Social Impact Initiatives by The Fintech Expert Anupam Satyasheel
Anupam Satyasheel explores Global Finance and the Role of Social Impact Initiatives

Advising SMBs In A Ever Changing Fintech Landscape with Anupam Satyasheel of Occams Advisory

Episode Overview

Episode Topic:

Welcome to an insightful episode of PayPod. We engage in a conversation with Anupam Satyasheel, the founder of Occams Advisory, about the dynamic journey through the founding and growth of Occams. The episode delves into the background and inspiration that led to the creation of Occams in 2012. With a focus on Occams’ three main service verticals – GSBI, FTPS, and CMIB, the discussion explores how the company evolved to offer a wide range of services. The episode also touches upon the benefits for SMBs in partnering with a company that provides such a comprehensive suite of services.

Lessons You’ll Learn:

Anupam shares invaluable lessons learned during his decade-plus leadership at Occams. From the bold mission statement and philosophies to navigating the challenges of labeling merchants as high-risk, listeners gain insights into the complexities of the fintech industry. The discussion on risk verification evolution and the impact of new technologies provides valuable lessons for anyone in the fintech space. Anupam reflects on his experiences, shedding light on the nuances of leading a company with strong principles and values.

About Our Guest:

Anupam Satyasheel, the founder of Occams Advisory, emerges as a dynamic entrepreneur with a passion for making a positive impact. Anupam is the inspiration behind Occams and his journey in leading the company through challenges and successes. Anupam’s commitment to bold philosophies and values that define Occams.

Topics Covered:

The episode covers a wide array of topics, including Occams’ service offerings, the intricacies of high-risk merchant accounts, the impact of multi-currency solutions, and the evolution of risk verification. An exploration of Occams’ proprietary fintech platform gives listeners insights into the company’s innovative approach. The discussion also touches on the challenges and rewards of upholding a bold mission statement and the lessons Anupam has gathered along the way. As the podcast unfolds, Anupam shares his excitement for the future, both personally and for the fintech industry in 2024.

Our Guest: Anupam Satyasheel- An Impactful Leadership in Social Initiatives

For over a decade, Anupam Satyasheel has been at the helm of Occams Advisory, a distinguished global financial advisory and corporate services firm. As the Founder and CEO, he has steered Occams to numerous accolades, including recognition in Inc Fastest 5000, FT America’s Fastest 500, and Fortune magazine’s list of 300 Most Innovative Companies. Anupam’s leadership has extended beyond corporate success, as he has cultivated impactful partnerships with non-profits like Child Literacy and The Art of Living, showcasing a commitment to social and educational causes.

Anupam’s impressive academic background includes an MBA from New York University, complemented by extensive professional certifications. His expertise spans finance, economics, and valuation, making him a stalwart in the financial advisory domain. Before the establishment of Occams, Anupam honed his skills on Wall Street, contributing his talents to renowned institutions such as Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Fidelity Investments, and The Bank of Nova Scotia. This diverse experience has been a foundational element in his strategic approach to creating value for businesses globally.

Beyond his role at Occams, Anupam has extended his influence into the fintech and insurance sectors. He has co-founded and invested in ventures like EquiPay and Satyasheel Insurance Agency, leveraging his vast domain knowledge and expansive network. With a vision to provide innovative business guidance and growth equity investment, Anupam Satyasheel continues to be a driving force in the financial industry, blending corporate success with a commitment to social impact and innovation.

Episode Transcript

Anupam Satyasheel: We are taking all the attributes about a person and using our proprietary algorithm to assign a score as to our qualities, people more likely to Johannesburg. So take everything and then assign a score and predicting out that Okay, this is least likely or most likely the system is just learning from its own mistakes and starts thinking that, Okay, this is not a good predictor. So let’s say you have a chargeback. Now we reverse-test it. We predict this. Now we say this is a 70% chance of chargeback and actual chargeback. Is it because it’s an aberration or are we actually doing something? Like a system is correct, the model is correct. So we went back and kept doing that. And across three years of improving, and as you start having big data like thousands of transactions running each day, we’re like, yeah, this is right. This is not right. Education is overrated. An educated person also can do a chargeback because they might know they can do it versus somebody who did not know they can do it.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Welcome to PayPod, the payments industry podcast. Each week, we’ll bring you in-depth conversations with leaders who are shaping the payments and fintech world, from payment processing to risk management, and from new technology to entirely new payment types. If you want to know what’s happening in the world of fintech and payments, you’re in the right place. Hello, everyone.

