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Bootstrapping From a Small Town in Denmark to $12 Million: Sebastian Petersen, CEO of TrendHim (Part 5)

Posted on Sunday, Jun 2nd 2019

Sramana Mitra: I’ll tell you one thing though. You made this comment that outsourcing is bullshit. That’s absolutely false. There are a lot of ways of succeeding. You have succeeded in one way. There are a lot of other people who have succeeded in other ways.

We have case studies of virtual companies with 140 people in different companies. What is wonderful is you have built a wonderful company in a very offbeat part of the world. It’s not Copenhagen. It’s a small city in Denmark. You’ve created jobs. You’ve created excitement. That’s really fantastic.

Sebastian Petersen: Most companies, at some point, scale out of outsourcing. It’s a great way of scaling fast and quickly. In my opinion, most companies scale out of what works and find another solution.

Sramana Mitra: There are a lot of companies who actually start outsourcing once they get to a certain point. If you look at the whole IT services industry, that is based on outsourcing.

Companies outsource to them once they get to a certain scale. They keep the core inside and outsource the rest. Your statement is not right.

If you look at a Morgan Stanley, for instance, they do a lot of outsourcing. That’s a humongous company. Companies do not grow out of outsourcing. They actually start outsourcing more as they grow.

Sebastian Petersen: That might be true.

Sramana Mitra: It doesn’t really matter. I have done so many of these stories. What’s fascinating is, people have so many ways of succeeding.

One trend is what you are doing – going to a completely offbeat geography. That’s where you’re from, so it works perfectly for you. Even sometimes, people actually go to a geography where the competition for talent is not so high and where the cost structure is manageable, and build a company that is insulated from attrition and talent poaching. That’s one trend.

There are companies now developing in all different corners of the world. That’s wonderful. The other big trend is virtual companies. People are building companies with employees in different parts of the world. There are companies that have 140 employees in different places.

Our company is run on a virtual structure as well. These are both quite interesting trends. Both of them are great because the global workforce gets to participate in building interesting companies. That’s really great.

Sebastian Petersen: We have outsourced a lot, but only for manual labor. We have freelancers all over Europe. We’ve been using it a lot actually. We’re from Horsens. There’s 50,000 people here.

Sramana Mitra: That’s fabulous. To have a company like yours in that city is fabulous.

Sebastian Petersen: We have people who lived in London and now live in our city. People have moved here from Hungary. We try to draw international talent. Everything is English in the office even though we’re in a Danish city. We don’t speak English normally. We decided to be that.

Sramana Mitra: That also makes it easier for hiring. Excellent. That’s a fabulous story. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping From a Small Town in Denmark to $12 Million: Sebastian Petersen, CEO of TrendHim
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