Here’s another from The Startup Magazine Founder Interview Series. We interviewed Mr. Abraham Gin, an entrepreneur, business coach, and CEO of Gin Consulting Group, which provides unique leadership development and training platforms.
Abraham serves his clients with both forward-looking business growth strategy and digital marketing through leadership applications partners. His unique experiences as an entrepreneur and CxO advisor provided him with a high-impact set of business development and leadership skills that also help startups and SMEs navigate their entrepreneurial challenges.
Here Abraham tells us more about lessons learned from his own entrepreneurship journey and success story:
TSM: To get us started, describe what Gin Consulting Group does in 10 words or less:
Abraham: We offer scalable performance, culture, and leadership development via hi-tech SAAS platform and high-touch coaching.
TSM: With a bit more detail, what does Gin Consulting Group do? What problems does it solve?
Abraham: Gin Consulting Group serves their clients by aligning their plans through strategic planning, activating their people through scalable people SAAS+ platform, and amplifying their reach through marketing (specifically through SEO and LinkedIn Strategy). SAAS+ focuses on integrating high touch with their high-tech subscriptions, providing their customers with a platform for coaching and consulting needs.
TSM: What inspired you to start Gin Consulting? (Share with us what problem you’re solving)
Abraham: I’ve always had a strong sense of entrepreneurship and truly enjoyed overcoming challenges that hindered the growth of a company. A key element for a company’s growth is choosing the right people to be a part of your team. It is vital to choose individuals who are passionate about their work and believe in team effort, which will impact the overall quality of service provided to clients and stakeholders. By providing our employees with an encouraging and positive environment we are able to create tech-based solutions for the development of people.
Moreover, in order to help our clients’ achieve their dreams and desires, it is vital to accurately interpret it and create a step-by-step strategy that focuses on developing tactics, execution methods, solidifying vision and mission values. Therefore, creating a sense of alignment, we are making our clients’ goals clear and achievable. This responsibility lies in the hands of our leadership, as we believe in providing guidance to our employees in order to achieve our vision and mission.
Lastly, Gin Consulting facilitates companies in increasing their reach through personal branding. Our focus revolves around the LinkedIn lead generation by optimizing their profiles, scaling their approach and sourcing employees, therefore creating lead opportunities through a social media platform, such as LinkedIn. This is essential as personal brands truly reflect the brand of their company.
TSM: How is your company impacting the world/your clients?
Abraham: As a company we truly believe in justice and a DE&I space (diversity, equity and inclusion) and help leaders understand the importance of diversity and inclusion of different cultures, whilst still creating a sense of unity by appreciating the differences. We have helped develop ERG leaders (Employee Resource Group Leaders) that consists of individuals of a variety of ethnic backgrounds and affinity group, to perform cross ERG work for companies such as NAAAP, Experian and Google. This aids the growth and development of minority groups to ensure they become leaders that are beneficial to the business’ organizational goals, thereby providing them with a voice that allows them to speak up and cultivate changes in the company’s culture. Our current work with NAAAP focuses on developing a platform that encourages the growth of Asian-American thought leadership and to curate that, in order to create pathways and provide value to companies. Continuing to achieve brand resiliency amidst the mayhem of COVID-19 is challenging, as it limits the amount of sponsorships and member engagement. In order to resolve this issue, we are creating a centralized resource that provides on-demand live streaming, chat and development of content by creating a digital platform allowing communities to engage and ensure a proper DE&I space, therefore transforming and pushing a 20th century system into the current scenario of the 21st century.
We also provide training and courses for individuals who don’t feel confident with communicating in a professional environment as it may lead to misunderstandings. Our goal is to eliminate the friction between individuals by ensuring that people are empathetic, good listeners and speak the truth in a diplomatic manner, leading to clear and appropriate conversations. Through the courses and support facilitated there has been an overall increase in engagement by 25%.
Another aspect that we focus on is scaling culture. As a company expands, it is important for the vision, mission and values of the company to continue being the main ideology and ensure it engages in all decentralized locations in the world by being connected and using technology, to establish the same culture and values throughout. In addition, we consult visionaries achieve clarity by creating vision, mission values, 5-year and 10-year business plans, processes and operational manuals and implement them even on a remote level. We’ve also consulted companies regarding national sales strategies by calibrating and customizing values and metrics to better suit the region and for their beliefs to bridge a goal that suits both the company and it is employees.
TSM: What are the disruptive factors in your industry that make it so promising?
As we live in a post-COVID-19 world, where being quarantined pushed us to work remotely from home, and while being tight on resources, it is important to have centralized resources and live forms of communication. We’re able to achieve this by creating an ecosystem customized to a client’s needs in a professional manner. An example of this would be NAAAPtv, a platform that provides unique pathways for growth for Asian- American professionals. Another element to NAAAPtv is a user’s ability to obtain a sense of community by creating grouping for different people, chapter leaders and conferences. We also created a feature that allows you to imbed on demand live session into your group with a chat feature that is recorded. A key feature that is highly valued to people in leadership positions, is their ability to view data and see the different types of engagement their employees take part in. Another example is the City Table Leadership website that is created for the city of Kansas. This platform provides disposable information for the public from profit sectors to non- profit sectors and modules that provide unique training. All these methods enable individuals to take control of the current situation and remove COVID-19 as a barrier for things such as communication, engagement, scaling and community development by curating all the required technological needs such as live stream, data, chat and video conferencing into one platform that is user friendly. This ensures that companies continue their resilience while working remotely.
