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    Welcome to Authentic Journeys - ഓതെന്റിക് ജെർനീയ്സ് - US-India Cross-Cultural Training

March 24, 2020

Cabot Conversations: MyStrong Circle Case Study

Recently, I (Jennifer Kumar), was approached by my long time client, Cabot Solutions in Kochi, India to initiate interviews with their clients through podcasts. I was thrilled to be 'the chosen one.' We held our first podcast/video interview recently, which has been posted to YouTube. I'd like to share that below as well as the transcript of the conversation. I hope you enjoy listening to our very first Cabot Conversation! 

Borislava Baeva of MyStrongCircle.com talks with Jennifer Kumar about partnering with a digital solutions company, Cabot Technology Solutions


Transcript of Cabot Conversations

Jennifer: [00:00:06] Welcome, everyone, to our first podcast of Cabot Conversations. I'm Jennifer Kumar here with the Borislava Baeva of MyStrongCircle. Welcome.

Borislava: [00:00:18] Thank you. Thanks for hosting me.

Jennifer: [00:00:21] Thank you for spending your time with us today. So to get started, how would you like our listeners to know a little bit more about MyStrong Circle?

Borislava: [00:00:31] Yes. And MyStrong Circle is a digital platform for multi fitness club memberships. So we are a marketplace that connects fitness into consumers to their best fitness clubs in their neighborhoods or where they work.

Jennifer: [00:00:52] Oh, that sounds really interesting. So is that like where they can actually go to different places or they're going to one, you know, one fitness club...

Borislava: [00:01:03] They're going to three. So it's neither. We are approaching the multi club usage a little bit differently with a little bit more personalization. So we let our consumers create their personalized memberships by bundling two or three fitness clubs of their choice into one membership. So instead of jumping around, like for example, in Chicago there's 800 clubs. You can pick your favorites and have unlimited access to those clubs. Like, for example, if you have a favorite yoga place, but you also want to add some spinning and boxing, you can kind of create your own personal fitness routine without complications.

Jennifer: [00:01:47] So MyStrongCircle sounds like it's pretty much completely online or a digital platform?

Borislava: [00:01:53] Correct. Yes, we're completely a digital platform. We connect consumers with physical fitness clubs, but we exist online.

Jennifer: [00:02:05] So obviously, since you are online and digital, you're definitely looking out for a good partner to help you create your digital solution. How did how did that process evolve? How did you come to know about Cabot Solutions?

Borislava: [00:02:21] So so, yes, that was probably once the idea became more finalized of what the business model looks like. That was that was our next big step is to find the right development partner, because this was ultimately what was going to make or break our business. And that process took close to nine months because as a self-funded founder, I obviously didn't have millions of dollars at my disposal to be allowed to make an error for my partners. So I did a lot of interviews with companies both in the US, here in Chicago or in other places of the US and all over the world. I'm originally from Bulgaria. We spoke with different companies in Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries. And we always wanted to balance. We knew that we did not want to go with just someone in their off time on the weekends in their bedroom, going cold for us. We wanted a full fledged company that had diversity of skills, is professional and reliable. So we wanted as much as we were on the budget, we also wanted to balance the quality and Cabot was selected by chance. I was speaking with someone here in Chicago, another female founder that has another really cool market marketplace concept, digital market based concept. And she had used Cabot and she highly referred them. And voila. We've been working with them for over a year now. So yeah it was the referral was what definitely what helped us made the decision. And obviously as we started the conversation, it was pretty obvious that would be the right partner for us.

Jennifer: [00:04:23] Wow. That's an incredible story because I'm sure going through that process, there's a lot of ups and downs, ins and now. I'm so glad that you could find a good partner in Cabot. How has your experience been working with the team?

Borislava: [00:04:39] It has been great. Communication has been great. The level of professionalism has been great. I think the diversity of skills.... The diversity of skills I have seen from different team members that have worked on the project is wide.... That has also helped like having more kind of a personal interaction and feel like you're not working with a team that is thousands of miles away and you have no control and that has not been my experience, it's been more than great.

