First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Edu Giansante: We’re great, thanks. We have the privilege of living in the countryside, far from the buzz, so we’re keeping our regular schedules of walking to the mountains.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded or Joined E-Dublin
Edu Giansante: I was born in Brazil and in 2008 I decided to move to Ireland to work and study. I started looking for jobs months before my departure and got an interview scheduled. At the time, I couldn’t find any information about Ireland written in Portuguese. I then decided to start E-Dublin. Initially, a blog where I would capture all my learning and experiences.
Fast forward to recent years, we’ve grown to reach millions of monthly visitors in all our social channels, created products, partnered with universities, schools and airlines. E-Dublin is now a reference for Brazilian expats.
How does E-Dublin Innovate?
Edu Giansante: E-Dublin is always looking at new ways to help expats. We created an app to help people find others who were moving abroad, created conferences that would mix arts, music, information and workshops and most recently, online mentorship to help people relocate due to the pandemic impact.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business, and how are you coping?
Edu Giansante : The travel market has been massively impacted. Consequently, 90% of our clients (universities, schools, travel agencies, airlines). Thankfully the team was quick to think of alternatives to keep the business healthy. We focused on 3 key pillars to cope with it and minimize impact:
1) people: making sure we kept our team and team’s families safe first. We have always worked remotely and that didn’t change. I gave the team as much time off as needed to ensure they helped family members and adjusted to the situation.
2) I kept our business going by renegotiating deals, agreements and partnerships. Making sure we’re thinking long term.
3) New revenue streams: identifying other ways to bring businesses, increasing our online products’ presence and collaborating with other brands.
Did you have to make Difficult Choices, and what are the Lessons Learned?
Edu Giansante: Several, including reducing some activities (such as conferences and travels) to ensure the team’s safety. This was core to our business and unfortunately, a few members of the team had their working hours reduced due to the reduced workload. I tried to rearrange most of them into new roles but not all would suit such steep changes. The biggest lesson is always being transparent on the business impact so they know what’s coming and what to expect.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety? How do you Project yourself, and E-Dublin in the Future?
Edu Giansante: I keep exercising, praying all mornings, being thankful for all I’ve got and talking regularly to friends and family members. E-Dublin is growing a lot on the online mentoring and relocating services to expats. We’re seeing a need for people to reinvent themselves and through edublinPRO they can do that and build a strong network in our exclusive community.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Edu Giansante: Interesting enough, we didn’t have a direct competition as most of our ‘competitors’ were actually our clients. As we move into the remote education business, we start to compete with educational institutions, informal MBAs and online courses out there. However, we’re really focused on the expats market and being one of them myself, helps me understand the real needs and how to make an impact in this sector.
Your Final Thoughts
Edu Giansante: In times of uncertainty, it’s time to be certain. Take risks, bring your teams together and ensure your decisions are based on people first, people in need, and subsequently, your business health.