CXChronicles Podcast

CXChronicles Podcast 214 with Uku Tomikas, CEO at Messente

November 01, 2023 Adrian Brady-Cesana Season 6 Episode 214
CXChronicles Podcast 214 with Uku Tomikas, CEO at Messente
CXChronicles Podcast
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CXChronicles Podcast
CXChronicles Podcast 214 with Uku Tomikas, CEO at Messente
Nov 01, 2023 Season 6 Episode 214
Adrian Brady-Cesana

Hey CX Nation,

In this week's episode of The CXChronicles Podcast #214 we  welcomed Uku Tomikas, CEO at Messente Communication based in Tallinn, Estonia. 

Messente is a profitable Estonian startup offering an SMS API platform and two-factor authentication solution to businesses worldwide. 

Through secure, global messaging and two-factor authentication, Messente connects businesses to people across the globe. 

Spanning over 190 countries, SMS messages and notifications are delivered via hundreds of mobile carriers and partners directly to people - the customers. 

Messente's clients come from a wide range of industries and include FinTechs, banks, package delivery/logistics companies, hotels, retail chains and consumer brands.

In this episode, Uku and Adrian chat through how he has tackled The Four CX Pillars: Team,  Tools, Process & Feedback and shares tips & best practices that have worked across his own customer focused business leader journey.

**Episode #214 Highlight Reel:**

1. Started as SDR 8 years ago & climbed the ladder ALL THE WAY UP to CEO 
2. Day-Trading telecommunication mediums by understanding its supply & demand
3. Expanding product & service offerings by identifying new customer challenges
4. Lessons learned about SOPS from being a former Artillery Platoon Commander
5. Improving your performance through candid, regular feedback & why its a gift
Huge thanks to Uku for coming on The CXChronicles Podcast and featuring his work and efforts in pushing the customer experience & customer success space into the future.

Click here to learn more about Uku Tomikas

Click here to learn more about Messente Communications

If you enjoy The CXChronicles Podcast, stop by your favorite podcast player and leave us a review today.

You know what would be even better?

Go tell one of your friends or teammates about CXC's content, CX/CS/RevOps services, our customer & employee focused community & invite them to join the CX Nation!

Are you looking to learn more about the world of Customer Experience, Customer Success & Revenue Operations?

Click here to grab a copy of my book "The Four CX Pillars To Grow Your Business Now" available on Amazon or the CXC website.

For you non-readers, go check out the CXChronicles Youtube channel to see our customer & employee focused video content & short-reel CTAs to improve your CX/CS/RevOps performance today (politely go smash that subscribe button).

Contact us anytime to learn more about CXC at and ask us about how we can help your business & team make customer happiness a habit now!

Huge thanks to our newest CXCP sponsor Glance. Visit their website today at

Reach Out To CXC Today!

Support the Show.

Contact CXChronicles Today

Remember To Make Happiness A Habit!!

Show Notes Transcript

Hey CX Nation,

In this week's episode of The CXChronicles Podcast #214 we  welcomed Uku Tomikas, CEO at Messente Communication based in Tallinn, Estonia. 

Messente is a profitable Estonian startup offering an SMS API platform and two-factor authentication solution to businesses worldwide. 

Through secure, global messaging and two-factor authentication, Messente connects businesses to people across the globe. 

Spanning over 190 countries, SMS messages and notifications are delivered via hundreds of mobile carriers and partners directly to people - the customers. 

Messente's clients come from a wide range of industries and include FinTechs, banks, package delivery/logistics companies, hotels, retail chains and consumer brands.

In this episode, Uku and Adrian chat through how he has tackled The Four CX Pillars: Team,  Tools, Process & Feedback and shares tips & best practices that have worked across his own customer focused business leader journey.

**Episode #214 Highlight Reel:**

1. Started as SDR 8 years ago & climbed the ladder ALL THE WAY UP to CEO 
2. Day-Trading telecommunication mediums by understanding its supply & demand
3. Expanding product & service offerings by identifying new customer challenges
4. Lessons learned about SOPS from being a former Artillery Platoon Commander
5. Improving your performance through candid, regular feedback & why its a gift
Huge thanks to Uku for coming on The CXChronicles Podcast and featuring his work and efforts in pushing the customer experience & customer success space into the future.

Click here to learn more about Uku Tomikas

Click here to learn more about Messente Communications

If you enjoy The CXChronicles Podcast, stop by your favorite podcast player and leave us a review today.

You know what would be even better?

Go tell one of your friends or teammates about CXC's content, CX/CS/RevOps services, our customer & employee focused community & invite them to join the CX Nation!

Are you looking to learn more about the world of Customer Experience, Customer Success & Revenue Operations?

Click here to grab a copy of my book "The Four CX Pillars To Grow Your Business Now" available on Amazon or the CXC website.

For you non-readers, go check out the CXChronicles Youtube channel to see our customer & employee focused video content & short-reel CTAs to improve your CX/CS/RevOps performance today (politely go smash that subscribe button).

Contact us anytime to learn more about CXC at and ask us about how we can help your business & team make customer happiness a habit now!

Huge thanks to our newest CXCP sponsor Glance. Visit their website today at

Reach Out To CXC Today!

Support the Show.

Contact CXChronicles Today

Remember To Make Happiness A Habit!!

The CXChronicles Podcast- 214 with Uku Tomikas, CEO at Messente Communications.mp4

Speaker 1 (00:00:00) - All right, guys, thanks so much for listening to another episode of the CX Chronicles podcast. I'm your host, Adrian Brady-Cesana. Super excited for today's show, guys. We have an awesome guest with us, Uku Tomikas, joining us as the CEO of Messente Communications Uku, say hello to the CX Nation, my friend. 

Uku Tomikas (00:00:24) - Hello, everybody. Glad to be here. 

Speaker 1 (00:00:27) - So guys, Uku and his team, number one, they do some really, really cool work that I think many of us probably don't think about that often, but it's affecting our business. It's affecting our relationships with our customers. It's affecting the way that we message one another every single solitary day. So I'm pumped, Uku, for you to share your story. Why don't you start off today's show? Let me start off all these episodes, my friend. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:00:48) - Give us a sense for, number one, how Messente Communications came to be about, and then number two, start off with your journey, man. How did you kind of get into the position that you're in today as leading this awesome team and being the CEO of this company? 

Uku Tomikas (00:01:02) - Yeah, so Messente has been around for 10 years now. So we like to consider ourselves as a startup because considering yourself as a startup is kind of like sexy. The thing is that the Estonian government also has this sort of characterization or like an umbrella organization managing all startups in Estonia, and we officially got kicked out of it because we're a 10-year-old profitable company. So technically, we're no longer considered an actual startup anymore. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:01:32) - Guus, did you guys get out of there? 

