Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu

#31: Zvi Schreiber CEO at Freightos

November 20, 2018 Season 1 Episode 31
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#31: Zvi Schreiber CEO at Freightos
Chapters
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#31: Zvi Schreiber CEO at Freightos
Nov 20, 2018 Season 1 Episode 31
Radu Palamariu
Zvi Schreiber is a serial Internet entrepreneur and the CEO of Freightos.
Show Notes Transcript

Zvi Schreiber is a serial Internet entrepreneur and the CEO of Freightos. He founded Tradeum Inc. one of the pioneers of B2B E-Commerce, which achieved revenues of over US$100m. Later on founded Unicorn Inc., sold to IBM, and G.ho.st, sold to Infinity Fund. He also was CEO of clean-tech electronics company Lightech which he sold in 2011 to General Electric (GE) Lighting. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and he’s also the author of Fizz: Nothing Is as It Seems, which tells the history of physics as a novel.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights from the episode:

  • International Air and Ocean is our focus
  • Why Zvi works in an open space, not an office
  • What do to as an entrepreneur when you know most startups fail?
  • 50% of all importers still use excel sheets - how does Freightos tackle that?

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Speaker 1:
0:00
Hello and welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast. I'm your host product, Palomar you global supply chain practice head for Morgan Phillips executive search. And I am delighted to have with us to date suite Tribers CEO Freightos. Freightos is the online freight marketplace, uh, to Asha, the logistics industry into the digital era, making lower shipping faster, most more cost, cost effective and smoother. Simply put, they are just like the Expedia or the kayak for the shipping industry with investors including GE ventures and the Singapore exchange. They raised approximately $94 million so far and currently have around 200 employees and six offices around the United States, Asia and the middle East. Sweet Schreiber is a, is a, is our guest is uh, the CEO of the company and he's basically a serialized internet entrepreneurs. So he found the trade Trivium inc one of the pioneers of B2B commerce, which achieved revenues of over 100 million.
Speaker 1:
0:50
Later on, founded the unicorn inc, which is sold to IBM and ghost sold to infinity fund. He was also the CEO of clean tech electronics, a company called light tech, which he sold in 2011 to general electric. He has a, he has a PhD in computer science and he's also the author of is nothing is as it seems we should tell the history of physics as a novel. Sweet. Welcome and pleasure to have you with us today. Great to be on. Super. Um, so actually before we, we jumped in because I must, I must admit that, uh, that you have a fascinating background.
Speaker 2:
1:24
So you've, you've started a lot of companies. You, you know, you've, uh, you've also written a book. Um, tell us a little bit about your story. I mean, you always, I mean I think I have a, you're among the very few people that have successfully exited so many businesses. You know, what, what kind of, what you into the entrepreneurship bug, if I may ask, well, if the went all successful, but, but thanks. Appreciate the, uh, the introduction. Um, I don't know that the best definition I've ever heard of an entrepreneur is someone who is unemployable. So basically I just can't hold down a job. Great.
Speaker 2:
2:00
That's a good, that's a good way of, uh, that's a good way of putting it. But does it, does it also run kind of in, in the family or what's, you know, sometimes there is, uh, there's a background story to it. I'm just probing a little bit to see. Yeah, yeah, that's true. That's true. My grandfather was a, was a refugee, a refugee and became a very successful entrepreneur and my dad also has been an entrepreneur. So that's, that's fair. It does indeed run in the family. Yes. That's a good study. Different tack. I started my career, I didn't start as an entrepreneur and started as an engineer and, um, I started computer science, started for a couple of years as an engineer, but then pretty quickly looked to combine my interest in, in software and then entrepreneurship. So I've been very fortunate to be able to spend most of my career building software companies and they're doing both of things. I love, you know, software and uh, and also entrepreneurship. Yes. Yes. And actually quite, quite fascinating. And I to ask you how,
Speaker 1:
3:01
how exactly did you start Freightos because I, uh, obviously it is related to digital, it is related to the internet, but it is within an industry or freight industry, which is, you know, maybe not your typical place to, to go. So how did you, how did you end up in that particular industry?