Welcome to PayPod. I’m your host, Jacob Hollabaugh. And today on the show, we are going to be talking about how SMBs can stay up to date on the latest fintech and payment solution trends. I’m pleased to be joined for this conversation by Anupam Satyasheel, founder and CEO of Occams Advisory, the company bringing Fortune 500 expertise to SMBs, helping advance their clients through the business cycle from inception to infinity. Anupam, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Anupam Satyasheel: Jacob, thank you so much.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Let’s take me back to the beginning, if you can, back to 2012. If I have my dates right in front of me here. What were you doing leading up to 2012 and then what came about that brought about the inspiration or the idea for Occams and led to its founding?

Anupam Satyasheel: I was a banker on Wall Street from 2004 till 2011. I was in Wall Street. I saw a pretty interesting cycle, which you might be too young to remember, Jacob. But to know we saw some crazy uptake in three, four, five, six, up to seven. And then the market started moving in exactly the opposite direction. And pretty quickly the world went crazy. And then when the recovery started, after massive government bailouts through the whole process, it was a moment of catharsis, if I might say, that’s how Wall Street got the whole country whole. I did not want to be one of those guys who were the villains. I didn’t work in the sector. I had nothing to do with all those three-letter words, but I just did not see myself there anymore. So after taking some time to get my bearings right, because it’s not a great start if you’re an unemployed person and you start a business that seems like you lost and left. So in 2010, for the first four months, when I was looking for a job, I asked myself hard questions. I said, let me go back and check one more time. So I actually got a double promotion, went to Barclays. Very lucky to get a break like that, and spent a year or more and came back with the same conclusion that this is not for me. So I moved on to start my business. It started in 2011, but 2012 is when I incorporated it. So that’s the short history of how it started.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Wonderful. It’s been a common theme on this show with a lot of different founders that have spoken with that. The 2008 was, it was obviously such a pivotal moment, an inflection point in our country, the economy, everything related to it. And it’s been a reoccurring theme of how many people I’ve talked to that in that moment. They completely pivoted their career for one reason or the other, related to having gone through that moment. And I’ll be interested to see. I anticipate if I’m doing this show five, six years from now, I feel like the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 will be another one of those that’ll start to be the new refrain of, you know, this major event happened, completely shook the financial world and threw all of that shaking. It led to a lot of different things, a lot of new companies, and everything else. So can you give me the high-level overview, then, of Occams Advisory, who you are, what the services you offer are, and where and who you work with typically?

Anupam Satyasheel: Absolutely. When I started the business, funny enough, I spent about six months trying to explore the different things. The best solution I had on the table, you might laugh about it, was to actually start an Indian food Chipotle. So Chipotle was a raging thing. I used to go to Chipotle three times a week.

Jacob Hollabaugh: I go to Chipotle three times a week. So I’m right there with you in Indian Chipotle sounds wonderful. So it should see where this story goes.

Anupam Satyasheel: Yeah, I was like Mexican food, I wasn’t a fan of but Chipotle was like a tweet-answer day. I said there is something in this model. But their efficiency like I was in Wall Street, literally in Wall Street there was a Chipotle. I walked down there and there’d be a line which goes, loop around twice and out the door, and I’ll be getting my food in 25 minutes on the higher side, maybe ten minutes. Like the speed at which to serve people. And you can think of them, they’re printing money or whatever. It’s not that easy. But I was like, we could do that for Indian food because it’s Indian food is more tasty, it’s more healthy this that. We all have our own points of self-assurance, that we come from a better culture, which is not fact-based, but that’s how we feel. So I spent, we wrote a whole project plan. We got a brand name, we got everything lined up, everyone. And then the hard reality hit me. As you understand the process that you have the management guys, the chef, you have all these people. But unless you have some money to start with, who is always getting a first check and you’re not going to mark it with half $1 million, even though half a million then was more than a couple million right now in terms of buying power. So anyway, I said no. So let’s go to something which I know. So what do I know? I know investment banking. I said, I’ll start that. That’s how it started and I started investment banking I found attraction in cross-border transactions IND-US was a logical corridor because he had Indian connections. Turned out to be that investment banking is great on the payday. It’s not so good when you are hustling because you’re paying for associates, you’re paying for analysts, you are paying for Clairity, maintaining and everything, but you don’t really have a payday till the deal closes. So very lumpy cycle, right? So he said, I need to have something which is more even cash flow. So that’s where I explored taxation, I explored insurance, explored payments, and we did all of them.