Uku Tomikas (00:01:34) - Yeah, they just said like, you don't qualify for this anymore. It's like, okay, fine. You've managed to stick around for 10 years, you're not a startup anymore. Okay, fine. 

Speaker 4 (00:01:42) - Thank you. 

Uku Tomikas (00:01:42) - But Messente sort of came about 10 years ago as a spinoff, actually, from our group. So Messente is part of a larger ICT group here in Estonia, which is Mobi Group. Mobi Group has been around from the end of the 90s, mainly because they started getting into those kind of like, I don't know if you had those as well, but like SMS sweepstakes, like kind of like SMS lotteries and stuff like that. So they started off doing those things. 

Uku Tomikas (00:02:11) - And then from over time, it developed into things like carrier billing, mobile app development, and then the business messaging arm that Messente has become now. So 10 years ago, the business messaging arm of that organization spun out and became what Messente is today, essentially a service provider for businesses for their messaging communication to their clients. 

Uku Tomikas (00:02:35) - And through that 10 year period of time, Messente has had this interesting growth of growing to a 20 million company, but every single year being profitable, consistently without any VC backing, any loans, any anything. So we're kind of in this nice position of having our own clients, stable business, own cash with an ability to make like big investments if we wanted to make it ourselves. Like if we wanted to push a million somewhere, we could push it out of our own coffers and be fine. 

Uku Tomikas (00:03:12) - So there's this sort of different kind of perspective to business that we seek all the time because we kind of have always played the long game. And in a way, back in 2019, people would ask, why are you not growing faster? Why don't you just take a loan and invest into and hire a bunch of people and do that? 

Uku Tomikas (00:03:29) - And now in 2023, where you have large international businesses firing 20%, 10%, 15%, whatever percentage of people in their company, I hire 27% of new people this year, because I'm in a position where, yeah, but that's not going to break my bank, I'm profitable, I've always been profitable. So now we're seeing this as a super healthy, well-positioned company, while four years ago, we were growing too slow. We've been doing things, the exact same thing, it's just people's perception of things that kind of changes throughout the time. 

Uku Tomikas (00:04:03) - So it's been this interesting journey to be on with Mesenta, and me myself, I've been in the company for eight years now, so I've been around for a long time in terms of tenure. There are three people who have been here longer, that's the former CEO and the head of the board, who's a founder, our CTO, who's a founder, and our head of R&D, who's also a founder. So the three founders are the only ones who have been here for longer than I am, with me being here. 

Uku Tomikas (00:04:29) - And I started eight years ago as an SDR, a sales development representative, or whatever else you want to call it, junior-junior sales position within the company, especially because at that point in time, the account managers did pretty much everything. So I was hired below the account managers to be the junior-junior sales person in the company. 

Uku Tomikas (00:04:52) - And then throughout the progression of the last eight years, I've gone from working as an SDR to working as the R&D accounts, to doing key account analysis, to doing operations work, to being the wholesale manager, then getting to a position where I ran the entire connectivity team, which consists.

Uku Tomikas (00:05:11) - of wholesale procurement and support back then. I then built the wholesale side of the business up. When in 2019, it generated 100,000 years of revenue a year. This year, that same arm of the business, actively started building it in the middle of 2020. Within three years, it's gone from 100K a year to then this year being 8 million a year, in terms of business volume. What? That's fantastic, I said. Yeah, and that has been a big part of the growth of the business because I had a knack for building that side of the business. 

Uku Tomikas (00:05:47) - After 10 years of helming the company, our previous CEO decided that he felt like for the next iteration of this company, for the next push onwards, he needed somebody else who had a different type of skillset. And my skillset has always been sort of building collaboration processes and efficiency out of an engine. So, I was asked whether I want to do it, and then we're ready to process and everything else. And then at the start of this year, I took the helm. 

Uku Tomikas (00:06:18) - And it has been quite an interesting journey because leading a team is significantly easier than leading a company. You can turn a team around a lot faster than you can turn a company around, because there are so many aspects and perspectives you have to take into consideration. And at the start of the year, when I set the goals for the company this year, they seemed aggressive and unobtainable. 

Uku Tomikas (00:06:43) - And now, at the beginning of Q4, essentially, or one third through Q4, we are going to hit all of those goals, and it's going to be the most profitable year in the company's history, while making bets, hiring, making investments, still being the most sort of profitable year of the company. 

Uku Tomikas (00:07:08) - And I think the biggest thing for me is that we've always talked about certain financial goals for the company, and we wanted to be a company that could pay more than a million of dividends every year, where you could be in a position where the company is profitable enough to sustain investments, hirings, everything else while paying out a million each year, which is a pretty solid place to be as a business if you can do seven-figure dividends every single year, year after year, right? 

Uku Tomikas (00:07:35) - So we've always wanted to be in that position, and it had always seemed like a slightly too unobtainable dream. And at the tail end of this year, when I talked to the leads, and I'm in the middle of that planning process, and I talked to them, and I want to understand, what is their perspective for next year? What do they think we can realistically do? They'd be okay with a million, but that would be the lower tier of the goal. They want to go higher, because they realistically believe we can go significantly higher than that. 

Uku Tomikas (00:08:07) - That mind shift that has happened within the leadership team, within the company, the pace change has been an incredible thing to watch. And from one side, I could take the credit for it and say it happened under my leadership, but it's, I didn't build the engine. I just fine-tuned it, and I knew how to fine-tune it to a position where it's significantly more effective, and that's why I was brought in, because that's what I'm good at. I can tune things, I can create efficiency, and I can build upon things that have already existed. 

Uku Tomikas (00:08:41) - I was joking, you said it, I'm not a visionary. I probably would never found a successful company, but I could probably take your company and make it big, is what I always tell people. Like, I can make it more effective, is what I do. This sort of like, and that sort of reverts back to my entire history of why I'm as a person. I consider myself a grinder. I've never been super intelligent, I've never been super talented, but I will outwork you. And I, you know, that has been my ethos for as long as I've lived, and I live and breathe that. 

Uku Tomikas (00:09:12) - I mean, I do yoga every day, for example. And up until 32 days ago, when my COVID brain accidentally made me skip a day of yoga, then before that, I had a 1,122 day streak of doing every single day, north of three years, every single day, nonstop. Now I have one day in between, and now I'm on 32 again, and I will build it again up to- We'll give you that one day. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:09:44) - If it was related to COVID, we'll give you that one day, Hugo. 