Speaker 2:
3:15
That's a good question. So up to 2011, I was, I was only ever doing software. Um, I've never had to deal with inventory and shipping. But in 2011, I took over a company that you mentioned earlier called Lytec making power supplies for led lights. And so, uh, we were manufacturing them mostly in China, Japan and South China and shipping, uh, everyday, both ocean and air from, uh, South China, the U S and to Europe. Um, and as a shipper and as a customer, I was, I was quite shocked, confused that the shipping process was so manual, um, two or three days just to get a price quote. Um, and, uh, and then, you know, there was no track and trace and it never arrived on this side. It would arrive. And when I eventually got the invoice, it rarely even matched the price quote that I've waited so long to get.
Speaker 2:
4:04
Anyway. Um, so the whole, the whole thing was, so compared to passenger travel or compared to sending a FedEx box, the whole thing was so, uh, manual and not old fashioned. The kind of shocked me. Um, and it was kind of confusing because I wasn't the first guy to ship something from China to America. You know, this has been tried once or twice before and you'd have thought that by now the industry figured out how to do it than in a modern way. So, um, so after I had the good luck to sell that company, I decided to get back into software and then by just go very simply, here's a problem that needs solving, you know, the or the industry of international freight needs the same conveniences that we've had already ready for 20 years in passenger travel.
Speaker 1:
4:46
It was a, it was a personal pain point that you experienced. I mean, at the end of the day, uh, I think I was a, and then you have it on the website in terms of the statistics, but yeah, pretty much, uh, I think it's somewhere nearly 50% of all the, well, the importance of 47%. You kind of use spreadsheets in the end. Even this happens even with large importers. So it's still an industry which is pretty much paper-based, which is, which is, yeah, kind of a 20th century. It's going backwards. Um, tell us a little bit, linking it to Freightos. So that was the problem. That was the, the challenge that is still the challenge. How is Freightos addressing that and how is Freightos making things easier?
Speaker 2:
5:23
So, I mean, the idea of like a, like an Expedia or a kayak or a sea trip, um, website where you can get instant price quotes and binding price quotes and track and trace online and just make shipping as easy as, as you know, passengers travel. That was always the vision. Um, in order to do that though, we had to spend quite some years building infrastructure because the problem is that none of the freight forwarders, all the carriers actually had instant pricing or electronic pricing. Um, if I can just once more, maybe draw an analogy to travel. Freightos didn't have the same luxury that Expedia had when they launched Travelocity in the late nineties. In the passenger industry. There was always a standard for data though there were systems called saber and Amadeus, and those of us who are old enough, remember in the 80s, in the 90s, a a good travel agent at a computer screen where they could see seats from all the airlines and prices from all the airlines.
Speaker 2:
6:24
That technology, believe it or not, started in the 60s. So Austria had a long tradition of having standardized data, which was available electronically. Um, and then Expedia and Travelocity took the same data and the marketed it online, but the data was there, um, in international shipping, this situation is very different. Um, none of suddenly when we started seven years ago and even today, um, none of the freight forwarders and none of the carriers and, and still stay very few, um, even have a digital way of getting a price or checking availability. Um, and now, you know, thanks to freight Dawson and other efforts, there are now a few freight forwarders and carriers who can give prices digitally. You can you the availability of space on a flight or a ship digitally. So, so that's fine. But that was a long way of explaining that we actually had to spend the first four or five years of Freightos for freight forwarders around the world and some to digitize their whole sales process and sell software as a service to over a thousand freight forwarders, et cetera.
Speaker 2:
7:33
And that was the infrastructure and only after what spent some years helping to digitize some of the service providers. Only then were we able to launch the Freightos websites where we can show prices and the way you can compare prices where you can book. So now we have the, uh, the infrastructure for that. But it was, it was a real fundamental change to the industry to just collect all the data and automate the price thing and, and, and make availability information about say, you know, what capacity is available. Those are really quite a fundamental, fundamental change to how the industry works.