So in no particular order, as things kept happening, we got into insurance. I built an agency which was very successful, won an award every year. It was in Maryland at that time. We’re sort of fintech platform, which is banded differently. It’s called Aquapay. It’s linked to the outcomes brand, but it’s called Aquapay. We pay a premium to get the brand. But it was like premium for the domain, not for the brand we came up with. It’s a nice thing we pay it easily. Sounds what you do like outcomes where people keep asking you sometimes like how do you get your name? And the insurance business had a different name, but again, outcomes, and wealth, but long and short were the investments as well. They’re the long and short. That’s how the business evolved to have a more stable cash flow. And we kept diversifying. Then 2018, we got into consumer finance and we built a pretty large team, more than 50 people in consumer finance, and COVID hit us. And I forgot to mention to you that Outcomes Advisory is the shop which does tax consulting and tax advisory too. So that’s what the journey has been. We have added products. We have taken off products depending on the market feedback.

We left B2C business entirely in 2021, in three short years, mostly because of the insane amount of restrictions placed on us doing business in Covid times and people being unwilling to pay, then not to mention that there are a lot of, TCPA scamsters to get on the NC list, and then they get their name on a mailing list, and they keep suing people for calling them. Anyway, that’s in last two years we have gone deeper into our core. I’ll wrap up by saying that we are a professional services company, professional services, business services company, fundamentally. But for close to 70 years now, we have consistently believed and practiced that we need to be technology-driven. We need to be highly automated. We need to be at the cutting edge of technology. So we have built our own chatbots internally. We have our own homemade proprietary platform on which all the CRM happens, all the affiliate reports happen. All those things are in our own framework, in our own homegrown proprietary platform. We go to our website. You get a login for internal and external purposes. So that’s the summary. I’m happy to dig deeper into it. You said something about payments. We’ll go into that side whenever you’re ready.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Yes, that is definitely the vertical that I’m most interested in. Here is the fintech and payments solution in your Aquapay platform. With that platform, I had read what you focus in the merchant accounts that you focus on. Are you do specialized sometimes in the high-risk options? Can you explain why you think why the labeling of low risk versus high risk is sometimes often quite wrong, as far as how companies and merchants are assessed in their risk portfolio, and how you go about assessing the risk yourself and finding ways to work with a lot of merchants that others would ignore?

Anupam Satyasheel: Absolutely. I keep talking about things which date me, but ever heard of a guy called Mike Milken? I have not, so Mike Milken was a legend. In 1980s, people talked about the leveraged buyouts and all the corporate booming which happened at that time. He was one of the probably the most important guys in the whole thing. One of his other friends is the person who actually had said the famous line, “Greed is good”, which Michael Douglas repeated in the movie Wall Street. Mike Milken, he is the father of junk bonds. So he said that. Why is it that somebody who has a credit rating of CEO or B can’t get a loan? The risk is higher, like subprime mortgages, but we should be able to price that risk and extend loans at maybe 30% interest. This is 80s. So interest rates were higher. I bring my Milken here because I am a good student. I read things, so I see okay, where do we apply that principle? High-risk payment processing in this space. If you are running a business which is high risk, legitimate though, and you can’t get a processor, maybe somebody can charge you 6% percent. There has to be a number at which it makes sense, which allows you to invest in the compliance, underwriting, banking relationships.