Uku Tomikas (00:09:47) - Yeah, but for me, it's sort of like, and it was funny, because people always ask me, how did you feel after that? Like, it sucked for two hours, and then I got through it, and then just did it all over again, because that's just how, you know, I function.

Uku Tomikas (00:10:03) - I just push on. I mean, I even have the phrase press on tattooed on my arm, because that's kind of the ethos that I carry with me throughout life and that's what I bring to business as well. 

Speaker 1 (00:10:15) - I love it, man. So, number one, thank you so much for sharing that, and really quick for the folks that are listening to the podcast and not watching it on YouTube right now. Uku is not joking. He literally has a tattoo press on on his arm, so you have to check that out. But, Uku, number one, thank you so much for sharing all that. I love hearing how different people come about their different walks of life. Number one: it's just. I think it's so important to hear all the different ways that you can come up. I wanna dig into your journey a little bit. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:10:38) - Number one: SDR to CEO. Come on, man. That's incredible and for some of our listeners right now that think that they're stuck in a spot, or maybe they're not getting the credit that they're due, or maybe they feel like they're having trouble hitting goal, or maybe they don't know that they're even doing what they wanna do, you gotta stop and take a minute to remember where you are right. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:10:57) - This minute today is not where you're going to be in a year from now, or two years from now, or five years from now or eight years from now, when you could literally be running and leading the company that you're sitting in. So I love that you shared that. Second big thing I wanna call out on that point though, man, that I love about it is I'm not surprised- some of the success and some of the performance that you shared with us. Man, it sounds like you became intimately involved with Mesante. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:11:23) - You became intimately involved with not just customers, man, but you were listening to probably thousands of people that might be interested in Mesante for years before you ever came into the helm of running all of the complexities of the business. That's a game changer number one. That's a game changer number two, I would argue. Most executives don't have the luxury of being able to like really be living and breathing and swimming in the space that they're in. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:11:46) - So that must have been incredible for you to be able to: just eight years of learning, listening, understanding, plus then you got to work with the team, so you saw what worked inside the team. You saw what didn't work inside the team. You knew what people loved about Mesante, what they hated about Mesante, what they wanted more from Mesante. Those are all things that I think it sounds very clearly like in your journey. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:12:04) - You were taking account in inventory of that all along the way and now in the last year, with you being in the CEO position, man, that's a game changer to be able to roll all those dice right back out onto the table and play them the way that you were kind of listening and hearing along the way. 

Speaker 4 (00:12:16) - So I love that. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:12:17) - Real quick, before we jump into the first pillar of team. So Mesante helps all sorts of different businesses with SMS API. You're working with over. You're working with customers in over 190 countries across the world, 1,200 networks, 1,500 clients. Real quick, in 60 seconds or so. Give our listeners, before we dive into the four pillars, give them a sense for who that bread and butter client is, or give them a sense for what the main areas are that you and your team are helping your customers with every single Salterian day. 

Uku Tomikas (00:12:43) - Most common type of customers are businesses that have multiple markets, multiple businesses that are established, businesses with a lot of high touch customer communication, businesses that are already quite often mature, that have demanding clients. Think financial services, think banks, think payment apps. Think logistics providers, think your courier messages- essentially companies where the alternative cost of a text message is incredibly high. You don't get your parcel delivery notification, you don't pick it up. 

Uku Tomikas (00:13:18) - The courier doesn't get you, it goes into reprocessing. Every single time a pocket package is reprocessed it's multiple tens of dollars per package. A text message costs below a cent in the States. So now you're talking in a situation where you could have paid some provider two tens of cents more and get one percentage delivered better. Instead, you decided to opt for a slightly cheaper option: paid a little bit less for text messages, but if you're sending a million messages per month, 1% don't get there. 10,000 times $20 per package. 

Uku Tomikas (00:13:54) - That's the damage that we help businesses get away from by providing a very tailored solution for specific quality. That's only essential for businesses where the alternative cost is very high. 

Uku Tomikas (00:14:08) - So mature, well-established, multinational, high-touch companies love it, love it, and I love that you lay that out for me, jumping the pillars, because, again, many of our listeners on the Siege Chronicles podcast, they are startup founders, they are business entrepreneurs, they're the guys and the gals that are typically leading customer experience, customer success, customer support, customer communications, client enablement- whatever you guys are calling these different terms. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:14:31) - They're the customer-facing part of the team that knows exactly how valuable masante's type of offering could be. And then, number two, these are the guys and gals that are building future customer experiences. Everybody doesn't wanna talk on the phone anymore, man. Not everybody wants to jump onto a Zoom call. People don't want Uku and Adrian getting on the airplane and flying to them and meeting their. Maybe they do, some of them do, maybe hopefully, but most customers they want the now, they want a quick meeting. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:14:56) - They want the preferred medium of their choice: text messages, how all of us communicate these days, right, not just with our moms and our dads and our wives and our husbands and our kids, but like with our customers. Man and I would argue too, so many companies, so many of the incredible customer-focused business leaders in this show. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:15:11) - I would argue as you get to check different medium boxes of a customer relationship, it starts to show your depth and it starts to show your stickiness with that customer. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:15:21) - If you can jump across medium and a customer that you can meet with in person and text message with and have phone calls with, there's some signals there that show that that customer is probably gonna be a little bit stickier, probably have a higher LTV and they're gonna be the types of guys and gals that are gonna probably go and tell you where your next 10 customers come from or where your next 1000 customers come from. So I love all that. Let's jump into the first CX pillar of team, man. I wanna highlight the team that you've built at Mesante. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:15:48) - Can you give us a sense for some of the different players on the pitch or some of the different teams or departments that you guys are heavily invested in today? 

Uku Tomikas (00:15:56) - So Mesante throughout its history has always very much leaned on our enterprise portfolio and probably within, during the first seven to eight years of the company's existence, 90 to 95% of the business has always come from enterprise clients purely. But then throughout the past couple of years, we've seen a shift in where our product portfolio or sort of like revenue portfolio actually lies with the addition of SMBs. 

Uku Tomikas (00:16:32) - So pretty much small businesses, self signups that treat us more as a SaaS platform rather than a service provider, as we are to enterprises. For them, it's a very custom partnerships, maybe tailor-made solutions, stuff like that. For Salesforce side, we're more like a SaaS company. And ever since 2020, I started building the wholesale side of business where we're purely an aggregation partner. It's like day trading in a way. 

Uku Tomikas (00:16:57) - So we've gone from very heavily being on the CTO and the dev team and then the sales team alongside a support team that then also fulfilled functions like connections and partners and routing and stuff like that. That's, you know, telco stuff. We've now evolved into the kind of the overarching, what I call them is cash captains. 

Uku Tomikas (00:17:23) - I have like small, like Slack channels and I call them cash captains, which is our head of revenue, which is pretty much responsible for everything related to enterprise clients, account management, customer success portfolio of smaller to mid-sized clients and bigger clients. Then we also have our head of marketing who functions for, you know, the inbound stuff, our overall visibility, employer marketing, as well as the Salesforce customer side of things. 

Uku Tomikas (00:17:48) - And then our head of connectivity who is responsible for wholesale and procurement with procurement very much driving the profitability of the enterprise portfolio post-close, as well as the self-signup portfolio, as well as creating our self-advantages in multiple different markets and broadening our reach because of that. 

Uku Tomikas (00:18:09) - So those three functions have become core pillars on the side of the support team becoming a standalone function and pretty much the pillar everybody else leans on because aside from being usual customer support, our customer support also does things like, you know, technical routing changes, account setups. They do stuff like actual troubleshooting stuff on our own side, in our own platform, talking to the dev team, giving them feedback, talking to high sort of enterprise customers, as well as self-signups when it's necessary. 

Uku Tomikas (00:18:42) - They have their hands everywhere and they are the sort of team everybody leans on. And they're much more technically advanced for a customer success agent than, you know, usually people would be. And then on addition to that, there now exists from the start of last year, an R&D function where we have a specifically dedicated team that consists of one of our most senior full-stack developers alongside one of our co-founders whose job is to find new commercial options for our business outside of our core product. 

Uku Tomikas (00:19:18) - We've very heavily started looking into the question of fraud this year because we work with a lot of financial services, our experiences have very much revolved around their experiences. And with the onset of COVID and with the rise of AI, fraud has become a huge part of their customers' experience, unfortunately, as well, because it's just becoming that much bigger of a deal. So it's a sore point and a pain point for them. 

Uku Tomikas (00:19:43) - So we started working with the banks, then the Estonian police, then the Estonian Banking Association alongside that, Baltic counterparts, et cetera, getting to a position where we've gone from just being a business messaging company to, in a way, already becoming an anti-fraud company. 

Uku Tomikas (00:19:57) - So my mandate to the R&D team was look outside of business messaging, look at different channels, look completely outside, find what else is there for us to fight on the fraud angle of things because that seems to be so much more of an issue for the businesses that we serve rather than maybe some of the other business messaging providers whose portfolios are slanted differently or with a different function or are very much heavily invested in the SMBs who probably don't have that many issues with fraud as opposed to somebody like HSBC might have.

Speaker 3 (00:20:31) - Right. So that has become a core pillar of that team as well. And now also looking to build the product team on top of that as well. But that has been sort of the evolution of our team and the teams within Macenta over the past couple of years where it's gone from two to three main functions. So now consisting of, you know, seven leads all together with all sorts of different functions. And each of those leads also governing separate functions underneath them that all sort of need to merge together to make it as effective of a unit as possible. 

Speaker 3 (00:21:04) - And that's kind of interestingly the key to this year's success, rolling the team, making and putting the leadership team in a position where they work together has been the biggest reason of our success this year. Moreover, than any other process, I could have improved the fact that I've gotten this team to, and this is what our CTO said, one of the founders, he said, for the first time, now he feels we're like a team. And when you get to that point with your leaders, that's when you start driving things forward a lot faster. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:21:38) - That's a game changer. So number one, I love that. I think what you made me think about even in your introduction, you know, guys, so many people forget this, but being an incredible leader, oftentimes, and Nuko, I don't know why this visual popped into my head when you were explaining some of the, when you were talking about refining the engine or refining the machine or give me any company and I'll get in there and I'll whip it in. It made me think about, you know, excellent leaders are crew chiefs. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:02) - And I don't know how big, I don't know how big racing is in Estonia. Actually, probably pretty big with Formula 1. And in Europe, you probably love Formula 1. Here in America, obviously, we're watching Formula 1. It's popular, but a lot more NASCAR. But crew chiefs, for our listeners who are not race fans, crew chiefs are there to literally identify and understand the performance that's happening across the driver, across the crew pit. Some people in the crew pit are focused on tires. Some people are focused on suspension. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:25) - Some people are the master mechanics that are literally tinkering with an engine on a 30-second stop. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:30) - CEOs, especially incredible CEOs and incredible leaders, customer-focused and employee-focused business leaders, they are good at understanding not how to do all of that stuff, but rather how to understand which bits and pieces and parts of the team are doing a great job, an exceptional job, which parts are falling behind, which parts aren't communicating and they're not talking and they're clearly, they're tripping over each other's toes or they're tripping over each other's tools. And it just made me think about that. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:22:56) - That's one of the easiest things for our listeners. If you're in a position where you're leading your business, leading your team, leading your department, think about how you can play into that role, right? And then if you're not the crew chief yet, right, because maybe you're earlier in your career, think about how the hell you're going to, number one, be able to communicate back to the crew chief what's working really, really well. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:23:12) - And think about how you're going to work with the other folks on the crew pit because that's one of the easiest ways that you're going to build some of those collaborative muscles. And then on top of it, you can't learn anything if you're not listening. So it becomes another way that you begin to listen to what the other leaders in the business. You mentioned marketing. Now let's get back to Masante's team. You mentioned marketing, growth, sales. You mentioned success, support. You mentioned all the technical things that you guys are doing. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:23:35) - I was thinking about, by the way, when you were talking about fraud on our chat, our chat the other day, Uku, when we were getting ready for the show, like even just this notion, every one of us has gotten a text message from a bank or from a retailer, from some big billion-dollar company that ultimately we should trust. But we look at our iPhones and we're like, why the hell is Bank of America, is this real? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:23:54) - And then you almost have for that split second, you almost have that question in your head where you're like, wait, should I reply yes or no to this? Or is this, is somebody fit? So like it makes a ton of sense that your business and your team is building not just a messaging solution, but now that you've been at it for 10 years, right? That's a decade. That's a decade of listening and learning to what customers want, what customers need, what customers would want more of, what customers would want less of. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:24:17) - And on top of it, your space has changed, man. The world of SMS and the world of just communication technology in general, I think about 10 years ago when I was in New York City working at some of these startups, some of the tools we were using that were best in class, they're like best in class leading, you know, global leaders, they're not all the same. Some of them are the same. Some of them are still have continued to dominate and have continued to, you know, build these mega billion-dollar, you know, software companies. But like, I love it. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:24:41) - I think it's a fantastic way of kind of laying out all the fantastic people you have on the team. The one thing I want to add is as I'm looking through the Masante website, another piece is you guys integrate with a ton of different apps. On the website, it says, you know, you're integrated with over 2,000 different apps using those app or built-in integrations, which is what most providers are doing. I would love to turn the camera on you, brother, and understand how have you guys built your, let's jump into the second CX pillar of tools.