Speaker 1:
8:09
Yeah, I mean, on the, I mean, it sounds to me, and I mean also knowing a little bit the, the industry where I was, I remember this particular case, uh, in terms of the digitalization efforts where I was at the conference and one of the panelists as the, one of it was a shipping line in the house, your digital, um, digital transformation going. And then another one, which was a little bit naughtier said yes, I don't know how they're going, but they don't have a website yet. So it's a bit of a problem. So, uh, indeed, you know, the, the fact that you've had to do a lot of education, uh, it doesn't surprise me and I don't think it's a, it's, it's uncommon. Um, and it makes sense that after the year that you've done that part, now you have a lot more data that you can, you can, you, you were able to be the platform one.
Speaker 1:
8:47
And I think he was saying that if before it would take somebody about three days to get a quote and it would be quite a manual process where you have to get a lot of calls and talked. A lot of people now, you know, through Freightos you can basically get that price points instantly, which is a huge timesaver right. Um, but a few hurdles to get over. Right. So basically, I mean I think that forward as a normally would have been a little bit nervous about it. Potential downward pressure on the rates, right? If you had this Annabelle online booking services history, those, um, uh, cause they can sometimes hedge the prices. Right? So how, how did you overcome this or how did you make them basically, or how did you get them on board? This journey of, you know, uh, seeing the benefits of,
Speaker 2:
9:27
I mean, that's honestly, it's actually gone a little easier than, uh, than I thought. I mean you're caught, you're quite right. But forwarders and carriers are, or a little nervous about pricing transparency and, and downward pressure on their price. Uh, on the other hand that the, you know, people are aware of what's going on in the walls and you can see the transparency that there is in passenger traffic, in retail, um, in other industries. So I think people understand that the world is becoming more transparent throughout and you know, very few people would be silly enough to deny this move towards transparency. So the key, when I speak to a carrier or a freight forwarder about something online or something on freight specifically, um, I, I think the key is, um, you know, a couple of things. One is to show that selling online, which uses a lot of costs.
Speaker 2:
10:16
So yes, you have the transparency, people can compare you with competitors, but we take away most of the cost of sale. I mean the, the, the current cost of sale for freight services is horrible. You know, the only way to sell freight up to now has been you hire a sales team and you buy them suits and you give them a, you give them a budget to go, go and play golf with the, with the shippers. Um, the problem is there's a a hundred thousand free orders in the wild and they've all got, you know, salespeople in suits playing golf smell. You've got to play two rounds of golf for three rounds of golf. And you know, the, the cost of sell goes more and more with, with no guarantee of actually bringing in orders. Um, because there's so much competition. So what we're able to show the freight forwarders is that when you sell online, yes, there's, maybe there's a little more price pressure, but you actually would use a lot of the costs and the risk of the sale.
Speaker 2:
11:05
Um, and, and, and then they see that on balance actually, you know, they're actually doing better because the cost of sat is lower. The other thing we're able to show is that, you know, transparency is, is a great thing if you're the best, right? So if your prices are high and your service is bad and you don't honor your transit times, then transparency is not not such a great thing. Um, but if you have the best service and the best transit times and the best reputation and best price, then the transparency is a fantastic thing because everyone can see that you're the best and you've got a lot of orders. So, uh, you know, for that, for the good companies out there who are efficient and customer-focused, this kind of comparison can be, can be a wonderful thing.
Speaker 1:
11:49
And you also, I think you also mentioned, and I think the industry in itself has seen quite a lot of movement in terms of this kind of online platforms or anything even going. And I will try to learn something around the lines of freight net. Um, and you mentioned that all these other initiatives have, have helped the industry, um, move on. Um, of course gonna novel might run a little bit into the issue of lacking objectivity or perceived with, right. Because of you and obviously they have to have a little bit of a skin in the game is when other, let's see, on the shipping line or I think, uh, there's been other examples when one Oh one, if the company tried to drive a solution and then that obviously the market reacted that it's not objective anymore. Um, but how other, I mean, let's, you can call it an explosion of online platforms. Have they helped also Freightos and have they helped? It helps them process. How do you see all this? They literally ask couple of years, we've seen a lot of them popping up.
