demand. for our customers. In the case of Hedge Funds, investors try to obtain investments in the order of a million dollars. No one in the Philippines or Thailand is able to achieve results that match these goals through cold calling. That’s why I got around this problem by setting up a system that does without telemarketing”.
How do you train your employees in the Philippines?
” Everything is thought out in the processes. We use our project management tool for every task. For each new project, we create training and presentation videos. New employees can easily consult them and learn each task. We then organize a weekly training session to strengthen the collective spirit and train the team. For each of their campaigns, we have established a series of performance criteria. For example, if the quality of the work is not respected, the trainers intervene. Sometimes we have to go back and change the message and the call to action in order to achieve those results. Our employee must be highly qualified to assist survivors of modern slavery.
We want to make sure that we give back as much money to the communities and that our action has as much impact as possible
What obstacles did you encounter when launching your BPO center?
” The Covid has made our personal lives and business growth very difficult. Australia has sealed its borders tight, so that certainly complicated things a bit. If the Covid had hit us six months earlier, it would have been absolutely catastrophic for us. But everything worked out in the end. Because we had just hired good leaders on site, so we trusted the team on the ground to do their job properly and to make sure that we communicated the instructions to them clearly.
“There has been a very strict confinement in the Philippines. Every one of our employees in the Philippines worked either from home or in the office sleeping there at night. About twenty people lived in the office for four months, I found that admirable. Their willingness to work for a goal they believed in during these difficult times went beyond the monetary aspect. The efficiency of their work has motivated and inspired me to redouble my efforts in what we do. »
Mat Boyle’s frontline work to better understand modern slavery transformed the direction of his career. From the donations of money to charities to the creation of a BPO center offering exits to the victims, all this commands admiration.