We talked to Martin TRONQUIT on how Infomineo is unlocking talent and business potential in the Middle East and Africa.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Martin TRONQUIT: We got the full experience, 6 months stranded abroad and then Covid positive. But now all good!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Infomineo.
Martin TRONQUIT: I started as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. After a few years, I moved to Morocco to start the local office. I struggled to find the data I needed to provide high quality consulting and thought there was an opportunity to start a business that would solve that issue. This is then that I founded Infomineo.
How does Infomineo innovate?
Martin TRONQUIT: We have created a new business segment called brainshoring. Brainshoring is the business of offshoring tasks that require extensive communication and critical thinking/problem-solving skills. In other words, it is the business of outsourcing brain, not muscle, of outsourcing critical thinking, not process.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Martin TRONQUIT: Covid 19 has impacted our business like most in the world. First, it pushed us to work differently, making work from home systematic. This change was fairly easy to handle as we were founded with flexibility in mind (everyone had laptops; all our data is on the cloud, etc.). Second, the crisis made us lose some business. We initially feared our revenue to go down by 20% and needing to lay off people. Still, thanks to the team’s agility and effort, we are ending the year at +10% with zero layoffs and zero salary cut (although below our initial plan for the year).
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Martin TRONQUIT: We did not need to make that many hard choices, but we had prepared the team for them. We clearly explained our priorities (1/Save as many jobs as possible 2/Keep the company afloat) and what the measures would be depending on the situation (external cost reduction, recruitment freeze, unpaid leaves, and finally layoffs). We kept the team informed twice a month. Fortunately, we did not have to implement any of the harsh measures.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Martin TRONQUIT: Zero notification on phone or PC. A clean to-do list and inbox zero. 10 min of swimming every morning. Lots of time with my family.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Martin TRONQUIT: We are creating our business segment, so we don’t really have direct competitors. Our challenge is more to create a market (the idea that you can outsource highly complex tasks) by educating our clients to fight against competition. Technology might automate some of our tasks. Our approach here is to continuously increase our level of value add by taking care of complex/creative tasks and continuously training our team.
Your final thoughts?
Martin TRONQUIT: Looking forward to a quieter 2021