LA Business Podcast

30. Jason Riback, President of MediaMint

MediaMint LA Business Podcast
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We talk with Jason Riback, Aashay Paradkar, and Scott Rothstein from MediaMint about solving the challenges of scaling business more effectively.

www.mediamint.com

Robert Brill: [00:00:00] Today this is a special episode of the LA business podcast. We recorded it live in early April. Most of the conversation is not around the current Coronavirus. But we do talk about it a little bit. So the data and data that we referenced is from early April. Enjoy the show.

Intro: [00:00:19] Welcome to the LA Business Podcast, a forum for business owners and senior executives to share experiences about the elements that drive their success. Your host is Robert Brill, CEO of Brillmedia.co, an Inc 500 company delivering the power of hyper-local advertising.

Robert writes for Forbes, Inc and Ad trade publications. Our goal is to bring you the stories about successes and failures of people who are making big things happen in marketing, entrepreneurship and management.

Robert Brill: [00:00:56] Everyone welcome to another episode of the LA business podcast. They are guests or the folks at Media Mint. You have Jason Rebeck, President, Aashay Paradkar, Chief Client Officer, and Scott Rothstein, Vice-President Business Development, thanks for being with us.

Jason Ribeck: [00:01:12] Of course, MediaMint is a media technology  operations outsourcing partner. So we work with a wide variety of companies, across the media space, helping them with, all of their day to day operational execution tasks. So everything from, you know, the basically ad operations, camping management, we’ve got a 70 person creative design team. We’ve got a data analytics team, dev ops and technical development.

And so, billing operations, essentially all of the, so that as you grow, you need to scale quickly with a responsible and high quality team.

Robert Brill: [00:01:55] And what are you guys’s roles? What’s the differentiation between President and Chief Client Officer, we’re, not a big organization, so we don’t have those distinctions.

Jason Ribeck: [00:02:07] Quick question. So, you know, our organization, we’ve reached about 800 people today. So as you kind of grow, you need to make sure that you just have the right, leaders at  each level. As president, I look at the the overarching business, you know, who are the types of clients that we’re serving?

What are the functions that we can be growing into and supporting? So we’ve grown very organically and served, a wider breadth of functions over time as we consult with our clients. Aashay as the Chief Client Officer. He really leads, the client engagement team. So if you think about, first we engage clients, with the business development side.

Then on the client engagement team, we help onboard the clients, make sure we’re setting up the perfect team, for each of their needs. And then, he works very closely with the delivery team as well in India to make sure that we are hitting all of our metrics. And hopefully exceeding expectations.

Robert Brill: [00:03:13] So very interesting. So Aashay, let me ask you a question, it seems like your role, it seems to be a lot around operational excellence. Would you look at what you look at it like that?

Aashay Paradkar: [00:03:25] Yeah, absolutely. So two pieces to it, right? So there’s a sales side of the business and there is the operation side of the business.

Our group in many ways sits right in, in between these two groups. So, you know, all of the sales expectations, et cetera. We need to ensure that they, they are carried through when we engage in the relationship. So, you know, good transition management, good onboarding, ensuring client satisfaction levels are up with the Mark.

That’s one side of the, of the role. The other piece is, you know, operational excellence, building strategic relationships, adding continuous value, to our clients from taking that consultative approach. We work with a bunch of clients, in our industry. So there are certain kind of process excellence spaces, best practices that we can consult just because we have so much availability of data. So in, you know, bringing those two together is kind of the key to succeeding in the role that I’m in, in our company. The delivery folks don’t fear the clients as much. As the client engagement people, because they are constantly on their head to like, you know, even if the client’s like, Hey, this is fine, we’ll get to it.

Just in terms of operational excellence, process excellence, the adherence pieces, that’s the role that we play. One of the things that, that we continuously stress is we want our, our teams to be working as if the client is right next to them. Right? So when we call ourselves the extension of, our clients, that’s, that’s the gap that needs to be bridged, right?

So we are thinking for the client, we’re being client advocates and, in many ways, that shows him in the eventual comments.