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:25:06) - How did you guys kind of build the Masante tech stack, and I'd love to kind of listen and learn to how you guys placed certain bets, maybe even eight years ago, when you were brand new into the company. But I'd love to hear you spend a couple minutes kind of talking about what tools were really required to build Masante for your customers as you grew the business. And then I'd love to kind of just hear even just some of your own personal lessons or learnings about tools that work, tools that didn't work, or even just tech stack management. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:25:33) - This is a space that I think people oftentimes need help with. Even great leaders need help with. Do I have the right technology? Am I utilizing it right? How do I teach my team how to use it? How do I teach my customers how to use it? I'd love for you to just spend a few minutes kind of talking about tools and some of the things you've learned. 

Uku Tomikas (00:25:45) - Duco, yeah, absolutely. I mean, the big thing about us has been throughout time, that we built a lot of stuff based on customer requests. But one of the things you know, if you have a large enterprise asking you for something and they cost it to 10% of your total revenue, then you're probably going to build whatever they ask, which is one of the ways you get into building certain things in your company. 

Uku Tomikas (00:26:12) - Unfortunately, though, one of the things that we've been quite poor at in history- and one of the things that I am trying to fix or improve or get to a better position- is that we've built a bunch of these things, but we've never gone through the process of- if there is one client asking you for it, actually going through the process of validating whether this problem is something that they just have, and understanding that this particular custom solution or this piece of tech is built solely for that company to make sure that we retain that 10% of revenue, or is this a common problem that they simply highlighted, and that validation process has been something that we've been missing throughout time. 

Uku Tomikas (00:26:53) - So we've built a fair amount of these things. Even that, you know that Zapier integration was built purely because of a request of our company. The Salesforce integration we built was one of the first strategic ones, because that was one where we had a partner who could specifically do it. We knew what we were getting into. They had experience behind building these types of integrations and then also promoting these integrations, because they also have skin in the game. 

Uku Tomikas (00:27:17) - We had more interest in it because a lot of our bigger businesses were looking for this and actually asking for this type of device. So this was one of the first real, proper, like strategic ones we built. Before that, we so often built solutions to problems that we didn't dive deeper into, and this is probably the biggest lesson I can give to any single business that you could possibly have. 

Uku Tomikas (00:27:39) - I had a podcast last Thursday when I talked to a Swedish business lead and he asked me: you know, what would you give as advice to a business that has already generated their first 100K a year? What would be their? You know what would be your first piece of advice for their go-to-market strategy? Whatever, my first piece of advice is: take a step back and understand whether the problem you are solving for them is an actual problem or a nice to have. 

Uku Tomikas (00:28:12) - Right now, in the global economic climate of things turning down a little bit, you see this so often: businesses that used to be doing well are doing not as well because they thought they were solving a real problem. The fact of the matter was they were solving a nice to have. Nice to haves are the first thing to go when things turn poor. 

Speaker 4 (00:28:31) - I love that. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:28:32) - I love that. 

Uku Tomikas (00:28:33) - So one of the best ways this comes, interestingly enough, from LinkedIn themselves- it's the head of product on LinkedIn actually shared this in one of their courses- that the way they approach looking at product and product development is they look for duct tape, because if it hurts enough, the company has already tried to fix it themselves. Look for the duct tape. Are you replacing the duct tape or are you just cleaning the windows? Which one are you? Are you specifically fixing something or not? 

Uku Tomikas (00:29:10) - And when you don't have a business of 100k, then you can understand okay. So where do I need to pivot? What do I need to understand? Am I solving a real problem or am I a nice to have? How can I make this nice to have into an action problem? Solver what is missing, in order to make this essential for them, an absolute no-brainer to have this, even when they're having trouble paying bills. 

Uku Tomikas (00:29:31) - That's the position you want to get in and that's something that we want to bring into our product portfolio as well and into our tech stack: that everything we have within our portfolio is an essential. 

Speaker 3 (00:29:41) - That needs to be essential. If there is something that we built as a one-off, we know that we built that as a one-off and we've validated that it actually is a one-off but nobody else has this issue- fine. Then when you have essentials one-offs, then you know what your actual value-added services on top are. What are the things that 30 percent of your business to 50 percent of your business clients will resonate with? 

Speaker 3 (00:30:05) - But what they're willing to pay for to bring true value then also then leads to significant improvements in client retention because they are much stickier stuck to you, because you have value-added stuff people don't. If you're a fraud-focused company and you're helping them with preventing fraud- and everybody else on the market doesn't have that but you're the only one that does- you can get away with a lot of stuff that you're already missing but isn't as important to them as the fraud portfolio is for them, for example. 

Speaker 3 (00:30:34) - Now we're taking a perspective of looking at the tech stack that way and that's why a lot of the previous integrations we've made into communication channels like Vibers and WhatsApps and RCS, which is pretty much... 0. Then we're looking at which aspects of these particular channels that we've already integrated are the most important ones. We've built an MVP. What angle did we take on the MVP and is that a valid angle? Do we need to tweak the MVP into a different angle before we can really test it under commercialization? 

Speaker 3 (00:31:07) - A lot of our tech stack has been built around the needs of the client, not clients, not plural, but singular. That has been a mistake we've made in business before and that is something we now want to start remedying. Luckily, for our sake, the core product is super solid. We can send to 197 markets around the world more than a billion messages a year, so we know how to do that part of the business. We can compete with anyone, pretty much anywhere, and deliver anything that's necessary for delivering with custom solutions. 

Speaker 3 (00:31:39) - Everything else core product is strong, but the core product alone, especially in SMS, isn't enough because it's almost seen as a commodity. It's a single transaction-based model where you pretty much pay as much as you send and it's connecting an API into your infrastructure, then pulling it out and putting another API in. If you can't build in a value-add and you can't bring actual business, especially from a technological perspective, you're just splitting pennies with somebody else on the market if you don't know where your clients' problems are. 