Speaker 2:
12:43
Yes. I mean, you know, explode. Let's say a few have popped up. Yes. Know, still nine to freight and sold offline. Yes. Yes. Out of 100,000 frankfurters in the world. Maybe there's like 10 who've got, got their rates on nine, but you're right. That's a big change from where we were years ago when it was zero. Um, so, uh, yeah, I mean, this helps us when we're not trying, we're not trying to bring the whole industry, just some to Frito. So we want to digitize the interests of the industry. And we're delighted that some of the carriers, at least a couple of the carriers like APIC, Lloyd and CMAC, Chapman busk and a couple of airlines and a handful of freight forwarders are also selling online. And this helps us to change the behaviors and to teach people that the same convenience, you know, I mean all the people, all the people who are buying freight, all the shippers, you know, at home, they use Amazon and Netflix, you know, they all, they all know these conveniences from their personal life. And I think this other digital efforts are helping to educate the, uh, educate the industry that at last, you know, freight can be bought in the same way that other things can, you know, online in a very convenient digital way.
Speaker 1:
14:01
Yes.
Speaker 2:
14:02
Yes. And what would you say, what would you say that is your main target customer? I think you work with, you know, you work with shippers, you work with e-commerce, you have a pallet of different products. What would you say your main kind of targets in the best case studies for success so far? Well, so soccer plays, so there's two sides. By nature there's the service providers and there's the customers who we call shippers or people who are buying, you know, importers and exporters basically. Um, so we started by working with the, um, with the freight forwarders and insists and that's gone very well. I mean, we work now with over a thousand freight forwarders out of the top part of the top 20 global freight forwarders. At least 15 or customers of ours, particularly strong, acquired a company called web cargo along the way, which makes us particularly strong air cargo but also in ocean.
Speaker 2:
14:59
Um, so, you know, that's really got quite some scale now. I mean, freight forwarders are searching for rates on the Fritos platform, the professional freight forwarding platform about a million times every month. Um, that's really got quite some scale now. Um, the newer part and the more exciting parts, maybe your Fred as well as the website where shippers, you know, importers and exporters can actually come and look for freight services or an ocean that's been nice for two years, just over two years now. And I have to say that so far it attracted most these small importers and exporters, a particularly strong in the U S which was our initial focus. Um, now as it gets more mature and grows, we're starting to see some bigger shippers using it as well for the, for the spot cords, not for their regular annual tenders. But for there we are seeing bigger shippers using it when they have a, a, you know, a sort of a transactional business spot boat, um, w w particularly strong of course, as you might guess with eCommerce vendors.
Speaker 2:
16:02
I mean there's, um, even in the past about a third of import and export was handled by small businesses. Um, and now I think that's growing even more because of the, so many eCommerce players popping up. So people forget that sometimes there's a lot of attention given to the, the Walmart, you know, the big shippers. Uh, but any of, you know, over 30% of the, of the import and export is handled by small businesses. Um, and so, you know, 30% is a huge amount take into account. The biggest freight forwarder has maybe seven or 8%. So when you are able to aggregate these small importers and exporters, that's a huge part of the industry and a growing part of the industry.
Speaker 1:
16:42
Correct. And especially when you give them an easy to access to that they can use a themselves and all of a sudden, and it's fun, pretty much you, once you have the platform, they can just use it. I mean, it's not like you need to deal with individuals, uh, per se. So it's a, it's a great way to,
Speaker 2:
16:57
right, particularly particularly when many of them are eCommerce players. So their whole business is online and that's our biggest possible are fast moving, correct? Yep. Correct.
Speaker 1:
17:08
And how, how do you, I mean like we got this question from one of our, it's a good thing you kind of addressed it, but I want to go a little bit deeper is how do you show that the liners and the, you know, the, the different file folders hosted on, on the platform and not just competing on price point but also giving the design level of service. So is there like a rating system as well or how, I mean how do you show that type of, it's not just price, it's also service.
Speaker 2:
17:31
Yeah. The, those are key questions. Yes, absolutely. There's this rating like you'd expect on the internet. You can see how many stars are the shippers have given this a service provider. You can read the comments and the end. It's all comments from actual customers. Nobody can post only somebody who's actually placed a ship with that Forder or would that character carrier can post reviews. You see real reviews. We have now some, some of the service providers on Freightos have already done over a thousand shipments and you know, a couple of million dollars worth of shipments. On our platforms or some of them now have a large number of reviews. Some of them are a bit newer. So absolutely the reputation and the reviews are very important. The transit time is very important. Uh, and in some cases the service provider has that extra, um, features that they offer. For example, we have a major ocean carrier who, um, who's selling on Freightos and they are able to guarantee a slot on a specific.
