Dennis Tedder has spent the last twenty-eight years in New York City in the international finance industry segment. Most of those years were completed on Wall Street, however two years were spent in the Boston Financial community. After a successful career on Wall Street he decided to leave New York City for something even more stimulating: work as a facilitator in Mumbai, India.
Dennis speaks Hindi fluently and is a native English speaker as well, providing assistance in finding the right doctor or furniture or just to get documents translated in Mumbai, India.
As an expat himself, he understands the point of view of the client (other expats) but fully respects the differences that are required to navigate the Indian culture and thought process.
He is expanding his services to that of medical tourism. He works with a number of cardiologists and plastic surgeons within the hospital, Forits Group with many of the top hospitals in Mumbai that provides facilities, care; complete treatment.
A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan to achieve them without taking a particular position in the discussion. Some facilitators will try to assist the group in achieving a consensus on any disagreements that preexist or emerge in the meeting, so that it has a strong basis for future action.
How did you get started? What sparked this business idea?
I got started in this business of being a facilitator after spending a year in Cuenca, Ecuador where US citizens (expats) arrived often from the United States, but had no idea of the culture differences, how to get around, what was needed in obtaining a residency card and how to navigate the day-to-day activities in an unfamiliar city where language was also a barrier. There was a need for additional facilitators in Ecuador and I’m now moving that business idea to Mumbai, India, where I will be located over the next ten years.
How do you make money?
Revenues come from clients (individuals) and are based on a total package, weekly or daily rates applying according to the needs of the client.
How long did it take to get your business into the black?
My business was almost nearly in the black from day one whilst in Cuenca, Ecuador in which I was successful for the year I was there. In my move to Mumbai, India, there is no reason to think that my business will continue to grow and take on additional personnel.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Because of the demand of new expats moving to Ecuador, the business took off faster than I expected and what started as an occasional hobby turned into a full-time occupation.
How did you get your first customer?
My first client was an acquaintance I met while at a dinner function in Cuenca, Ecuador, and one turned into two, and so on.
How are you marketing your business? What strategy works best?
The best strategy for growing my business is through the use of FaceBook and target marketing through Facebook’s marketing campaign capability. The best strategy is using FaceBook to reach out to individuals moving to Mumbai and to earn their trust and confidence.
Is there a trend in your industry that particularly excites you right now?
The growing trend is that of United States expats leaving for more exotic locations which will employ the services of a facilitator; the business only shows signs of growing. According to sources both public and private, there are no current facilitators advertising in Mumbai.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
While I was enthralled with the atmosphere of Cuenca, Ecuador where I am also the Director for International Marketing for The Jazz Society of Ecuador, the city didn’t offer the excitement of the “big city” (as it were).
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
What makes me successful in business is I have no starting and/or dinner bell. Whatever the hours are, they are addressed as sometimes I have to make accommodations for those who must meet after hours.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The most satisfying reward for my operation is the feeling of relief ny clients feel when they understand that their concerns are addressed quickly and efficiently.
Tell us about one of your hobbies when you’re not working.
In my down time, I take every second for high-altitude hiking, trekking and mountain climbing. Additionally, I am a musician and regularly attend all music venues from local jazz clubs to orchestra and ballet.
How do you go about gaining clients; how do you grow your client base?
Many of my clients are found proactively through FaceBook and FaceBook target marketing. As more clients work with me and Darwin Discoveries, word of mouth grows the client base exponentially.