Brynne Herbert, entrepreneur and MBA2012, went from being an employee living the pain of multiple international relocations, to taking the matter into her own hands and building a global company to help solve that pain for others. In this article, Brynne shares her incredible journey, and the lessons she has learnt along the way. Read the full article in London Entrepreneurship Review.
My journey started when I left the US to work as an investment banker throughout Asia and India. This move helped me gain a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities when dealing with talent in multinational companies. I lived the struggles of relocating, not only from my own direct experience but also through my friends and colleagues faced with the same never-ending list of relocation challenges. From finding an apartment in the right neighbourhood and opening up a bank account, to shipping goods and applying for local registrations, each step was laden with inefficiencies that made it really difficult to begin working and performing as we were expected to in our new city.
"Saying that the move was frustrating would be an understatement"
In 2011, I decided to take my career to the next level and explore another continent, so I left Asia for London to attend the MBA programme at London Business School (LBS). Saying that the move was frustrating would be an understatement as I arrived to an apartment with no heat, running water, or Internet. During this experience, I asked my husband why it was so hard to plan a move and so easy to plan a holiday. And he said, “You should change it.” Famous last words!
I set into this new challenge by researching the global mobility market, and realised that the industry had seen no innovation for decades while the rate at which companies were moving employees had dramatically increased each year. Also, in the past five years multinational companies had seen a major shift in the adoption of cloud-based HR technologies to drive efficiency, but this had yet to happen for global mobility.
I have always loved solving big problems, and nothing felt more exciting than the unique opportunity to fill such a massive gap in the market and redefine how organizations manage and retain talent through mobility. I teamed up with Steve Black, MOVE Guides’ Head of Product, and Peter Almasi, our Technical Lead, to create the first cloud technology that made it easy for companies to move talent around the world. After many late nights in the basement library of LBS, our hard work paid off when we launched version 1.0 in 2012.
"In October, we completed our $8.2 million Series A"
In 2014, we launched the latest version of our technology solution called the Talent Mobility Cloud. This is a transformational HR technology and the first cloud solution that brings together companies, employees, vendors, and finance into one central hub to manage and move global talent. We partner with some of the largest multinational companies around the world to help them achieve operational efficiency, employee satisfaction, and global compliance during relocation. The application comes with our sophisticated global vendor network and payment capabilities, spanning 200+ locations and 100+ currencies.
Today, MOVE Guides has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong accommodating a talented team of over 50 people – all of whom have relocated at some stage in their life. In October, we completed our $8.2 million Series A round of investment led by NEA, with participation from existing investor Notion Capital, which will help us grow the company exponentially.
Keys to Success
I have learned many valuable lessons along the way that have contributed to the on-going success of MOVE Guides. That said, there are three pieces of advice that I always share with other entrepreneurs seeking to transform an industry.
"The best companies are created to solve major problems and are built by teams who are dedicated to bringing that vision to life."
You need unwavering dedication
When starting a company, it is extremely important to have unwavering dedication and passion for what you are trying to achieve. Turning an idea into a profitable business is very hard and people will question your every move. If you don’t believe 100 percent in what you are trying to accomplish, you will not be able to convince others to join you on your journey.
Always keep learning
As a CEO and entrepreneur, I think it is essential to embrace any opportunity to learn and always welcome new perspectives to the table. Whether an interesting book, an inspiring speech, or an advice from a mentor, it is critical to keep an open mind and continue learning. Encouraging this mentality amongst your team members is also important and will provide opportunities for them to grow and improve their skill sets.
Choose your team carefully
Lastly, I have learnt you must be ruthless when trying to find the right people to join you on your entrepreneurial journey. These are the people that you will work with on a daily basis so they have to be the best at what they do. I am most proud of the team that we have created and how each person contributes to the overall success of MOVE Guides. Markets change and products evolve, but a great team is what builds the legacy and makes your brand unique and consistent.
Starting a global business from the ground up has been life changing. I believe that the best companies are created to solve major problems and are built by teams who are dedicated to bringing that vision to life. This is exactly what we are trying to accomplish at MOVE Guides. We wake up every morning excited by the opportunity to transform the industry and redefine how talent moves.