Scott Rothstein: [00:05:20] Perhaps most important from my perspective on the business development sales side is, I mean you mentioned it as the transition, cause I think the handoff from sales to the actual delivery team, which O’Shea’s team is instrumental in is probably the most vulnerable point in the whole process because I’ve set expectations and we can, you know that our team is going to do these functions and perform on the way you, the client expected. Aashay is really the, his team is the one who makes that actually happened the way it should and also sets up the longterm success, I think, of clients where we operate on a train the trainer kind of model. So you only have to train our team on in terms of what you want done once and as your team scales. We’re able to continuously do that in the background.

I mean, I always make the analogy or the comparison, the analogy to, I’m like, Jason way as you’re, as you’re loading a page, as the page loads on a website, the rest of it’s loading in the background so that as you move the map or whatever the component is, it’s there and it works.

Robert Brill: [00:06:33] And I totally hear that, right? Like it’s important if you’re going to sell something, you’ve got to know that you can actually deliver on it effectively. If you can’t deliver on it effectively, there’s no point in even sell it. I’m aware of the consequences there. How, did the business start? Like, how did you get from, there was definitely a day one, did your day one start with one or two people or did you start with some momentum?

Jason Ribeck: [00:07:03] Yeah, so, the genesis of MediaMint actually was about, 10 years ago, I was running another startup that was in the eCommerce space and we were starting to see some hyper growth.

And the issue is that with that hyper-growth, our unit economics was terrible. We were actually losing money with every new client we were adding. But to, VCs and investors, they’re like, wow, you guys are growing fast. So there was a positive there.

Robert Brill: [00:07:33] That’s actually super interesting. Can you speak to how does that happen?

Jason Ribeck: [00:07:38] I think the, the goal that people have in those types of situations is they want to prove that they can acquire users, right? And certain businesses, it’s just, Hey, show me that you can acquire users and then we’ll figure out how we monetize them later, or we’ll figure out how to make them profitable later.

And, we had built a  viral loop that was, doing just that, but it was actually costing us more money than we were then we were making. And, while the eventual goal was w we’ll have to then figure out how to make it profitable. The, you know, the perspective I took and coming from, uh, you know, a strategy consulting, background before was, you know.

The sooner we can actually get this to a positive economic business. The stronger we’ll be in fundraising, the stronger we’ll be in growth and so on. And so, I reached out to a former colleague of mine Aditya Vuchi at  who is the, now  founder of MediaMint. And, you know, essentially explained the challenges that we were having and the type of team that we needed to set up.

And the platforms that we needed to integrate in order to make this all work as an operation. So, based on that, on that framework, they did the coding. They kind of integrated, you know, Salesforce, JIRA, our backend platform all into one system. So the operating team had the tools they needed.

And then we ramped up the team of, of five agents to help manage all of the merchant services, customer service. And ad operations on the platform. We train them up within, three weeks we had ramped up this team and previously we were recruiting and training people in the U S it was high constantly.

We couldn’t maintain that pace. We turned all of our competitors in the U S we helped them elevate and then delegate out to the team. And in India, and it brought our unit economics down. We ended up becoming profitable, within two months, of that point. And then we just started scaling from there. 

So we went from 10,000 users to 20 million users in 18 months. And having MediaMint at the, core of the ops execution is what helped us accelerate and an exit.

Robert Brill: [00:10:05] There’s so many places I want to go with that. But like, fundamentally that speaks to the benefit of having operational excellence at the center of the business.

Jason Ribeck: [00:10:14] I think it also speaks to, you know, having the right partner that can, help you manage that, those operations. So at the end of the day, founders have wonderful ideas. And they start running in a direction on a product or, selling a service. And inevitably as the company grows, they start moving away from the things they love doing and they start becoming more, HR managers trying to build, trying to recruit, trying to do all those things.

And for strategic roles that you need to have locally. You know, that’s very critical. But as you get to the operational side, as it starts scaling, having the right partner in place that you can rely on to, you know, you know. Truly be focused on our business and look for that continuous improvement and someone that is trusted and can build a repeatable help you build those repeatable processes.

It just becomes a strategic advantage.

Robert Brill: [00:11:15] So you started with Salesforce and JIRA and some code. So, ad tech is very different. Though, not dramatically different, but I mean, just different tools. Right. So were you involved in the ad tech element of the business then, or how did you come to understand the nuances of advertising technology?

Jason Ribeck: [00:11:35] So Aditi and I previously worked at a company called exponential interactive. Some people know that it is tribal fusion. So we both had quite a bit of ad tech experience. The e-commerce bought from that we had built, very much in many ways was an advertising platform for small businesses. So there was a lot of the same aspects of, of ad tech, you know, generally having a, an insertional order of platform to set up a campaign and then run those campaigns.

So the parallels were very close. You know, the next set of clients as the company grew, you know, including companies like. Pulpo media, Admiral, Pinterest, you know, all lived in that space. And so that’s kind of how the team has built up capabilities and experience across the ad tech space.

And because we’re platform agnostic, I think we work on nearly every platform that’s out there today. Uh, depending on whatever the client needs.

Robert Brill: [00:12:39] And so you essentially built MediaMint inside another company. And at what point did you realize, how do you, how did you navigate that? Because I imagine your operational, you’re the group of people at the group of capabilities that became MediaMint.

How, do you transition out of one company and, push it into a wholly separate entity. Like, how does that work? Or did you, or did you not need to do that? And it just, like, you just restarted from scratch again after the company you’re at sold, or like how, how does, how does that transition go?

Jason Ribeck: [00:13:20] Oh, so the company that I had been building. Okay. Sorry. So, MediaMint effectively was a severance D  was a operating partner of the company. That company was called homerun.com. So Home Run, you know, as it was growing, was just a client of MediaMint with medium and then sort of building additional clients.

As they grew Home Run eventually was sold off to, another company called deem.com, that roll us up into some products that they had for for enterprise businesses. And MediaMint, just kind of continued to identify and build clients as it went forward.

Robert Brill: [00:14:14] So tell me about what, so I’m looking at your LinkedIn profile, sold it, sold Home Run in 2011.

You’re with, Deem, until October, 2012 volume till December, 2016 at one point in all of this, does MediaMint like, is there a trigger that goes from a small group of people that constitutes MediaMint to 800? Like is there a, is there a tipping point there somewhere, or was it steady growth like every year, eight years out of a hundred people, you know, like, how does that work?

Jason Ribeck: [00:14:50] So the company grew in a very organic, steady, linear way. From the starting point, for the first, I’d say six years, it grew to about 150 to 200 people serving about 15 to 20 clients, you know, along the way, I had been advising a DTA and we had been, talking about the growth plans or trajectory.

I joined back in 2017 full time and, you know, based on, the scope of work that we have been doing and the types of clients that I knew that, that we can serve, given the quality of the operation and the, breadth of services. We just started accelerating the types of clients that we’re working with.

And so we went from 200 employees to roughly 800 employees and about three and a half years. And you know, in order to do that, right, as Scott mentioned before, it’s, if you think about this in terms of like having a baton race, doesn’t matter how fast any one of the, legs are any one of the runners are, if you don’t have that great handoff from one group to the next group.

And it’s smooth and it’s consistent, then you know you’re going to have a company that falter. So that’s why, you know, we were able to bring in great guys like Aashay who kind of could take it from the business development right into operationalizing it for the first, 30, 60, 90 days, and then it hands off to the, to delivery team who then kind of takes it for the, the marathon afterward.

So, you know, to, to build the organization. To that point, I think what is really important is as you look at every component. If you look at every component of your business as an engine, you need to tweak them to make sure that each one is running in harmony. And then, you know, wherever you see those challenges, just put extra focus on, on that piece, get it, you know, get it running and then, and then move forward.

So for us, I’d say the engine that became critical was our, recruiting. And then our, our learning and development group. So we needed to figure out how do you move from hiring five or six people a month to, how do you hire 50 to a hundred people a month?

Robert Brill: [00:17:23] Who oversees that?

Aashay Paradkar: [00:17:24] Yeah. So, Nilima who’s the Co Founder, she had, human resources, talent acquisition, and also the finance side.

So we at the moment, you know, the, one group that we haven’t spoken to, which is kind of the core to our, business is our operations group. So, Anoush are our chief operating officer. Basically. He, he runs the ship like, like no one else that I’ve known, to be honest. Right? And in many ways, we are there to be, just kind of facilitate, understand the requirements.

And kind of alter our strategies according to their requirements. Right? So this, I’m talking about the talent acquisition plan. Or I’m talking about kind of, you know, human resource engagement, like, you know, what are the career paths that, that we need to develop? What is the investment that we need to make in the organization so that people stick around for a long time, they’re excited to,  be with us.