Speaker 2:
18:28
So when you book with forwarders, they typically say, you know, we'll try and get that on a ship within a week. But it's kind of a vague commitments. But we do have one carrier who offer a distinguished service where they say, if you click here, you have a guaranteed slot on Wednesday morning sailing. Um, and so whenever somebody offers, whenever one of the service providers has some extra feature, which we think is interesting to the importers and exporters, then we're happy to highlight that. So, you know, all right, our aim is not just to be transparent about price, but also about service and reputation and the, and the, uh, you know, value add that they might offer. Super. And I wanted to ask you a little bit about,
Speaker 1:
19:10
and the last round of funding which you got from the Singapore exchange, which is a very interesting interest indeed onboard and I think it was about 44 million. Um, and, and, and they were saying that together with, with the, with you guys at Freightos, they will explore the development of financial instruments to, to introduce the transparency, agility and risk mitigation that other industries already enjoyed. Um, and also, Oh, they are because they are, I think as G exists is linked to the, they do with, yeah, exactly. With the Baltic exchange. So I just want to, I wanted to
Speaker 2:
19:40
ask you, how do you plan to, cause it's all about synchronicities, right? And also when you get an investor, it's more about just, you know, the monetary investment. It is also about the partnerships. So how do you plan to develop this synchronicity between those Jackson and is more important? You know, the synergy with STX is already starting to develop. Very nice. The, uh, even before the investment we started to, we launched them index, which is the most reliable index for ocean container prices and it's now called FBX, the Fritos Baltic index. A Baltic is a subsidiary of S tax, which, which has been doing, um, data about shipping for more than 200 years actually in London. So it's a very famous, you know, institution in the maritime industry. Um, so the, the roadmap with S looks like we've got FBX, which is an index. It competes kind of with the Shanghai index, but it's much broader.
Speaker 2:
20:34
It's based on much more data and it's not only for China at carries, it covers, you know, many major trade lanes around the world, not just China. Um, so we have the index S checks. We're moving now to, um, from a weekly index to a daily index and to make sure it has together with our partners to make sure that this has the regulatory approval. It'd be a benchmark for financial instruments because now ever since the label scandal, if you remember that there's new regulations to say you can't just make any index trade derivatives, you have to have some regulations to make sure that your index is as reliable and independence. Um, so we're going through that process to make the FBX [inaudible] index of container shipping to make it daily to make it audited. Um, and then based on that, we're going to be launching together withS derivatives where you can actually, if you're a carrier and you want to protect yourself against prices dropping, or if you're a shipper and you want to protect yourself against prices increasing, both of those things will be possible using standard financial instruments, which are already common in other industries.
Speaker 1:
21:45
So that's exciting. This is very exciting. I'll, I'll watch out for that. I think it's, yeah, it's an excellent initiative. Um, another question that is quite deep, but I think it's also the audience is there's different standards, right? I mean in terms of, in terms of the industry and in terms of the, the, you know, the different continents or let's say Europe and Asia, there's, there's different challenges in terms of how do you, um, I know define standards, operations, um, procedures in animal that have you hit certain, you know, certain big differences in between, you know, operating in a different, different parts of the world is as opposed to other parts of the world or how has it been for you?