Speaker 3 (00:32:20) - From our tech stack perspective, that has been something that we've heavily invested into this year, that we'll heavily invest into next year as well, to create a much more homogenous product portfolio that serves the purposes of our clients and truly fixes problems, gets rid of duct tape, builds nice, clean, pure solutions rather than things we know. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:32:42) - I love it, man. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:32:42) - I think number one just this notion of listeners- and stop here and definitely hit rewind on this- but it's this idea of the faster you can identify whether or not some of that feedback your early customers are giving you- whether it's a product or whether it's a service or whether it's whatever type of Willie or where you're selling- but the faster you can at least begin to identify whether or not that feedback is common, case meaning: hey shit, even on 10 of our clients, eight out of 10 said this one thing that's common, that's 80 percent versus the special case, the one or the two out of the 10 that say uku, Adrian, you guys got to change this, you got to do X Y Z. Maybe by following that X Y Z, you literally just pulled yourself off of the path that would have kept 80 percent of that portfolio thrilled. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:33:31) - Second of all, keeping things simple. I know that this is something that maybe it's overshared, but it's overshared because it's true. The longer you can keep things simple, the easier it is to find a larger core group of individuals that you might be able to help, versus instead of being the end all to everything. That's hard, man. That way, you're going to be sifting through all of these things to get to a yes instead. Now you can get quicker to knows and then you know whether or not. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:33:56) - Hey, in 100 people, these 20 people, we can absolutely help you with one, two and three. These other 80 percent, our one, two, three- doesn't necessarily help you. It doesn't bring value as you're building your business. This is one of the fastest ways you can grow quicker, because then you can find customers that are right for your product, right for your service. They are ideal customer profiles for your business or your product or whatever it is you're building. I love this. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:34:16) - One other quick thing that I want to call out really quick, before we jump off of tools: is there one or two tools internally that you'd be willing to share? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:34:23) - Uku, that you and your team invested in early when you were building out that tech stack and placing some of those bets and making some of those investments, that when you look back on your eight years, especially now that you're at the helm and you have a keen sense for where the vision of this business is going to go- is there one or two tools that you don't know, that you would have been able to get to where you guys are today had you not made the investments in them? Out of curiosity. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:34:44) - If you can't answer, that's fine, but I want to ask: is there one or two tools that really have been the game changer for your business? 

Speaker 3 (00:34:49) - It's interesting. I don't know whether it's considered a tool, but we invested quite a lot of money into using servers, for example, that were in very specific locations in the world, in very specific, very regulated settings, that were much more expensive but much better secured. When we switched into GDPR, that meant that we already ticked. 

Uku Tomikas (00:35:28) - an immense amount of boxes purely because of that. For the financial services we serve, when we say that we're in this legal space, and this is what we do, and this is the security behind it, and these are the certificates you can get that you might not get with AWS, that was a big game changer for us because it gives this additional layer of credibility to us because of that. 

Uku Tomikas (00:35:52) - The second big thing was that in the business messaging industry, what you could do is you could either build your own platform with custom connections to every single partner that you have, which means north of 800 connections that you need to manage, every protocol, every item of that, the server power, the routing engines, the connectivity engines behind it, it's a telco toolset which is incredibly complicated. You could either fly that service in and you could buy and white-label a platform or you could build it yourself. 

Uku Tomikas (00:36:23) - Build it yourself, so much more expensive, but build it yourself means that today when we're taking that leap into that fraud section, we get to build our anti-fraud toolset right into the core of our business, into the core of our platform, into the beating heart instead of just buying somebody else's plugins that don't do half of what we want to do. 

Uku Tomikas (00:36:42) - We made, in that sense, a smart investment of building our own unique platform that functions exactly what we need it to function as for the companies that we need it to function for in a way that we want it. With the service being a big part of that, if we were going to be using somebody else's platform, moving into those servers, and we'd be going through due diligence process that are three times longer just because of that as compared to now being in a position where we can just do those things, switch things out, do things that we need to do. 

Uku Tomikas (00:37:11) - Even if we need to add another layer of security or certain operations or even custom data retention time, stuff like that is so much easier to build into your own platform, create custom services for your clients that are very demanding as compared to having somebody else's platform or somebody else's servers that are less tailor-made for our purposes. 

Uku Tomikas (00:37:31) - While not specifically tools, these have been two of some of the biggest bets where we've maybe gone against the grain or against the flow of things and have decided to take our own path that has today, I think, paid off in spades. 

Speaker 1 (00:37:45) - That's fantastic, man. That's fantastic. Uku, let's jump into the third pillar of process. I'd love to just have you spend a minute or two talking about as the business has grown, and this is an interesting perspective for you because you're coming literally from an SDR all the way to CEO. What have been some of the ways that you've seen Masante leverage its knowledge? Number 1, how has the team, the internal team gone about building or curating or managing its living playbooks and its knowledge? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:14) - Then number 2, what are some of the ways as the business grew, as the portfolio grew, as you also just started to add on different branches of customer type, S&P, and then enterprise, and you have these different cuts and these different needs. I'd love to just hear what are some of the ways that you and the team has managed a wrangled process over these last eight years? Has there been exercises or regular activities? Is there a team member internally that's really tasked? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:38:41) - How have you managed all the changes and the ebbs and the flows as the business has evolved around processes? 

Uku Tomikas (00:38:47) - I mean, I don't want to toot my own horn, but here I am tooting my own horn. A lot of processes specifically in a fair few of the systems, especially thinking support wholesale, procurement, even today in leadership and the way we do things, have been in many cases my initiatives. I pushed and drove and have been pulling forever on the topic of OKRs. That has been the system of processes, how we actually build the company-wide goals, and how we actually track them, formulate them, and do them. 

Uku Tomikas (00:39:27) - We're going through multiple iterations of now getting to a place where as ever with OKRs, it's the third iteration onwards where it actually starts getting to be good. The first two ones are a bit tight, pardon my French. But that's how it has developed, and now we're building OKRs. I'm a huge stickler for processes. The main reason is that you drew that true chief example, but there is another example that directly applies to me.

Speaker 3 (00:39:55) - I am a former artillery platoon commander in the Estonian Defense Force. So the military background and the idea of SOPs, of Standard Operating Procedures, as the pillars around which you build everything else. 

Speaker 3 (00:40:10) - Because if people know your SOPs, or they know your company values and your principles and how you actually do things within the space of this company, and they know the mission, or they know the vision and the main goals of the company that you're looking to achieve, they now have parameters, and they now have a framework under which they can execute to the best of their ability because they're also on the ground and they know what's actually going on. 

Speaker 3 (00:40:35) - So whenever we try to build processes, and whenever we try to get things, it starts from, and this is why I also have Simon Sinek, is you start with a why. Why am I doing this? Why does this process exist? What is the actual main outcome, and why does this thing even function as it should? From there on out, you start building the process from the basis of, what's the next thing that gives the biggest impact to that? What's the next thing that gives the biggest impact to that? What's the next thing that gives the biggest impact to that? 

Speaker 3 (00:41:05) - That's how you build this structure behind it. I tend to think about processes like a speech. I teach public speaking as well. I'm a public speaking coach. I've been a declamator for a better part of 20 years, which is interesting. If you think about it as a speech, the why is your title, and the explanation of your why and why it matters is the introduction. 

Speaker 3 (00:41:30) - The body usually consists of two to three to maybe four sections of the explanation and the deep dive into the main aspects of that why, whenever you think about a speech, section one, section two, section three, the main arguments for that why. Then in the end, you have a conclusion. The result of that conversation, the result of that speech, the result of that process, the outcome, it's usually measurable, but a speech is usually a feeling, an idea that you wanted to get across, an understanding that you wanted to create in a business. 

Speaker 3 (00:42:02) - It is a KPI that you can measure. It is a piece of revenue, a new client, client satisfaction, whatever it needs to be or can be, it is then a measurable outcome, but it always follows this kind of an overall procedure from the broad to the narrow with the essential parts in the middle that help you drive towards that why. 

Speaker 3 (00:42:21) - That's how we then build all of the processes into those systems as well, making sure that when those core pillars are in place, you also know exactly what are you measuring in this part, what are you measuring in that part, what are you measuring in the third part? Because if you have those sections and you know exactly how the sections function and interlink between each other, you also know what the outcome of that section needs to be. So now you can measure the outcome of that section and how effective that section is. 

Speaker 3 (00:42:46) - And then you have a better understanding of how that thing works in unison, right? So that's how you can build and adjust the processes, whatever they might be, when you have a clear understanding of where you're starting from, what your outcome is, and what are the actual core contributors into that piece of business. It's very much the same in the military as well. You'll have a standard objective. You will have the why you're doing this objective in the background. Then you will have what resources are allocated to you. 

Speaker 3 (00:43:14) - So pretty much the parameters of that particular assignment. And then the execution is left to either the platoon commander, the squad captain, whoever is particularly in that position of leadership to tackle that question. And then they can go from the parameters, knowing what they know about the business or the team or the mission or the ground that they're actually operating in and apply those in the most effective manner to deliver the best possible results down the line. 

Speaker 3 (00:43:40) - Decentralized command is something that I build into all of those processes as well, helping to bring boots on the ground knowledge into the planning procedure and not sticking my nose into stuff where it doesn't belong. I have a joke in the company. Every single time I take my hands off a process, it gets better because I'm too far. I'm always too far from the business on the ground level to understand how it would really function. So when I hand it over, it gets better. That's how business should be done. 

Speaker 3 (00:44:10) - And that's how process in my eyes should be built. 

Speaker 4 (00:44:12) - I love it. I love it. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:44:13) - The only thing I have to add onto this is just like taking the time to create areas of accountability, responsibility, and authority, whether you are in the Estonian army or whether you are building a small little startup and you're trying to get your first million dollars business together. 

Speaker 3 (00:44:28) - Yeah. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:44:28) - Taking the time to do that. And then taking the time as Ukko just said to basically process is critical, but let people build it that are the best fit and the best positioned to guide it, right? I think that's excellent, excellent advice. Ukko, I'd like to dive into the fourth and the final CX pillar of feedback. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:44:46) - Can you take a couple of minutes just to kind of talk about over these last eight years, man, and it doesn't have to even just be about Masante because you've had all this incredible experience before building Masante, but what are like the one or two bits of advice you have for our listeners around how they can get excellent at collecting, assessing, and acting upon their customer feedback? 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:45:03) - And then what are one or two ideas for how as a business leader or as a future business leader, you need to manage employee feedback to grow and to scale and to push your business into the future? Talk about feedback for a few minutes.

Speaker 3 (00:45:16) - So feedback is an interesting thing. 

Uku Tomikas (00:45:18) - There are two main stories I want to get into. First is the one I actually shared on LinkedIn today at the post, which was that the most kind of life-changing piece of feedback that I've ever gotten or the thing that made me think the most about how I function as a leader but also as a human being was the piece of feedback I got after our tenure was done and then we were asked back for a refresher exercise. So every couple of years we're called back to do repeat exercises to make sure that our skills are still valid, etc. 

Uku Tomikas (00:45:53) - So we were called back and then after the start, at the end of my tenure, I actually gathered my platoon and had them give me feedback for three hours, which wasn't very good because it was a 22, 23-year-old, a bit uppity, bit of an a-hole. Tactically sounds very super demanding of myself and also ridiculously demanding of everybody else because usually what I demanded from myself broke me. So how was I going to demand that from everybody else around me? So too big of an ego but too small of a brain at that point in time. 

Speaker 3 (00:46:28) - And then three years later, that piece of feedback that was given by a private to me was that you're tactically just as sound as you were three years ago. 

Uku Tomikas (00:46:41) - Someone has just removed that giant stick up your ass. 

Speaker 3 (00:46:45) - That feeling that you've actually managed to develop as a human being to a position where somebody is willing to admit that you've grown that much as a human being, that you're not kind of an a-hole anymore. And then that was such a life-changing thing. 

Uku Tomikas (00:47:00) - And one of the biggest sort of things that had really, really changed for me was this is a shout-out to my coach and my sort of like assistant in so many things in terms of actually running a business and becoming a team leader who has mentored me quite a lot in getting here. Her name is Jana. And Jana gave me the best explanation from a leadership perspective of what feedback is. 

Speaker 3 (00:47:27) - Feedback is like a gift. When you're giving somebody a gift, you think of that person. You think of what they would like. How would they use this thing? What would be the best thing about it? How specifically will you present it? 

Uku Tomikas (00:47:40) - How do you want to wrap it? Will it have a bow tie? 

Speaker 3 (00:47:42) - When do you want to give it over? 

Uku Tomikas (00:47:43) - What's their personality? 

Speaker 3 (00:47:44) - You think of all of those things to make sure that the gift you give that person is as impactful as possible. 

Uku Tomikas (00:47:53) - And then once you've given it, you forget about it because it's out of your hands. That's how I approach feedback as well. One of the things I always do when I took over this team as well was ask them, how do you want to get feedback? 