In addition, we also focus on a LinkedIn lead generation. Due to the increasing rate of unemployment caused by COVID-19, a higher number of individuals look towards LinkedIn as their main social networking platform and a method to build a business-to-business connection. As brick and mortar businesses shift to a digital platform, the requirement for LinkedIn also increases, making it one of the most powerful tools in our generation.
We also equip businesses with crisis leadership training. This provides people in leadership positions to ensure that their employees are able to process and verbalize any issues they may face, encouraging positive mental health and increasing the brands overall resilience.
TSM: Describe the company pivot point, and its impact on the company?
Abraham: The most impactful pivot point for our company would be combining SAAS with plus aspect. We incorporated high- tech and the high- touch elements together, creating SAAS+ and therefore, providing a unique journey for people whilst continuing to help train individuals with resilience and remote coaching.
By choosing to focus on LinkedIn lead generation, we’re able to focus on a niche and provide them with the best tools to help them achieve their goals. Therefore, helping individuals focus on personal brand to increase their brand’s resilience.
TSM: As Gin Consulting grew, what were the primary challenges? Hiring? Quality control? Capital?
Abraham: One of the primary challenges faced, was having to educate clients about transitioning from 20th to 21st century platforms of training and development. Using 20th century platforms while scaled into remote locations proves ineffective as its not adapted for individuals who work remotely, therefore leading to a decline in resilience. Hence, we encourage the switch to SAAS+, as our company has adapted and transitioned into using digital platforms over the past 6 years. Overall eliminating the high overhead costs that are caused by brick and mortar companies, and still providing highly effective means of communication using technology. Using the right forms of technology and leveraging it as a means of development is essential as different groupings require different necessities. A powerful method involves you having to think about the transformation in different places. When targeting the masses, the most effective means of communication involves email and video causing consistency, inspiration and efficiency. Therefore, the top tier of communication should be inspirational and efficient, in comparison to the lower tier, which requires a leader to be more relational and transformational in terms of communication. This helps spread a company’s SOP to all locations, ensuring an employee has access to resources and information at all times.
We also aid companies with creating a global workforce by recruiting individuals from other parts of the world, which in turn helps reduce overhead costs as wages greatly differ from country to country. Lastly, finding capital to start your company during COVID-19 can be challenging. However, we help guide our clients with loans and stimulus plans to ensure their growth and development as a company.
TSM: Going back to your early career decisions, tell us what factors influenced your decision to be an entrepreneur?
Abraham: Being a very social and extrinsic person has allowed me to work with several individuals and create partnerships that improve a company’s culture and most importantly identify talent to be a part of a team. One of the key elements of being an entrepreneur is not being afraid to take calculated risks and solving problems. I like to view a problem as a barrier that you overcome in order to continue growing. Barriers also help create excitement as life is filled with ups and downs and every challenge helps you learn something that you previously didn’t know about. They are also a great means of creating new partnerships, techniques and experimenting with different tools. Despite all the challenges, as an entrepreneur I am able to turn my dreams into reality and see them unfold which is the most rewarding aspect. Lastly, having faith and being able to pray with my wife throughout my entrepreneurial journey and process areas in my emotional path and form a resilient and healthy mindset. My wife has truly been such a pillar of support and a breath of fresh air for me and without her this journey would been really difficult. My success and growth as an entrepreneur are directly related to the community that I surround myself with, making this journey impossible without them.
TSM: And what characteristics do you have that particularly contributed to your ability to jump from a startup success to a scale up success?
Abraham: During the startup process, it’s important to have grit, vision, passion and family, making sure that you are diligently working and hustling. Having grit and hunger to achieve your dreams and using setbacks as a challenge to learn from and push through. Amongst all the chaos, it is sometimes easy to forget your vision and stray from your path. Being able to constantly check- in with your vision and provide clarity to it, is so important for startups as it continues to ignite the passion you had when beginning this journey. Most importantly, having family and loved ones by your side to support your vision is vital. For me, family means everything, being able to see my wife and my kids at home really helps me relax and be myself.
In order to scale up, you have to create partnerships as it is impossible for you to do everything by yourself. Creating strategic partnerships, incorporating new technology and thinking about global workforces to source out work and most importantly, leveraging capital that will suit you endeavors.
TSM: What is one interesting fact about you that people may not know?
Abraham: If you’re curious to know more, here are 10 things you probably don’t know about me…
- I love roasting some good hotdogs over a campfire.
- I was a pea harvester, driving a dump truck sized combine at the age of 16.
- I’ve lived in the Middle East with the grandiose idea of serving the Syrian refugees when the bombs hit in 2010!
- I learned that I’m not as patient as I thought until I got married.
- I’m currently hooked on Andy’s Rico Suave concrete custard…..it’s soooo good!
- I got my wife to marry me after just 5 months of knowing her.
- We got married at my wife’s home church in LA – the first in the new chapel.
- One of my favorite pastime activities is getting 50-pound rocks from the river, covering it with petroleum jelly, and leaving it conveniently in front of my friends’ lawn.
- I still watch cartoons with or without my kids.
- I believe that a life worth living often leads us to not live for our comfort.