So that’s what attracted me in that direction. Now it’s no fun to collect 30 basis points, which was available at that time as the interchange interest has gone up since then. So we got interested in that, and that’s where we said, okay, what if we build the most compliant tech platform, which can actually vet a risk? Again, we pride ourselves. I did some risk management work as well on Wall Street when I was at Barclays, and I was like if we could predict how risky a certain transaction is and then assign pricing for that. So it’s not the business risk itself, right? People say it’s a high-risk business, but it’s not just the risk of the business, it’s the risk of the buyer too. There are people who are doing friendly chargebacks all day long. So we said, if we can just throw in every piece of data into the consumer data into the particular system, we can say, okay, don’t take this payment. And that’s what essentially we have. So if you go through a transaction process, they will run, I think, 185 attributes of the buyer that people data for. And based on the profile, they get an alert saying, okay, risk good. Go ahead process it or risk medium, we say okay process it or is it high-risk consumer?

We recommend do not process it, but you can override it if you want your ultimately your merchant. So that is the secret sauce we tried to bring to the market by saying we will do an insane amount of digging on the consumer. The platform is great. The value prop is there. We just did not put enough marketing mojo into it, for lack of a better word, to make it a large company. It’s not done and dusted. The systems continue. We may have to invest more in building a more advanced features and things like that, but it has been meant for the business as usual for the last two years as we have focused more on other things. Also, the pandemic was not a great time to be in that space because even normal people became strange at that time, the world had changed. As we keep saying, people say, it’s like, what’s the word they use? The talk about people changing in the post-Covid world, the same general about again, I’m sure it will come back to me. I say that people have gone within, they haven’t gone crazy. They have gone within to actually ask themselves the hard questions as to what is my life about. And that happened because people had more time and they saw people lose their life very quickly. So anyway, bringing back to the situation, we did not invest enough in growing it. But if we can master the risk piece, then obviously high risk is manageable. The banks will appreciate that you can do a lot more business while actually collecting and high spread versus just doing like the low-risk transaction. So that’s why we went there and we want to make high premiums rate. We all want to if we can mitigate the risk.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, absolutely. What is it about you referenced the 185 checks? I think you said, what is it that sets your risk verification suite apart from competitors? We’ve talked to a lot of folks on this show doing some version of the risk part of the payments world and all doing it in a little bit different ways or focusing on different areas, most of them kind of ignoring this area. You’re discussing of the kind of higher-risk area of there’s always a number. Most people just say, well, our business cut-off is here. So if your number is above, we ignore. But what is it that without have to explain the entire tech stack behind it or anything of that nature? But what is it that kind of sets your risk verification suite apart from the competitors? And have you seen that risk verification kind of market evolve in the decade or however long you’ve had that a part of your offerings there?

Anupam Satyasheel: So you asked a whole bunch of questions, but let me thank you first for saving me the question on technology. I’m not a technology question, by the way. I did business as in undergrad at business in my Masters, and I know enough technology, as one might say, to be dangerous or to pass difficult questions and to be true for legal and tax situations too. But because I’m willing to ask the question which nobody else is asking, I’m pretty happy that I get some very good insights. So I’ll talk about a small anecdote, which happened yesterday. We had employees evaluations done for performance last year, the physics model. And we do the standard stuff like we average out in all those things. And I suddenly had this random thought that you and I are different people reading somebody’s numeric scale. What about the rater bias? So we talk about rating bias. But what about the rater bias? Like what if somebody is more inclined to give everybody a 9 or 10 when somebody is inclined to give nine and 10 very sparingly? And oddly enough, we dug it up and we realized that the variance was insane.

Like, if you take the average, the people who were as low as 0.79 and the people as high as 1.4, so think of this. It’s the same rating scale, but the weighted bias is that a person is running at 1.4, almost like they have a different currency, and the person running as a rater at 0.8, I bring that point and then we fixed it. Then we adjusted this and the whole table changed completely because the people like small teams of their own cultures and everybody is very generous and giving ratings and different remote situations, whatever. They are not giving good ratings. And the whole rating table looks very different now, before and after our whole different situation. I bring this point to suggest to you that one can actually take going back to payments, let’s say about you, the education level, marital status, like what social media like Facebook is the world do very well. They can analyze it down to a T as to what is the probability of your actually doing a friendly chargeback or doing a chargeback at all, like frivolously. A genuine chargeback is totally fine, but this country has a pandemic of friendly chargeback. It’s not that people actually did not get what they wanted, they just charge because they can. Now, if you go to India or you go to England, even advanced world Germany, we tried different countries, Spain, is very difficult. Out here, common bank account chargebacks literally for anything. I missed my paycheck all chargeback. People will do it.

