Teresa Lewis is the Country Representative & Business Development Coordinator at Mauve Group a leading provider of Global Workforce Solutions, Business Expansion and Consultancy Services since 1996, Mauve’s creative solutions have helped organisations conquer new markets in 150+ countries worldwide.
By utilising Mauve’s market-leading expertise in services such as company set up, employer of record, global payroll management, corporate immigration, our clients benefit from reduced risks, lower costs and faster timescales as they expand their business overseas.
Treasa with over ten years’ experience in Market Research and HR at prestigious Dublin-based organisations, is now responsible for developing Mauve’s business in Ireland and supporting operational management when local intervention is required. She is originally from Wales and has been living in Ireland since 2001 and is also a qualified yoga teacher.
You can visit the Mauve Group website here
White Coral Business Consulting is the Irish arm of the Mauve Group – a global organisation that has been supporting other companies to expand overseas since 1996. Our vision is to be a trusted partner to organisations seeking to expand their horizons and achieve growth beyond their home markets. We help companies of any size and industry, whether they require assistance with deploying staff into a new location, setting up a company overseas, building an overseas expansion strategy, supporting international staff with payroll, HR and employment law consultancy and so on. We turn our local expertise and on-the-ground support into bespoke solutions that answer the specific requirements of our clients.
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
My role is to source new business opportunities in Ireland, support our existing Irish clients with their overseas expansion plans and facilitate international investment into Ireland. A key goal is to help Irish clients realise the potential of their products and services in overseas locations and to give them the confidence to make plans for expansion.
What are your biggest challenges?
It can sometimes be difficult to get past the preconception that global expansion is only possible for large corporations. We’re here to tell SMEs and small-scale operations that they too can reap the benefits of entering new markets, with the right planning and support in place. Mauve started in an office the size of a cupboard and was taking on international projects within a year of operations. If this is a goal for their business, companies of any size can do the same.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
With rising concerns about climate change and our increasingly tech-savvy lives, I think in future we will see far less business travel, and an increase in other measures such as video conferencing, remote working and local hiring. It is being said that there will be a 25% decrease in business travel over the next five years. This will impact the wider global mobility industry who facilitate international worker assignments and deal predominantly with expatriates – they are already seeing a reduction in expatriate overseas relocation after years of a steady rise. There will always be a need for some kind of presence in-country for businesses, but the industry needs to adapt to the new ways that companies are doing this.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
Compliance has been a growing trend over the past few years as governments clamp down upon tax loopholes and “creative” accounting; this will be quite topical in 2020 as British IR35 rulings come into play. A part of what we do falls under the “employment solution” category – that is, providing Employer of Record (EoR) services to employ workers compliantly in a new country on behalf of companies who do not have their own local entity set up. The industry has moved away from providing solutions for independent contractors and self-employed workers on overseas assignments, as these were often abused to reduce income taxation and maximise net pay. Rules like IR35 coming into play will prevent the practice of “disguised employment” by contractors and clients.
Are you finding any skills gaps in the market?
This is not necessarily a skills gap, but in terms of a niche that Mauve fills, I think there is a tendency amongst competitors to forget the importance of the human element in their efforts to appeal to corporates. While efficiency is key to us, people are at the heart of what we do, whether this means our own employees or those of our clients, partners, stakeholders, consumers and so on. We would prefer to avoid seeming like a faceless solution or new type of software, and instead provide real support and human interactions. Testimonials and references still speak volumes. I think there is considerable value in providing personalised support and ensuring our warm, family-run ethos is felt by our customers at all times.
How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?
Like every organisation, we did feel some of the effects of the global financial crash, but we were able to weather the storm through our broad network – when there is difficulty in one area, we are positioned in such a way that another location that is performing more successfully can pick up some of the slack. In another way, the collapse of huge corporations galvanised SMEs and start-ups, and this has led to increased creativity in business and more fluid global working practices – something that we have benefited from as we assist companies to think more innovatively about their international strategy. The crisis underlined to us the need to diversify and this is something we communicate to our clients every day.
How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?
In one sense, it creates a challenging environment in which to do business and the lack of clarity has had obvious effects on our European clients – one of our earliest mottos was “business without borders” and our central aim is to strengthen international partnerships rather than jeopardising them. As an organisation with British and European companies, we have had to adapt some of our internal processes to plan for any Brexit eventuality, which undeniably takes time away from our day-to-day operations. However, as with the knock-on effects of the global banking crisis, Brexit may also present an opportunity to break from traditional structures and find new, more efficient ways of doing business. Organisations may begin to think laterally and consider the global, not just the local – innovation always grows from challenging circumstances.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
I try and break success down into little pieces. I have been in my role with Mauve for just over a year and I have learnt so much about the business. As you progress you have to celebrate the small wins like getting to grips with new processes or forming strong foundations in your network. If I can manage my workload with Mauve, taking care of my family and teach my weekly yoga class then I feel I have accomplished a great deal. Success isn’t about the pay cheque or a big promotion, it’s more about finding the right work life balance and being happy.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
It’s important to be a good listener. I think Welsh people by nature can be a bit nosey, so I have always been good at asking questions and extracting information from people. In this way you see the opportunities in which you can help someone. I am a firm believer that what you give will always come back to you eventually.
What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
I am really proud of developing our partnerships with organisations celebrating Irish successes in business, such as IIBN, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, WIBN, Pinehub and the All-Star Business Foundation. We have participated in a number of events around the country and have met some fantastic Irish entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. It’s also been wonderful to be part of Mauve’s growing platform in Ireland and I am looking forward to building on this in 2020.
What’s next for your company?
In 2020 we will be launching the first in a series of new technological developments for our business- a Mauve Group online Portal which will make solution data more accessible for our clients and streamline our processes, making onboarding times more efficient. We’ll also be adding to our portfolio of countries and solutions – at last count we could offer services in over 150 locations worldwide, and we have set aims to strengthen that offering in 2020.
Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?
I hope to see White Coral and Mauve Group becoming by-words for innovation and growth support in the Irish market by this time next year. I want to continue partnering with the best of Irish entrepreneurship and give confidence to businesses that their products can perform in a market away from home. I look forward to seeing Irish business success stories arising from a turbulent time globally.