We talked to Jack Jendo of Beirut in on how they are delivering top-level solutions for companies of all sizes and he had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jack Jendo: I’m doing great. Working remotely and online is what I used to advise my clients and friends to do ages before COVID-19. I have much more time to spend with my family. Elena, my wife, and I have more time to play and raise our 2 year’s baby boy Eilay. It’s funny, he is part of my company now, and he reminds me to check pending emails and proposals.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Beirut in.
Jack Jendo: I’m a business computing graduate, owning and managing a couple of businesses in the digital technology field, a professional instructor for various topics and programs. I am a current fellow at the Professional Fellowship Program by the United States Department of State, also a former and active human rights fellow at the United Nations, in addition to being a board member and consultant for a couple of nonprofit organizations.
Living in Beirut, I founded LEBUP to contribute to the community by consulting the public and private sector about digital transformation benefits after the many crises that people in Lebanon have faced. I speak English, Arabic, French, and Assyrian. I love football, boxing, swimming, music, singing and meeting new people.
I started working since I was in school. Earlier, I helped my father at his work as a carpenter. With less money in my pocket, I decided to be more independent at high school, so I tried various types of jobs, such as Aluminium factory work, bartender, waiter, printing, graphic design, and other types of industries. This led me to find my passion for digital technology and graphic design when I had to decide on my university studies.
During my university studies, money was one of my concerns, having zero amount in my pocket most of the days, so I worked as a junior designer and developer, and I managed to work in 3 different jobs at the same time. It was a 7 am to 1 am work for more than a year, but it was a great experience in both technical and soft skills, just 1 year after my graduation in 2006. This gave me the opportunity also to get a lot of freelancing jobs during weekends.
A few years later, I decided to quit my job in education technology at a well known regional company and start my own business in 2010.
Beirut in is a digital media company that was started based on the market needs for solutions that were not available yet.
How does Beirut in innovate?
Jack Jendo: My company is still driven by the market needs where any challenge is converted to a solution that makes everyone’s life easier in a y type of industry with the proper use of digital technology followed by a good understanding of user experience (UX) and beautiful user interface (UI).
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jack Jendo: At the very beginning, it was hard to convince our new local clients that everything can be done online without any physical meeting. It was easy for the team since most of our clients are located overseas, and the whole process (Marketing and converting leads to the payment, project management, and after-sale ticket support) is done via our BiCRM (Business Intelligence CRM).
Locally, we had to go back to the basics and put our feet in our clients’ shoes to understand their needs, concerns, and frustration when it comes to dealing with business online. The results were amazing. With a minor change in our process in the local market, we were able to keep the local market despite all the other challenges. Our highlight was creating our own payment method system based on Stripe and PayPal.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jack Jendo: The most difficult choice for me as an entrepreneur is to delegate and have to be away from the daily details. Especially as a person who started from the very scratch and learning every single detail in various industries, it is a daily struggle to stay away from the technical details without being afraid of compromising the quality of work.
I also learned that leadership and soft skills are the best investments and assets a company can have to be flexible and survive global change.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Beirut in in the future?
Jack Jendo: My morning walks became essential after the pandemic, not just for my physical care but also for mental with the great help of my friend and personal physical/mental coach. I also spend more time now to meditate, breathe, and laugh.
“Beirut in” has a small sister company in Sydney, Australia called “Sydney in,” and a new one was born in the United States called “Brain Digits.”
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jack Jendo: Since we work in various sections that provide a full-stack digital transformation process, we are already staying on top of the list within small and medium enterprises.
We are good at innovation and keeping the ball rolling to provide more and more inclusiveness.
Your final thoughts?
Jack Jendo: Whenever I look back on my journey, I get inspired again and try to look more into the challenges and issues that other people and businesses have to create new opportunities.