Guest: Johan Jedaker
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Johan Jedaker, 28 year old Swedish citizen, has been living in the Philippines for 3 years. He started out in 3o-BPO Incorporated as a customer service agent but for the past year and a half, he has been working as the Operations Manager. He is currently in charge of 30 employees, half of them from Scandinavia, the rest are Filipinos. How he ended up here is actually that he lived in Australia for a few months and just decided to stop by in Manila on his way to Sweden. He decided quite early that he wanted to stay so he found a job doing Customer Support, worked his way up from Project Manager to Operations Manager in a year and a half. He has a very positive approach towards his employees and like to give them freedom to make their own decisions in order for them to evolve. Johan is currently in charge of 10 different accounts where they provide Customer Support, Admin tasks, Content Writing and Social Media Marketing.
Segment overview: 3o-BPO incorporated is founded in 2013 by Peter Eriksson. Peter is co-founder and former COO at Nelly.com – one of the leading Fashion Online sites in Northern Europe. 3o-BPO was founded to reduce the overhead costs for online companies. The company offers Content Management, Customer Support and Sales Services to much affordable prices, high quality and great flexibility. They are able to build any size sales team, their services are flexible and tailored to fit their client needs. Together with their European management, they offer a very stable platform for their clients. 3o-BPO also offer Customer Support in other languages aside from English.
Address: 2nd Flr., LCS Bldg, 1413 San Andres St., Manila, 1017, Philippines
Contact: (LOCAL) 0905 818 5585
Henry Acosta: Hi, I’m Henry Acosta and you are listening to the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast. Our guest today is the Operations Manager of 3o-BPO, his name is Johan and I’m not very sure on how suppose to your last name. Can you tell me what your last name is?
Johan Jedaker: Yes, Jedaker. It might be tricky for you.
Henry Acosta: Yes. That’s super tricky for me so I’m just going to butcher that. Johan is from Sweden and has stumbled upon the Philippines by chance since he was going home from Australia and had to stop over at Manila. Ever since then, he decided to go back here to the Philippines and for the last 3 years, he stayed here and has worked with 3o-BPO of the last year and a half. He currently handles 10 different accounts at 3o-BPO that services customer support, admin task, content writing and social media marketing. He is joining us today to talk about the company and the reasons why foreigners from all over the world loved to outsource their work here in the Philippines. With all that said, welcome to the show Johan.
Johan Jedaker: Thank you for having me.
Henry Acosta: Can you give us a little bit more of background about yourself?
Johan Jedaker: Yes. I’ve been living here for 3 years actually. First year and a half, I worked as a customer service agent. Then I worked my way up being a Project Manager and I’m the Operations Manager of 3o-BPO. It’s been 3 really, really interesting years and the coming year has definitely been a very good experience for me and I’m looking forward for many more years here.
Henry Acosta: Yes. Thank you so much for staying here. We appreciate foreigners liking their stay here.
Johan Jedaker: Yes.
Henry Acosta: With regards to that, you mentioned on your bio that you just stumbled upon Manila by chance. What made you stay here?
Johan Jedaker: Well I think, first of all, I’m came from Sweden. I have to said that the weather here is pretty good. But especially, Manila is such a big city where there’s always something happening and that is to see a something that I like a lot. And then when I got the chance to work here, it was a no-brainer. It’s a really good company to work for and that combine with the Manila. It’s a really, really nice place to me.
Henry Acosta: What do you think makes the Philippines such an interesting place for outsourcing for foreigners?
Johan Jedaker: Well, it is all down to the people. The people here in general have very good attitude, are very humble and they are very willing to learn from other cultures. It’s a perfect combination and of course, you cannot deny the labor here is really, really cheap. I would say those things.
Henry Acosta: What were you doing before you actually moved here, before you went here to the Philippines?
Johan Jedaker: Actually, I was working at a cemetery,
Henry Acosta: Wow.
Johan Jedaker: Yes. Quite a difference. Doing what I do now compared to before, good and bad.
Henry Acosta: Can you tell us more about 3o-BPO? What do you guys service?
Johan Jedaker: We mostly cater the Scandinavian Market. We have a few clients in Hong Kong, but it’s mostly Scandinavian companies, e-commerce companies, so we help them with customer support, content management, content writing and social media marketing, all kinds of stuff. The founder of this company is actually a founder of a big e-commerce company in Sweden. With his experience, we have a big net of contacts as well as Scandinavia.
Henry Acosta: What are the usual troubles that your clients usually face when they first start outsourcing to the Philippines?
Johan Jedaker: Right. I think they have a previous experience of outsourcing that’s haven’t gone so well. But since we have a Scandinavian management, I think it’s much easier for them to outsource. I wouldn’t say that they have faced so many problems outsourcing with us, but they probably, previously, if they have ever attempted that.
