Drift, an AI-powered conversational marketing company, was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2015. In seven short years, the company has grown to 550 team members and over 50,000 customers.
Drift recently seized a significant growth opportunity by expanding into Mexico in just seven days, thanks to their partnership with G-P. Drift required assistance with some of the complex issues most expanding companies face, such as legal issues around compliance, taxes, and payroll.
“Despite sharing a border, doing business in Mexico is a lot different than doing business in the U.S., so G-P was able to streamline a lot of the compliance issues involved in setting up for us,” said Jim Kelliher, Chief Financial Officer at Drift. “As a result, we were ready to go before we even had time to start the recruitment process.”
Thomas Merchant, Director of International Brand Management at G-P, weighed in on Kelliher’s assessment of expanding across borders. “Going global is not easy. And as you grow your business, you should not worry about backend administration headaches. That’s where we [G-P] come in.”
Kelliher explained why Drift chose Mexico as a destination for its expansion efforts. For starters, he pointed out that to fulfil Drift’s full growth potential, they had to spread their wings and grow outside of Boston. Mexico was the perfect environment to realize this dream due to its broad talent pool. Moreover, the country’s close proximity to California, where several of Drift’s existing development team are based, also helped seal the deal.
When describing how Drift was able to expand into Mexico in just seven days, Kelliher singled out three specific areas of G-P’s solution that their finance and HR teams benefitted from:
- The reporting feature was straightforward to use.
- The user interface was simple to get people set up and operating.
- The ability to add people to payroll and make edits accordingly.
Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig, Chief Commercial Officer at Sigmar Recruitment, has known Kelliher, who has dual Irish citizenship, for nearly ten years through their mutual work on transatlantic business initiatives. Weighing in on the current state of employment, with trends like the “Great Resignation” and quiet quitting constantly in the news headlines, Giolla Phadgraig highlighted that “when a workforce is distributed, flexibility is key.”
He cited the “Great Resignation’s” financial impact on Amazon, whereby the company lost EUR 8 billion due to constant turnovers, which equals a whopping 25 percent of their net profit. To override these effects, companies must focus on the experience and cultural environment they can offer prospective employees, Giolla Phadraig believes. In his view, identifying talent is not the problem. It is winning them over.
In closing the session, Kelliher signed off with some wise words to companies seeking to expand globally for the first time. “Take it step by step,” he said. “Don’t try and go as fast as possible to get everywhere as quickly as possible.”
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