Juan Esteban is the founder and CEO of LikeU, a “humanized” Business Process Outsourcing company with headquarter in Medellin, Colombia. The core value of his company lies in “Likers” or LikeU’s collaborators. With his virtual team, Juan aims to develop a business model that is environment-friendly, efficient and people-oriented. LikeU is indeed growing beyond borders and working with international clients. Juan is here to share his entrepreneurial journey from Colombia.
It started with an idea that had been nurtured for 10 years…
“Working in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is not necessarily stressful”, Juan remarked, “It can actually be pretty relaxing and manageable at maximum amount of self respect”. What he has learnt after 10 years is the important of human resources: “It’s all about people. You have to select the right person: one who wants to work and will enjoy the job”.
LikeU was established in Medellín, Colombia as a non-traditional cloud-based Call Center, allowing flexible customer management and talent recruitment. Juan stays true to his original idea: a business centered around people. His model also enables those with limited mobility, busy housewives, single moms and students, to have access to decent jobs.
Here come the challenges…
“The biggest challenge in the BPO sector is to close the gap between compromise and service delivery”. For Juan, the recurring issue is to achieve both client and employee satisfaction. How to optimize the service delivery process to make sure “everybody is happy”, under the condition that all the people who work with LikeU are collaborators?
Juan found the solutions in “the cloud”. “We don’t need a physical place that constraints people. Our Likers (LikeU’s collaborators) work remotely without physical control, thus enjoying a more comfortable rythm”. With a simple service contract, Likers can work either part-time (4 hours/day) or full-time (8 hours/day) away from office, yet stills enjoy conventional support from their employer (engagement activities, psychological and health supports).
… and growth…
“Our first international customer comes from referral. When your services are well – delivered, customers will knock your door”. LikeU provides a vast range of services: marketing and sales, customer service, commercial payment collection, back office and market research to clients in various sectors. Most of its clients are banks, financial services, insurance companies and telecommunication providers.
The company is open to any opportunity and ready to scale. “We are eager to work side by side with startups that share the same philosophy of being people-orientated”. Juan wants to further develop LikeU in Latin America, and then the US and Canada.
How it’s going in Colombia?
On Colombia, Juan enthusiastically stated:“We are no longer developing. Colombia has fully developed, with international companies coming in everyday. And my city, Medellín, is one of the most globalized in Colombia”.
Colombia had been at war for over 50 years, but the peaceful time has come. The door to this country is wide open to welcome international investors. Thanks to strong support from the government, Colombia is benefited from a active economy with both international and local players.