Now, our whole thinking was that if we can build a pattern around what this is and in parallel, my mind was working on the insurance industry, which were growing internally as an insurance agency. You’ll be surprised to hear this, Jacob, that Consumer Reports, Have you heard of them? They don’t get any commercials. They don’t get sponsorship. They basically are intellectually motivated. They analyze 4.3 billion insurance applications, not a million billion. It’s a huge number. And they’re trying to predict what is the number one thing insurance carrier is looking for. And they came back with the shocking answer. Your insurance carrier is most favorite customer. If your chances of making a claim are the lowest. Now I worked in Wall Street so I know how many things or I think I know how many things. I said, okay, that’s a good idea to follow. So what is the data say? If I could predict who is least likely to do a chargeback, they’re my most favorite customer. Then even in a high-risk world, we’re taking all the attributes about a person, all this available, and using our proprietary algorithm to assign a score as to our qualities, people more likely to charge back, or our order to people more. So take everything and then assign a score and predicting out that “Okay, this is least likely or most likely.” Including people not covered AI right now, but at that time we had set parameters where the system starts learning from its own mistakes and starts thinking that, okay, this is not a good predictor. So let’s say you have a chargeback. Now we reverse-test it, then we predict this.

No, we say this is 70% chance of a chargeback. And actually chargeback. Is it because it’s an aberration or are we actually doing something like a system is correct? The model is correct. So we went back and kept doing that. And across three years of improving and as you start having big data like thousands of transactions running each day, we’re like, yeah, this is right. This is not right. Education is overrated. And educated person also can do a chargeback because they might know they can do it versus somebody who did not know they can do it age-wise. Like the whole ethical values that 20 people 75 years old and they give two hoots about ethics. So we learn that we were overstating risk factors. And I’m salivating as I talk to you right now. I didn’t think about this with the way AI is more robust right now. We could do a heck of a lot more with that system, but that’s the way it was. There’s no secret sauce, basically trying to predict something based on fundamentals and see if it actually sticks and then keep recalibrating.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah. Fascinating stuff. And definitely, yeah, just not accepting the status quo and the info being given to you, but actually going in and doing the work to continually find ways to improve upon the model and go back and check the model and continue improving upon it. So fantastic stuff.

Anupam Satyasheel: You said the things which are fun, I have lots of random ideas because I said to you, it might be relevant to mention that I didn’t go to school for a very long time. I went to school when I was 15 years old. Why do I say it? Because I sat at home and read a whole bunch of books. My father had a big library, so I read a whole bunch of books and no one stopped me from reading books. Like you read books. If you have a son, he reads books, stopping them. It’s a good thing reading a book. So I read a whole bunch of books, which probably weren’t even my age-appropriate sometimes or I could understand what they were saying in different languages. It’s all in India. So if you could do a mental map of the way I think it’s very wherever you can because like Elon Musk talks about unstructured upbringing, I can relate to it because like unstructured, I can read whatever they want to. Reading physics, Maxim Gorky, Kafka, chemistry, history, biology, mythology. I’m jumping from wherever I want to, right?

So the reason I bring that up to you is that frees me from thinking in a structured way. And then by training, I’m a structured thinker. I’m an investment banker, I’m a finance guy. So you want to be like, that’s where the system, the two sides to my existence. So I have all these strange things I keep saying what if we did that, for instance, like police officers, when they stop somebody for ticketing? I’ve always said this. Anybody who cares to listen as to what if at that time the situation was turned over and actually the person was supposed to conduct the conversation. Let Mr. Officer Khan tell me what your background is. How many tickets have you given? What’s your stop-to-ticket ratio? On which days of the month did you go? Like if you could get data on the police officer in that real-time, you could very clearly stop because they have the data on the person driving, right? As to how many tickets they bought, instead, Maybe not. So then you have a whole different conversation where you can see actually through the analysis, the officer might give a more rational outcome because that randomness is pretty insane. And that was a topic because we talked about insurance, like how people get tickets, unfortunately, and I can’t help it. And why am I getting punished by insurance carriers? So if you are willing to question the status quo, amazing things can come out of it. So I could talk about crazy ideas all day long like that. