According to the Global Slavery Index (2018), there are more than 610,000 victims of human trafficking in Thailand. Today’s head speaker Mat Boyle, a seasoned sales professional, shared his journey of creating a Business Development Outsourcing company Onlinetooffline (O2O) for former victims of human trafficking. Mat has opened one BPO center in the Philippines with a goal of growing it to 10,000 employees by 2023.
Business Development Outsourcing as a tool against modern slavery
How did you step foot in developing career opportunities for the victims of human trafficking?
“I was in the automotive industry, in late 2006. I happened to meet a gentleman that works in Thailand with the Thai immigration police for anti-human trafficking. He was rescuing kids and women out of horrible situations where they have been forced into prostitution and slavery.”
“He started to share stories about his job, the more he shared the more it opened my heart strings. I eventually convinced him to take me over 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 involved in rescues. I am a father of six and at the time, the youngest being 13. I was walking around the streets and seeing kids the same age as my son being forced into prostitution and situations that no kid should ever experience.”
“The victims got their bodies taken advantage of as well as got promised jobs that did not exist. When I got back to Australia, I was thinking, I have got this massively profitable business where I’m making a really good income. How can I make an impact on these kids’ lives?”
“I went back to my job, in the boardroom training salesmen. All of a sudden I had this light-bulb moment. I was thinking all of these people over in Thailand got exploited because they needed a job.”
I thought that if I could take all the systems and strategies which were already proven to be successful in my business, I could find ways of resting these people. Instead of businesses paying me to train their sales teams for them not to follow the repeatable tasks, I could build an Outsourced team to do the work. If I could create jobs for them I will become an ethical employer that is giving these people great job opportunities. That is how I could make an impact.”
“I found an employment model that contains a powerful value proposition for clients because we are helping them with the issues that really affect them. it happens to be a very strong impact center where we can create jobs that improve communities.”
How did you build O2O?
“We currently have a center in the Philippines. The centre consists of franchised sales to hedge funds, making investments to logistics companies as well as multi-million dollar enterprise solutions right down to consulting programs. We really had to build that sustainability into the business model to make sure the service was actually delivered.”
“The model we have created can be used anywhere in the world. At the moment, we have not got fixed plans beyond our next center, but we know the next goal is to open a center in Thailand. These centers would create jobs to educate and improve the community”.
How many jobs did you create?
“My goal by 2030 is to have 10,000 jobs created. We have one center operational in the Philippines. Although the employment center is on a steep curve of operations, we have done a lot of hard work over the last couple of years in building sustainability into our product to make sure what we give the clients actually delivers the results. We work on complex sales processes, from franchised sales to hedge funds, seeking investments in logistics companies with a multi-million dollar enterprise solution. We had to really build sustainability into the business model to make sure the quality of the service is great.”
“We can now duplicate what we are doing and apply it in different countries all over the world. We are working towards a good growth curve and start getting a lot closer to the end goal.”
What sacrifices did you make when creating this center?
“I started donating to anti-human trafficking charities. But it got to the point where my wife tapped me on my shoulder and told me I have given away our mortgage payment for the house and I have to get it sorted out before we go bankrupt. So in part of the transition, we actually lost our house and lost everything. I had a financial meltdown because I did not calculate how much it would actually cost to help these people and get them to the operational site.”
“We also did not receive one dollar of investment in donations or government grants. 100% of what we have done has come out of cash flow and of our own personal savings. As hard as it was for my family and me, it was worth it because we want to make sure we can run our businesses as unprofitable as possible and make an impact on the communities.”
How do you operate this Business Development Outsourcing center?
“The majority of our clients are based in the US or the UK. We got three shifts every day for all three different time zones. The systems we have built all run in a non-voice campaign so we do not have to do any telemarketing. Everything uses different levels of technology from voicemail drops, and SMS, to LinkedIn messages.”
“Everything that comes from a voice campaign will work with our clients to get them to deliver our services in a webinar format or we will direct them into appointments.”
“What is really important to me is the quality control of the outreach and the messaging to make sure that our clients are positioned effectively in the marketplace. If you look at a hedge fund, investors try to get a $1,000,000 investment from them. You will not find someone in the Philippines or Thailand on the phone able to get a cold call from one of those people and have efficient results. Therefore I want to build a system that set things up for success rather than taking the easy route with telemarketing.”
How are you training your employees in the Philippines?
“Everything we do is very process-driven. We use our project management tool for every task. For every new project, we spend time creating training videos and walkthrough videos. New employees can easily go in and watch every task. We then have a weekly training session to do team teambuilding and team training. For every one of their campaigns, we have a series of performance benchmarks. For example, if the work quality is not met, trainers will get involved. Sometimes we need to go back and change the messaging, and call to action in order to deliver on those outcomes. Our employee has to be highly qualified to help survivors of human trafficking.
We want to make sure we’re giving as much money back to the communities and making as much of an impact as we can
What burden did you face during the launch of your Business Development Outsourcing center?
“Covid made our personal lives and company growth very hard. Australia did a hard lockdown on our borders, so it certainly added some complications. But if Covid hit six months earlier, it would have been absolutely catastrophic for us. The timing was quite reasonable for us because we just hired some good leadership in place so had to really trust the team on the ground to be able to do their job right and make sure our communication was clear.
“There was a very strict lockdown in the Philippines. Developing countries’ enforcement of federal quarantine orders is really different from Australia. Every single one of our employees in the Philippines either worked from home or worked in the office while sleeping there at night. We had about 20 people that lived in the office for four months and it absolutely blew me away. Their will to work for something they believed in during those hard times was really selfless of them. Their effective action motivated me and inspired me to double down on what we are doing.”
Mat Boyle’s work in the front line to get a better insight on human trafficking has transformed his business direction. From donating money to charities to creating an impact job center providing life time opportunities for victims is admirable.