Speaker 2:
22:19
That's an interesting question. Um, I mean in theory there's no, the industry is structured fairly similarly in, um, Ms. Paul Shiner has some, some sort of um, interesting and nuances of its own. Um, overall, I mean, we do have customers, you know, all around the world, but overall we've actually been strongest in Europe, um, and second strongest in North America and then third strongest in Asia. Um, but I think that reflects the way the industry is structured. If you look at the top, top 10 freight forwarders, you know, three PLS in the wild, these six of them are European, uh, man, and almost all them based in Germany. And Switzerland actually. Um, so that's just a, somehow they're very good at logistics over there. Yeah. But they all seem to have chosen the same kinds on of, of Switzerland, which has the most tax. That's also,
Speaker 1:
23:19
yeah. And it doesn't really have a lot of water around it, but you know,
Speaker 2:
23:26
that's kind of the irony. The world's biggest, you know, envious finagles in Switzerland of all places. Um, but, but anyway, um, so, so yeah, so that's a particularly strong area. Europe, we already early in Barcelona called Freightos web cargo now. Um, but, but we have plenty of in, in North America and in Asia. So, um, so it's, you know, part by its very nature, this is a global business comm. You can't be just in one place. And some of our European customers, you know, customers like panel pina and Hellman will, although we work with them, their headquarters are in Europe. They roll out a software across 50, 60 countries around the walls. So it's used everywhere. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
24:11
Um, so that was good cause it also provides that standardization and how, how do you, I mean, you've grown tremendously. You're growing tremendously. I'm curious, where do you plan to expand next? And maybe talk to us a little bit to talk to students a little bit about also if there's certain focus area that you just acquiring different companies. You spoke about different products. I think there was an aspect of art express as well potentially being on the platform. So you know geographically as well as in terms of clients where, where do you plan to expand?
Speaker 2:
24:38
Okay. So I mean, in terms of products I focuses international air in ocean. Um, do, we do have already some expressed on the platform. We do have some LTL but I don't consider express or LTL to be strategic products because there are other perfectly good platforms, you know, LTL, an express, a central product. And there are other good websites where you can find the hat. And so we have it as well for completing this, but I don't feel that we bring some unique value there for international air. And ocean Freightos is really by far the, the best side, almost the only side where you can receive many instant price quotes. Um, so our strategic focus is errand ocean. Um, in terms of in the U S and we started with small shippers, a lot of eCommerce, and we're basically expanding two directions. One is we do move up market as, as the coverage that the offering becomes richer and cheaper and better than we just start to attract the bigger importers and exporters sometimes.
Speaker 2:
25:40
Um, and we've started to expand geographically. So we've launched in Canada and UK and the next launch will be in Germany for the, for the shippers and then after that more more countries in Europe and the nature of the next couple of years. So yeah, as I say, gradually expanding up market and expanding geographically super. Any area or is that some, it's now become, sorry, I just was going to add one more thing, which is that it's, we're also seeing some carriers now taking an interest, I think in setting digitally and that's an important development in the industry and certainly where we have already one major carrier on that platform.
Speaker 1:
26:23
Hmm. Yeah, I mean, I think, uh, who was it a more, uh, announced the last couple of weeks that they managed finally managed to do have one. The airline industry has for a long, long time. They finally managed to get it for the, for the shipping industry, which is fine, that type of platform. So differently. They are trying to move in the right direction and hopefully then there's going to be some even bigger synchronicities you guys with them as well. Um, and moving, moving a little bit to, um, softer side of things and you've had, you've heard a lot of, um, in building companies is we've been trying, so, um, I wanted to ask you also in the direction of, of of what we do a lot, which is, you know, recruitment, which is talent acquisition and which is attracting talent when, when it comes to hiring people, right? And then when it comes to attracting the right type of people at Freightos, what do you focus on when, when, when, when it comes down to that.
Speaker 2:
27:12
Yeah. Goodness. Love it. In the end it's all about people, right? So, um, we're looking for people who are intelligent and driven and a and hardworking collaborative. Um, and then unfortunately, nobody's perfect. Nobody has everything that you need overall. We've got a fantastic team. You know, it's really a pleasure to work with them at this time of the year. Every winter I go cause we're now 200 people. Um, so it's hard to have a relationship with all of them at this point, but everyone's trying to start having lunches with, with a team about five or six at a time. So it can end up now being sort of 30 lunches or so. But I bet it, but I make sure I sort of meet every part of the, of the team at least, at least once again in case in case I'm not otherwise interacting with them.
Speaker 2:
28:08
Um, you know, overall it's a great team. I mean we, we, people are really bought into the vision. They really feel that there's a significant opportunity here to make shipping better and as a result, make well trade better to make it easier for people to important explores. And, and you know, that has an amazing, as you know, an amazing effect on creating jobs and creating wealth and creating consumer choice. So the end, we, we really feel privileged that we're, um, at the forefront of digitizing such an important industry to, to the world, you know, to the wall.