Henry Acosta: How do you guys usually get your clients? Is it through referrals? Or do you have a marketing team?
Johan Jedaker: We do both actually. Our CEO, he has a very big network of people back in the Scandinavia, but as well, we do have a sales manager that is approaching companies.
Henry Acosta: I see. It’s interesting how you guys service mainly Scandinavian companies. How is the reception been by your clients?
Johan Jedaker: We are very fortunate to work with some really, really good companies back in Scandinavia. They are super happy with our services. Well I think, a big surprise for them is actually, first of all, that Filipinos are fluent in American English. They are impressed by their workrate. Those two things are actually very important for Scandinavian companies. It’s a very good match.
Henry Acosta: Even if it’s a very good match, do they usually face any cultural barriers with regards to the work here?
Johan Jedaker: Filipinos are a bit afraid of making their own decisions. Back in Europe, we usually have less of a hierarchy and the staff have more freedom to take their own actions.
Henry Acosta: With regards to clients whose done outsourcing before in other countries, why do you think they choose to stay in the Philippines when they do outsourcing?
Johan Jedaker: I think one advantage is that this country has a long experience of outsourcing in more than 20 years. Also of course, the skill of English and the attitudes of the Filipino people.
Henry Acosta: I see. With regards to Europeans, what do they usually have or what are their most common misconceptions with regards to Filipinos and outsourcing in the Philippines?
Johan Jedaker: I think, since labor here is really cheap, they don’t expect to get such a good quality for the money. I think that is the biggest misconception about outsourcing to the Philippines. But the labor here is great, they’re young, talented and driven. So it’s certainly a nice surprise for a lot of companies.
Henry Acosta: Would you ever recommend clients to visit here in the Philippines first before they get started?
Johan Jedaker: Yes, absolutely. I think that is good a idea. Especially, if you’re planning to outsource to a company where the management is local, it’s probably good to stop by and see what they opt to.
Henry Acosta: What would be your best advice to anyone who’s starting out outsourcing here in the Philippines?
Johan Jedaker: I would say that as someone coming from the Western part of the world, you have to have understanding of how things are working here. It is a bit slower, the traffic is slow, people are late, there are a lot of things to consider when you do that. But if you are open-minded and you can see the benefits of outsourcing here, it’s a no-brainer.
Henry Acosta: With regards to 3o-BPO, what makes you guys different from other outsourcing firms here in the Philippines?
Johan Jedaker: Well, we’re still a small company. But even though we are growing fast, we like to keep our management an organization in general, very, very flat. We don’t have a hierarchy for things within our company. I am the Operations Manager and I have no team leaders or whatsoever. Instead, we try to push out the responsibility within the different accounts. We think that’s a good way for us to make our employees grow as well. I think that is something that makes us a bit unique.
Henry Acosta: Can you describe to us what would be or who is your ideal client?
Johan Jedaker: A fast growing e-commerce company. The background of our own management means that companies could leverage a lot from our experience. Absolutely.
Henry Acosta: Can other Western countries who are interested in maybe doing work with you guys inquire?
Johan Jedaker: Absolutely. We have a previous experience of working with companies from UK. We have a client now from Hong Kong, we’ve had clients from Spain. No problem.
Henry Acosta: What’s the best way to get in touch with you guys?
Johan Jedaker: Well, you can hit us up on LinkedIn. You could give me a call or you can stop by here for a coffee, we are Scandinavians, we’re met of coffee drinkers. We would love to have a shot with anyone who could be interested.
Henry Acosta: What would be your main take away message for everyone who’s interested in outsourcing here in the Philippines?
Johan Jedaker: I would say that, “Come here and have a look yourself and see what your perception is if that is correct. Have some patience and trust the Filipino people”.
Henry Acosta: Wow. Thank you for that. Is there anyone you want to shout out to or is there anyone you want to mention before we end the interview?
Johan Jedaker: Well actually, our CEO is a way with a Filipino Floorball National Team in Thailand. He is the head coach of the Filipino Floorball Team. I wish you best of luck Peter and bring us home some gold medals.
Henry Acosta: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming to the show Johan,
Johan Jedaker: Yes. Thank you so much.
Henry Acosta: And that was Johan, he is the Operations Manager of 3o-BPO. We just finished talking about 3o-BPO and how he is helping lead 3o-BPO as one of the top outsourcing firms here in the Philippines. If you want to listen to more podcasts and know more about the ins and outs of the BPO industry, you can visit us on www.offshoring.com.ph. We’re also available on SoundCloud and iTunes. You’ve been listening to the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast with Henry Acosta.