Jennifer: [00:05:16] One of the phrases you're using quite a lot is "diversity of skills." Would you be able to share some of your thoughts around this phrase and how this applies to the project?

Borislava: [00:05:27] Yes. I mean, right now it's toward the end of February. We are about to launch our Web platform. Our platform is not easy, which is the other reason why we wanted someone with the skills and professionalism of Cabot. It's not something you can just get out of the box, so, you know, having those diverse experiences really, really helps.

Borislava: [00:06:03] And even now, we're transitioning and starting to develop our mobile app. Again, I'm not looking at another software, a development company. Cabot has those skills and can help me in its super easy and flawless transition into developing, continuing to develop our product.

Jennifer: [00:06:24] So if you had the kind of rate.... rate the team on a scale of one to five or one is kind of the lowest in five kind of being the highest. Where would you put them on this rating scale and feel free to share some additional information if you like.

Borislava: [00:06:40] So definitely so far it's been a five. I haven't had an experience where it would be anything less than that.The one thing that, you know, I've talked a lot about their communications and just professionalism, but what I've also noticed is the team that I'm working [with] is insanely dedicated to this project and it seems very genuine, not kind of forced from the top. You know, I think my project team right now also adjusted their schedule to accommodate a little bit of the time difference. So we have a little bit longer time in the morning to to go. We have a know, especially now through launch. We have been on Skype almost every single day. [sic]

Borislava: [00:07:34] I appreciate he's working on weekends, some very long hours, which is something I feel really bad for. But he's taken to heart that, you know, we had a launch date and we were able to meet it. You know, we're still fixing a few things. But, you know, that that that has been a great experience to see that dedication from the team as well.

Jennifer: [00:08:05] May I ask who who is on the team that you're working with?

Borislava: [00:08:09] Sandeep and then Bindu is the account manager.

Jennifer: [00:08:13] I know. I know. So Sandeep and Bindu so, yes, you're in safe hands.

Jennifer: [00:08:18] Is there any other areas where you feel that Cabot exceeded what you would have expected from this process?

Jennifer: [00:08:27] I think, you know, I mean, I am a that non-technical, non-technical founder of a tech company. As I think that the you know, they have been really patient with me and kind of also in explaining different terminology, not terminology, but the options that we have, I think that has also been a great learning experience for me as well.

Jennifer: [00:08:49] So effectively, we could say Cabot helped you launch your business.

Borislava: [00:08:54] Absolutely. Yes.

Jennifer: [00:08:56] That's incredible. Yeah. Yeah. That's amazing. What a feeling for everyone involved. Everyone should be very happy about that. So is there anything you'd like to say to summarize our talk today or any final thoughts you have?

Borislava: [00:09:11] Yes. I mean, as you know, as a you know, MyStrong Circle as I said is a tech startup and Cabot has been one of the most important piece of our success so far.

Borislava: [00:09:28] As I mentioned, you know, we are pre-revenue but we're just about to launch. But we were just named one of the 50 startups to watch in 2020 in Chicago. So we were really proud of that.

Borislava: [00:09:42] So those are great successes that we hope to materialize in the future for something that will grow into a successful business. But again without Cabot, we will not have that product. And those successes.

Jennifer: [00:09:57] That's incredible. Well, congratulations..

Borislava: [00:10:00] Thank you.

Jennifer: [00:10:00] And glad that we could all be part of your journey, your success journey up to this point and continue into the future.

Jennifer: [00:10:07] Thanks. Definitely. We are looking forward for the future as well.

Jennifer: [00:10:10] Awesome, we're all very happy about that. So thank you so much, Borislava of MyStrong Circle I'm Jennifer Kumar on behalf of Authentic Journeys for Cabot Solutions.

Jennifer: [00:10:20] Thanks, everyone, for listening today. And see you in the next episode. 

This transcript was created with Sonix. You can also transcribe an audio or video up to 30 minutes for free. I did have to read through and edit it. It was about 90% correct. Check out the affordable Sonix transcription here


Related Posts:

Working With Americans: Stories and Lessons from Cabot Solutions
Engaging Employees and International Clientele: A Conversation with Cabot Solutions

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.