Speaker 1:
28:42
Yes. And what would you say, cause obviously as the CEO of the company, um, you're the main driver for culture. So again, a soft element, but as tremendously important element, um, to make or break a pretty much a company and you've, you've done it many times before and usually are not all the time, actually strong companies and strong start ups have a strong culture. Would you say, if I ask you, what are some of the elements that define Frazier's culture?
Speaker 2:
29:05
Well, I tried to, you know, I, I work hard and I tried to be very transparent and honest. Um, and, and that's what I said, try it. But that's sort of, and that's really how I feel most comfortable. I don't, I don't enjoy keeping secrets. So I just tried to be very, um, very open and honest about almost everything except some very sensitive things that you have to keep quiet. But, you know, I have no open space. I don't have an office. Um, I, uh, connected on Slack, everyone, so everyone in the company is free to chat to me. Um, okay. And, uh, and I try, listen, I'm, I'm not always a hundred percent good at that, but I am suddenly try very hard to be open to criticism and feedback. Um, that's it. Nothing very, uh, unique, but it works for me.
Speaker 1:
29:57
Yes. Yes. And typically, I mean, typically it boils down to the fundamentals. It doesn't, I mean it's, it's, it's hardly ever something, you know, I mean totally out of this world. It's just that typically we, uh, we as humans, we forget to do the fundamentals. It's funny how it typically revolves around, you know, all the, you know, listening to people being available to people and, and being present to people. Right. So it's, so they have that level of access to you. Um, and I, what I wanted to ask is, cause it's also a lot more and more, it's also about, and he talked about a vision and it talked about, you know, giving people a purpose. Right. And giving the team and giving the employees a purpose. How do you, how do you, what would be some of the challenges when it comes to cause you fighting? I mean, you're fighting in a way. Yeah. I mean there's a lot of these out there, right? You know, your IBM's and your big technology companies and one no, they're all kind of fighting you or you're fighting with them for the same talent sometimes. How do you, how do you manage to attract that talent to Freightos as if, I mean, as opposed to, you know, letting them go to competition or what would be some of the unique, um, benefits that somebody would have to join Freightos
Speaker 2:
31:01
people? Um, I mean, I must say when we fight for talent, it's rarely with sort of IBM. Correct. Occasionally that sound for our salmons in Israel, you know, and the by in fact it's based on my startup, which I'd be able to quite 10 years ago on the IBM office in Jerusalem and sort of sign the contract with those guys. They don't take any or anything like that would have expired. But anyway, yes there is of course we do have IBM and Microsoft and Google and Amazon and Facebook or all big employers in Israel as they are in other places. But, but, but I think most of the competition comes from startups. I mean at least in the culture in Israel, people have, most engineers have found that it can be more fun to work in a startup and you can get more satisfaction. That's nothing wrong of course with those big companies.
Speaker 2:
32:04
But when you recumbent in a company with tens of thousands of engineers, you may not get as much satisfaction as when you work in a startup and you're a significant part of the, of the team and you feel more directly are your impacting the success. Look, there's always competition for the talent. Now our best to treat our team well and give them interesting challenges and have success together. So that's a constant pressure. Um, but overall we've had a good team and most of them have been loyal and in, in the cases where people have left that is not normally been for a big company. Hmm.
Speaker 1:
32:41
Got it. And looking back at your journey as an entrepreneur, because we have a lot of people in the audience that they want to become a, want to be entrepreneurs or you know, maybe they've been with a corporate for a long time and now they want to at some point make the plunge. And can you share one or two lessons that you've learned so far in your, in your journeys in yours as well?