And then from a client side, you know, what are the additional value that we can add to the clients that in turn then then gives opportunities to the people that we have onboarded to kind of go in different direction, you know, in terms of their career. So, at the moment, Nilima heads the, the human resources and the talent acquisition group.

Robert Brill: [00:18:53] Just hiring people is like finding the right person is such a risk. How do you, how do you do that consistently?

Aashay Paradkar: [00:18:59] Right? So we’ve kind of, we’ve learned through our, our mistakes. And I think now we, we have the, like, real confidence and conviction in our, our hiring capabilities, in terms of the scale that we are currently operating. So we’ve, invested a lot in terms of, getting the right talent to the door, right from having, especially above a certain level leads and managers having them go to, you know, a personality assessment, a psychometric test, apart from the technical testing. So, you know, if you’re hiring for publisher’s site platform, you do your normal Google ad manager at an excess, whatever the case may be, you put them through certain tests that are in line with the previous experience.

But that’s just a technical component that doesn’t get you in medium. There is the, attitude, the personality, the culture, fitment. These are the real intangible pieces that are key to successful hiring. So we’ve invested a lot in terms of having the right tests in place, having the right interview mechanism in place so that you’re looking for signs and signals.

So Jason touched upon learning and development. So apart from learning and development, technical aspects, there’s a whole kind of how do you conduct an interview? How are you, kind of qualifying a person to go to the next stage of the interview process? We’ve, invested quite a bit of our time and effort, in that, and as I mentioned,  it’s an ever evolving process, but at the moment we feel fairly confident that regardless of the ask, coming in from the sales team or regardless of the size of the pipeline, we are very well positioned to cater to that demand.

Robert Brill: [00:20:52] So let’s jump a little bit forward to the current moment. It’s April, 2020, we all negotiated the coronavirus and COVID-19 global  challenges.

And as, you know, I was really impressed with, with the stuff that you took to protect your own team. You guys were definitely forward-thinking in how you approach the safety of your organization, the members of your organization. Can you speak a little bit to the challenges and just the overall things that are happening in the world today?

I know it’s an evolving situation, but. Well, like I said, like it was just really heartening to hear how well you guys were taken care of, of your people in really, really, really uncertain times.

Aashay Paradkar: [00:21:41] The very first thing is I think we, had our ears to the ground. We were very aware, we were ahead of the curve in many ways.

Luckily India is, not as badly affected, as some of the other countries, but obviously, I mean, as of today, I think, the numbers have swollen and, we are about barely above 10,000 cases. As soon as, as the news started trickling in, we started taking our cues from, from other countries in terms of what they’re doing.

What’s the, what’s the impact on society, what’s the impact on business? We are very pleased and in hindsight that we were at least three or four days ahead of the curve.

Robert Brill: [00:22:31] Which makes a big difference, by the way. Like, I just read an article,, or my wife actually told me about it.

She was like, it’s quite possible that the difference between the low number of cases in California and the high number of cases in New York is a week, the week that New York, so California went into sort of a general stay at home order a week before, like six days before New York.

Massive difference. Same thing in China. I read that in China, the scientists were saying in Wuhan, China, if they would have taken action six days earlier, we actually might, the whole world might not be an pandemic right now. Massive.

MediaMint: [00:23:12] I think the other component that, makes a difference in terms of being ahead of the curve is being able to prepare, our team for being quarantined, being, you know, working from home and having the resources because, in India it’s not exactly the same as here where most people have laptops.

Most people have, you know, high speed internet at home. So for us working from home, it’s not, there are definitely parts that are, that are different, but in terms of the actual infrastructure we’ve got, it, immediate meant we had to, and being ahead of the curve was super important and getting all these resources where we were able to have our IT people go out to people’s homes, make sure that the internet worked there if they needed devices to work on procuring those before everybody else did.

And we were ahead of the curve. It’s funny, Robert, you and I were having lunch in LA when I was out there for a conference, and MediaMint was already, I think 85% of the way prepped for the potential of having to work under quarantine, at that point in time. So that was, that was long before the, you know, California or New York, even.

Robert Brill: [00:24:23] Yeah. So you guys have to go in and wireyour teams. Like living like home to ensure that they could actually continue to operate from their home internet computers. Wow.

Scott Rothstein: [00:24:36] And we also had to procure some additional office space close to some, of our core team who work with very sensitive clients where they do need to be in an office, but it needed to be close by, you know, close by where, where some of these people lived.

Jason Ribeck: [00:24:54] Well, we were doing from the leadership side, as you know, we meet every week and talk about the business where things are going. And, probably two or three weeks before, any of the shutdowns where we’re starting to happen, we kind of asked the question of you know, you know, what if, what if this virus actually, you know, extended beyond China?

Like, what if, how would that actually impact business? How does that impact our clients? And at the end of the day, you know, what is our backup plan to our backup plan? Right? So let’s go two levels deep. And, you know, the answer was, well, there is the situation where everyone would have to be shifted to a work from home model, as Scott mentioned.

You know, the steps we took initially was. No buying three or 400 computers. Doing the, you know, the, the checks on everyone’s homes,  collecting all that data to know, you know, who is, you know, set up for success and who’s not, and, you know, ensuring that, okay, let’s now pressure test that for the first week.

And see how 20 or 30% of our team can operate in that model before we move a hundred people, a hundred percent of the people to a full work from home model. And you know, accelerating that it accelerated much faster than we expected. But based on us taking those preparation steps is what got us to a point where we, not only were we comfortable operating from home, but actually you may be able to give some some data on, you know, we’ve actually had feedback from a lot of clients that have said,  things are running even more efficiently than ever before for their operations.

Aashay Paradkar: [00:26:44] Just to add a little bit of context in terms of, the preparation rate, so we talk about business continuity plans, and for the most part, they are the theories.

They’re these big documents, right? Just, the actual success of the business continuity plan. Is in its outcome, like when a crisis happens, whether that business continue to plan made any sense if, and if you were able to execute that from our point of view, we had our, we literally had a war room and that’s what it’s called.

We had a war room set up. Our data Nilima everyone from the leadership team leading from the front, we basically went to every employee. Ask them for like, alright, which is your updated address? What is your kind of, you know, computer status? Do you have a personal computer? Do you have a, you know, like a, like a desktop at home?

What’s the internet status? What’s the speed of that that you typically get? How do you commute to office? So all of that was, was ready, way before even the business continue. The plan kicked in. But the fact that we had that data, we had kind of, you know, the routes mapped out in terms of which are mission critical people that need to be up and running when the, when the government, I say, flips the switch and puts everyone in lockdown.

We were able to kind of identify that we move from the business continuity plan stage one to stage two very, very quickly. Once we saw that that was working, then that was like, it’s just, you’re, kind of taking. Taking updates every six hours, every eight hours in terms of, Hey, do we need to move to, we need to move.

So going from that 25, 30% testing that that’s working and then moving to a hundred percent, that was just methodical plan and very, very structured, very high communication between the leadership team. But just to add a little bit to what Jason mentioned. The outcome, and we’ve been doing this for about four weeks now.

The outcome has been just phenomenal in terms of, it’s very pleasing that our, our plan has worked. That’s number one. The surprising things are. There’s mentioned productivity has gone up, which is just crazy to think, right? We were under the assumption that, Hey, we need to kind of convey to our clients that they may be operating at around 70, 80% productivity, SLA, et cetera.

None of our clients, like without exception, none of our clients have suffered a dip in quality. None of them have a software to dip in SLS or availability, which is just an insane thing for them. I mean, organization of about 800 people. So that’s, that’s been the pleasing bit.

Jason Ribeck: [00:29:45] I’ll add, I’ll add one piece to that.

Last bit is,  I think this goes, I think this speaks very highly toward the work, that, Nilima Anosh, Aashay have been doing in India where we’ve been focused on hiring the right people, focused on the learning and development program. And, obviously the whole goal was to build the next set of leaders in the organization.

Right. And I don’t think we even knew. To the extent that people had basically, really, embraced that program until this event happened. And we’ve seen in our organization, you know, leaders stepping up across all functions at every level in the organization that have taken this in stride and found a ways to succeed.

I, you know, I believe that’s probably the same thing in a lot of other organizations out there, from our clients and, and everybody else where you’re starting to see people that, you know. You know, perhaps we’re overlooked, that all of a sudden are really stepping up to a degree that, you know, just helps the business run and helps, you know, clients perform.

