Executive Interview: Simon Meers, Managing Director, Wint & Kidd Inc (Philippines)

As part of a new series on this blog we will be profiling PayrollHero users to learn more about them, their business, where they go to learn and best practices. 

Simon MeersLast week we spoke with Clare from SeekingService, this week is Simon Meers, Managing Director, Wint & Kidd Inc (Philippines). We asked Simon a few questions and his responses are below:

1. What brought you to the Philippines?
We were in the process of implementing a new ERP system for our company in Australia (Air-Met Scientific); we had a database of some 30,000 customer records that needed to be cleaned up before we uploaded it into our new system. I was looking for a team to do that and all roads were leading to the Philippines. I employed 5 or 6 people in 2013 to undertake that work and having successfully completed that task I realised that my team in the Philippines could undertake other activities to support my business. I currently have 14 team members providing support services in data management, sales and marketing, technical service support, website SEO and content management.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.50.50 AM2. Tell us about Wint and Kidd?
Recently we moved to a larger office and incorporated a local entity in the Philippines (Wint and Kidd), WK is a boutique BPO for my business (Airmet) and we are offering that service to other Australian businesses. We currently have capacity for 45 employees and 14 are employed to service Airmet.

3. What is the background on the company name?
Albert “Wint” and Charles “Kidd” are fictional characters (villains) in the James Bond novel, and the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever in the James Bond series. They are referred to in the novel and the film as “WINT and KIDD”, and act as enforcers for the smuggling chain of the Spangled Mob. It is their mission, amongst other things, to make sure the smuggling of diamonds, and everything connected to it go off without a hitch. I am a fan of the movie and the in particular the era of movies produced in the 70’s. In addition the name sounds like a professional consulting company.

4. What makes your company different?
At Wint and Kidd we believe that outsourcing or off-shoring should be used to transform a business not necessarily replace elements of it. We want to support businesses to deploy new ideas with ease, try new concepts without it being cost prohibitive, redirect key members of their current team to high pay off activities. There are other companies that provide outsourcing in the Philippines. They may share the same basic broad concept, but our partners work with us because of the people we provide and how our services are delivered. We understand that outsourcing must be efficient, effective and highly professional to succeed; we set out to connect people with what matters most — the experience for them and their customers.

5. When it comes to HR policies, what do you different that your employees love?
The Philippines employment law is very well established, in addition to meeting all our employment obligations we encourage our team members to work with energy and passion, to take responsibility and get involved in our continual improvement processes. Our offices are spacious and we have the latest technology, we promote a friendly and family atmosphere which is very important in the Filipino culture. We celebrate birthdays and other significant events; this encourages loyalty and a sense of belonging to an organisation that is genuinely interesting in the well being of its team members.

6. Where do you go for learning? (ie. what blogs, magazines, papers, etc do you read, watch)
I am a member of a CEO group which meets monthly to share experiences, I typically have 4 or 5 business books on the go at once because I find that most books should be only 100 pages long yet they pad them out for “perceived” value so I tend to skim them and move from one to the other. I have basically given up on watching commercial television; I get my fix from subscriptions to Netflix, Stan and dedicated sports streaming services. I was a “news hound” but to be honest it was just putting stress on my life and suffocating me with bad news stories so I just stopped watching the news and now just read my iPad over breakfast to keep up with the headlines.

7. Android or iPhone?
I started with the iPhone some years ago and have continued to support that product; I find it easy and intuitive.

8. Where do you find most of your talent? (which job site? what tactic do you use, etc?)
I tend to find people rather than advertise and hope that they can find me. I typically use LinkedIn to find people and then reach out for a conversation around opportunities. I use DISC profiling to ensure that any candidates are really well suited to the roles I have on offer.

9. What does 2016 look like for Wint and Kidd?
We will grow our services and continue to add real value to more businesses in the Australian market. My personal bent is business renovation and change management, I never stop looking for ways to improve my own business; I want to share my experiences and assist others.

10. Who is your ideal client?
We love clients who are looking to make real structural change to how they operate. Anyone can shift a bit of work offshore, we are not interested in clients who just want an ego boost by being able to say that they have a VA, we are in the business of driving measurable results, and our business is only as good as the experience we provide for our clients; we specialise in business transformation and my team in the Philippines is only one piece of that puzzle.

11. What was the biggest challenge when you setup in the Philippines?
There are so many layers of government that want a piece of the action and relationships between each group fragmented. Often you need to ask the same question in three different ways before you land in the right place.

12. What was the biggest positive surprise when you setup in the Philippines?
There is an enormous pool of talent in the Philippines and no shortage of human capital coming onto the market. The Filipino culture is one of resilience and this makes them ideal operators for contact or call centre work applications. Filipinos understand our culture; they get our jokes and share many of our values. They are a largely “Christian” based society which means they celebrate and share most of our religious holidays which is very convenient. The time zone is only 2 hours difference from the Australian East coast and is identical to the Australian West coast.

Capture13. What were you doing before PayrollHero (for your hr tools) and how is it now with PayrollHero?
When I set up Wint and Kidd I wanted to leverage the best technology available, all my systems use cloud based software and PayrollHero was an obvious choice. It provides me with the visability I need when I am back in Australia, the system allows my internal accountant to maximise her time and the integration with the statutory bodies is very convenient.


Want to learn more about the Philippines?

Doing Business in the Philippines

What is Peza?

What is SSS in the Philippines?

Payroll in the Philippines

Feel free to reach out to us to chat further about your needs. We have extensive experience in the Philippines and can help provide the information that you need. More details on our Philippine payroll platform.

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