Speaker 2:
33:00
Hold on. I think key is to enjoy the journey, right? Because, um, in the end, most startups fail. Um, and you can't control everything in life, right? So you can do the right things, you can have a great idea and build a great team and work, work, small hops, [inaudible] of all of those things. But there's always an element of luck. Um, and you can see in every success that luck played a role. So, uh, the key thing is to enjoy the journey and have fun and not take it too seriously. You know, I've found I'm fortunate to have had mostly successes, but I've had failures as well. And I find if your, if you're honest with people along the way, for example, when people invest you at your honor, honest about the risks, then a, you can still, you know, you don't have to feel bad when it fails because you went into it together, you knew the risks. If it succeeds, everyone's happy. But I'm still on very good sounds with investors, lost money on one of my startups and there were really no hard feelings, no where we all knew the risks. We gave it our best shot. And on that particular occasion that it didn't work out. And that's okay as well. Yes.
Speaker 1:
34:15
Yes. Um, and, and, and finally, kind of drawing to the, to the conclusion. And final question from me. I'm talking specifically about Fritos and looking back at the frame of the story so far, which has been, you know, already seven, seven years, right? So seven years. What are some of the things that you are that make you most proud of it?
Speaker 2:
34:37
Look, I mean, I think, um, what's exciting with Fritos, little, many other startups are really big complicated problems and a lot of startups take on a much, much narrower problem. There's nothing wrong with the Agnew take on international freight. You're dealing with different current modes and different business rules and different, uh, big, big mess. Bates or, I mean, believe it or not, we to read into database about a hundred thousand massive Excel sheets with no standards and a lot of mass. The really, really big problem, you know, getting all of this data, ocean minor and every airline and every major trucking company all around the and rail and river barges sometimes getting all of that dates or, and all of those local business rules, getting all of that into one big global database handle the challenge. So I think what's exciting, we really didn't shy away from taking on a very large complex challenge and that we're having some good initial,
Speaker 1:
35:42
I mean it's, it's, it's almost, I mean, if I, if I may use an extreme turn, it's insane that you even embarked on this journey, but it's a, you know, there's, there's always a, there's always the best. That's where you can find diamonds right in the, in the, in a, in pretty messy environment sometimes. So it seems like you've come a long way. Definitely. Um, and, and I know I said is my last question, but I need to come back to the way we started and I just have this personal curiosity because you, you, you, you also wrote a book crime, but nothing is as it seems. You need to tell me a little bit about it. So it's the history of physics as a novel. Right? So what, tell me a little bit about the book. I mean, it's just, I'm just curious.
Speaker 2:
36:24
Oh yeah, thanks. So fears, fears, FIS, et cetera, but of course, um, but, but fits as a character. It was the, the model. And by [inaudible] surface walls, which I told the, told the history of philosophy as a story. Um, so, but there's the same sort of concept. So this is a story about a teenage girl calls that are fears and she time travels and goes back and meets a Aristotle and got allow and Newton and Einstein and tries to understand the universe by having a informal chats with these people and then eventually comes back to the [inaudible] present and understands her own time travel and how that was possible. It wasn't possible. So it's just I love physics and um, I just found it. But in university I've learned a lot of physics, but very little of the history. So sort of fun, not too serious book was my way of, um, learning for myself, you know, how physics developed and how we got from Aristotle's very bizarre understanding of the world all the way to modern physics. Fantastic. Very, very interesting. So,
Speaker 1:
37:41
well, thank you for sharing. You also say thank you for, for all the sharing, for all the, you know, for all the good stories and the takeaways and the, you know, the, the, the, that you have shared with us today and I really wish you, and then I think from everybody from, uh, from our community as well, lots of successes and to grow Fritos, uh, to new, uh, to new Heights.
Speaker 3:
37:59
Thank you so much for spin a credit to beyond reduced. Thank you. Thank you. Link to a podcast. If you liked what you heard, we should follow us on Rapala Paula mario.com/podcast for all the show notes, links and extra tips covered in the interview. Make sure all of our email, the news in the Nick of time. If you're listening through a three in platform like iTunes or Stitcher and you like what we do, please kindly review and give us five stars so we can keep the energy flowing it get more people to find out about our podcast. I am most active on LinkedIn. So do feel free to follow me to stay tuned for our latest articles as well as future guests for the podcast. And if you have any suggestions or any idea, please feel free to write to me. I respond to all, and also please make sure not to miss our next episode where we will be having a few other C level and top leaders in supply chain joining us. Stay tuned.
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