So from our side, you know, my big thank you is going to go out to all of the, associates leads and managers who at the end of the day are the ones driving the business and delivering for our clients?

Robert Brill: [00:31:15] Do you think that this is going to result in the opportunity for your people to work from home?

Do they want to work from home?

Aashay Paradkar: [00:31:24] It’s a very interesting conversation. So just before this crisis happened this pandemic hit we were in a, in a super growth mode, right? So we were already in discussions in terms of acquiring additional space to accommodate about 300 additional, people, you know, we were going across campus drives all over India.

You know, trying to identify talent. We always had a work from home policy. So we’ve been different to a bunch of service companies in India, so we’ve always had that option. But it’s, you know, typically, a day, a week, maybe, you know, two days a month or so. We now are, are almost analyzing the data to see whether, you know, what’s, what’s the workstation to employee ratio that we need to maintain.

And that’s a completely different conversation than what it was, I would say 60 days ago. So we have the data now and so in, in many ways that would be accounted in the longterm planning whenever we, we come out of this.

Robert Brill: [00:32:32] What, and we’ll wrap it up shortly. What tools have become more critical now, if any than they have been. It all start and I’ll say like, our business is built on Slack. Slack, Microsoft SharePoint, certainly zoom and text messages. Like that’s how we generally communicate also emails, of course. Are there any tools that you found, and again, we’re a hundred percent work from home, by the design of our business.

As you’ve made this transition, have there been any tools that have popped out as becoming particularly important now that the world has changed?

Jason Ribeck: [00:33:17] Yeah, I think for our business, We’ve been so ingrained, you know, internally in our business, we’ve been so ingrained in the Google suite of products, from our collaboration.

So, using you know, Hangouts and Google chat, and severally, even WhatsApp for like our WhatsApp groups within our, our organization to talk to the leads and managers. So none of that has really changed for us. I would say we’ve definitely seen an increase with the clients that we work with and some of the tools they’re using.

And so obviously, zoom is accelerated we were always working off Slack. We’re always working off you know, JIRA and, and Reich and, you know, whatever platforms and tools that they were using. So, for us it hasn’t been a huge shift in, kind of communication, behavioral patterns,  as much as it’s just been an increase in the, and the amount, and I think the increase in the video chat is due more to the fact that clients with within their own teams can’t just meet each other in their own meeting rooms, they now need to have, the hangout or zoom calls going and we get pulled into more of that.

Robert Brill: [00:34:37] Yeah, I like it. It’s interesting because, you know, when I started this business, I thought, well, you know, I’m not going to advertise it.

We’re working from home company cause that makes us seem like we’re not a real company. And certainly, you know one of what I do. So I do some consulting work every now and then for, Prochaska consulting. And Matt Prohaska is a big proponent for video, like being on video no matter where you are, just be on video it helps. So over the last couple of years, I’ve also adopted that. And. You know, and I was like, you know, I feel a little uncomfortable, like a little self conscious. Like our company is going to think we’re not a real company cause we worked from home, especially cause we work with larger companies and now that the world has changed, all of a sudden I’m like feeling great about my background because it’s set up for my office.

But I think it’s, it’s an honest thing like we’re all humans. Like we all live in normal spaces, right? Like we all have drapes and fans and beds and that’s who we are as humans, let’s be done with all the silly pretenses that are so unnecessary. And I think that actually accelerates the humanity of it all.

Like we’re all just trying to get by. We all work. I love that. So guys, as we end, I have two final questions that I’m the do a round robin for each of you. Now, the first question is, I’m a big foodie. I love to eat great food wherever you are. I’m really interested in like really good Indian food. So tell me what’s going on with the food scene.

Jason, you’re in San Francisco. Okay. What’s good to eat, whether it’s home cooked or eating out, what would he love?

Jason Ribeck: [00:36:17] Well, I’d say home cook right now, and I’ve been taking advantage of this time to do a lot more barbecuing. So, you know, anytime you can throw a steak and some veggies on the grill, it’s, it’s definitely my favorite.

But I’d say out here, our favorite is a place called Soul Food, which is a incredibly delicious Cuban. A Cuban place, we can order, once a week drive down. They already have the food ready, so they’d walk it up to your car so you don’t have to, you know, you can social distance appropriately and then get it back to the house.