Speaker 3 (00:48:06) - And most people will tell you, I like to get it straight and immediately. But the fact of the matter is, no, they don't. There are people who want it in writing first. 

Uku Tomikas (00:48:14) - This is one of the best examples I've ever heard from people who told me that, this sort of idea of how different people can be in terms of getting feedback. One told me, I want it in writing. 

Speaker 3 (00:48:26) - And usually a few days ahead of time before we start discussing it. Because if you give it to me straight and true, I might tell you to F off. 

Uku Tomikas (00:48:33) - That's the first thing. Yep. Right? 

Speaker 3 (00:48:35) - So give it to me in writing and give me two to three days before we discuss it. 

Speaker 4 (00:48:39) - Just to process it. 

Uku Tomikas (00:48:40) - Just to process it. Very reasonable. Same team. Another team lead tells me straight up, don't give it to me ahead in writing. 

Speaker 3 (00:48:49) - Give it to me straight and true because if you give it to me in writing two or three days ahead of time, by the time we discuss it, I will have thought of four or five reasons or four or five excuses why that piece of feedback isn't valid. 

Uku Tomikas (00:49:02) - Great point. Great point. Yep. Completely different in their understanding and their way how they take feedback on board. 

Speaker 3 (00:49:09) - But as a leader, it's so important for you to understand what is the most effective way of making this feedback into feed forward. 

Uku Tomikas (00:49:18) - Yep. 

Speaker 3 (00:49:19) - Feedback isn't about you as the leader. It doesn't have to make you feel good. It doesn't have to get something off of your chest. It is a tool to improve the people in your team and their skill set and their ability to collaborate. 

Uku Tomikas (00:49:35) - It has nothing to do with your personality or your person or what you like. It's what they need is because if they take it on board and make it more effective, that's how you win, not by you feeling better. 

Speaker 3 (00:49:48) - So give feedback that's given off the cuff lazily, not thinking about the person that you're giving that feedback to. 

Uku Tomikas (00:49:54) - Some people might call it softer. You're just telling how it is. 

Speaker 3 (00:49:58) - But that's the you perspective. That's the you and part of you talking how you like to give feedback. 

Uku Tomikas (00:50:05) - It's not about how you'll improve things. The only improvement comes from, OK, so how does that person want to get feedback? How am I going to give this feedback? There, of course, are exceptions. It's a dangerous situation, whatever. But most of the time we're talking about feedback in context of where that person already.

Uku Tomikas (00:50:23) - sort of works with you, it's not a critical situation, it's not time critical most of the time, or at least it isn't measured in minutes, so you have the time to prepare and think how you're gonna give this particular piece of feedback to that person. When it comes to talking to your clients, dive in deep, ask questions, take the time, ask the whys, and what we've tried to do is I'm very transparent about how we do things, quite open. 

Uku Tomikas (00:50:58) - Here as well, what's good, what's not good, what we've built well, what we haven't built well, very transparent about how we do things. We're very transparent with our clients as well. What we get in return is transparency as well. What's good, what isn't good, what they're annoyed with, what they're not annoyed with. They always know that they can reach out to us, they can write to any of their account managers, they can call their account manager at 3 a.m. 

Uku Tomikas (00:51:20) - if something is really buggered, or they can reach out to me because most of my contacts are public. You can find me out and talk to me, and there have been businesses who have felt not a good connection with their account manager. Inevitably, it'll happen from time to time, they've written to me, then I can take that feedback on board, mirror it back to them, talk to them, ask open-ended questions, dive deeper, what has specifically happened, what's the problem, et cetera. 

Uku Tomikas (00:51:46) - The keyword in feedback with both as a team leader but as well as clients is engagement. Engage truly in the process of receiving feedback as well as giving feedback. Genuinely try to find out why this was given, or genuinely try to make sure that it's about the other person, and about them, and about their acceptance of whatever this piece of feedback is and how you make it the best possible. I guess those are my main takeaways in feedback. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:52:17) - I love it, man. You say feedback is a gift. I promise I've been saying it, not just on this podcast, but I've been saying it to my teams for the last 10 years. I tell my clients every single day, feedback is gold. So it's not just a gift, it's like a valuable gift. It's like somebody giving you a Rolex. Like if you know how to leverage it, you know how to take care of it, it's a gift that you can leverage, right? It's a gift that you can leverage for our listeners. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:52:45) - The minute you begin to understand how to apply leverage to anything in your life, things become easier, things become repeatable, and things become scalable. So I love that. And then the piece about the employee feedback, Ukko, I love that, man. Awesome, awesome point, because for our listeners, almost the same way you go through your client portfolio asking, hey, what's your preferred method of communication? You want phone calls, you want emails, you want text message, you want Zoom calls, you want me to drop by in person. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:53:10) - Feedback, there's this same checklist that goes on here, guys. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:53:12) - So when you bring somebody onto the team, think about this isn't an easy CTA for everybody this week, and you're doing your employee onboarding, hey, what's the best way that you receive feedback as a human, not as an employee of this company, but like, you've been getting feedback, hopefully your whole damn life, whether it's from your parents, your grandparents, your teachers, your coaches, your military leaders, like whatever it is that you're coming from, what's the best way you get feedback? Do you like it written? 

Speaker 1 (00:53:37) - Do you like it straight to the point in person? Do you need a candidate? Do you need to water down a little bit because you'll throw a chair through the wall if I say it the wrong way? Tell me what your medium is like. Guys, those are such an easy way of sort of bringing that into your own business and your own team and your own playbook of tomorrow. So Uku, this has been an absolute pleasure, brother. Thank you so much for all of the wisdom, all the golden nuggets of insight and all the CTAs. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:53:59) - Before I let you go, where's the easiest place that people can reach out to you, sir, or to your team? And where can people find out more about Basante Communications? 

Uku Tomikas (00:54:08) - Best place to find more about the business and reaching out to the business is just going to, which is That's the best place to sort of to reach us. And the best ways to reach me is on LinkedIn. I'm super active there. I share a lot of content in terms of, you know, things that we've talked about here, which is customer experience, using messaging, leadership stuff. And I'm always very happy to engage with people there. 

Uku Tomikas (00:54:34) - So if you want to reach out, just first name, last name, same as in the title, wherever this is being presented to you, my name will be there. Just look for me there and hit me up. 

Speaker 1 (00:54:46) - Awesome. Uku, it's been our absolute pleasure having you on the show. Best of luck to the future. And I look forward to keeping our conversation going moving forward, my friend. 

Uku Tomikas (00:54:52) - Thanks for having me. 

Adrian Brady-Cesana (00:54:53) - We surely will.