Aashay Paradkar: [00:36:52] I think I’m going to get slaughtered for this. So I am in Hyderabad. Hyderabad, hydroponic is kind of the, the center for spicy hot, hot Indian food. The one thing about Indian food is there is no. Real generic Indian food, by the way, there are 28 different provinces that have 28 different cuisines, right? So I originally come from the Western side of India, which is close to Bombay, a state called Marussia.

And I’m more used to the, the milder spices, a little bit of bland type of food. and moving to Hyderabad two years ago. It’s been a change for me. It’s just my, like, just my whole awareness of my lack of spice tolerance has been an experience in itself. And go out with, with friends here and they’re like, Oh. Make that hotter, like more Chile, and I’m just, I’m just sweating myself, just looking at that. So it does have favorite food. So luckily in India, the options have, have grown in terms of, you know, global cuisine. There is a, there’s a place called , which is kind of home. Indo Thai. So there is Thai food, but there’s an Indian spice variation to it, I think.

So that’s, that’s been the favorite for me and my wife. And,  in many ways, every time you have a different global cuisine in India, it becomes like IndoItalian Indochinese in IndoThai. Because, you know, we add our own on spices. So, yeah. You’re going to enjoy that to be honest.

Robert Brill: [00:38:32] IndoItalian, that’s, I’m going to do some exploration on that. Scott, what about you in New York?

Scott Rothstein: [00:38:40] Well, my wife had what we think was COVID which took about three, three and a half weeks for it to go through. So I did some, I, I don’t usually cook, but I did some of the cooking, which was kind of fun actually. I enjoyed it. I missed it. We also order from places around here and, you know, New York, being New York, we’ve got a lot of great food.

There is a good Indian place around the corner, which I haven’t ordered from since, since the crisis hit. But a little further down, there’s a, oddly enough, New York has great food from all over the world, but there is a dearth of good Mexican food. And in my neighborhood. There actually is a really good Mexican place, down the street.

Funny thing about them is, the governor changed the laws, the liquor laws here. So I went down and picked up a dinner one night there and I saw the sign out front. So to help businesses try, you know, restaurants try and make money. The governor, enabled carry out liquor from. Restaurants, so they had a sign out front.

It was like, I think it’s like $10 for a regular margarita. I think it’s 20 or $21 for like a leader. Just, which is good. It’s nice to have their margarita. But there’s a lot of good food here. There’s a, the pizza’s great. There’s also a really good place. A guy actually comes from the media world who owns a, a place called Indian road cafe, which is a quite good.

Robert Brill: [00:40:05] Nice, nice, nice. My favorite and I haven’t had this for awhile, is, Geno’s East of Chicago pizza, which is newly open here in Sherman Oaks. I went there a lot and then I stopped going cause I went on a keto diet. Yeah. And, my wife makes, I’m trying to remember the name of it now. It’s a, it’s basically a cucumber salad with a little bit of dill vinegar and, sour cream. It is the best.

How can people contact you? Who should be, who’s like, what are your, what’s your contact info? What’s the best setup here?

Jason Ribeck: [00:40:39] Yeah, I’d say that the best way to contact us is, you know, either,  reaching out to probably meet directly [email protected] or going through to our contact us page on our website.

There’s a small form field that they can fill out, their name, phone number, you know, a business. And if they have any specific information they want to share, you know, pass that along. And our team will reach out right away to kind of understand what’s going on. And then, you know, very quickly our processes, you know,  we’ll do a quick, uh, you know, 30 minutes to 60 minute, consulting slash discovery call to understand kind of what the business needs and challenges are. We’ll identify the right people internally and then set up a solutions call so you can kind of meet the team and understand, what are the processes and functions that, that we can support. And then from there we usually can move very quickly within one to two weeks into onboarding a team.

So it’s very quick from having a need to having a team ready to go.

Robert Brill: [00:41:45] Awesome. Jason, Asha, and Scott, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the LA business podcast. If you like what we’re doing on this podcast, please consider subscribing on Apple or Google play, leaving a five star review and sharing with your friends.

If you have any questions, comments, or recommendations for a guest you’d like to hear on this podcast. Please email me [email protected]

Thank you. Have a fantastic day.

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Credits

Audio Production – Echegoyen Productions

Creation and Marketing – BrillMedia.co, a hyperlocal advertising company.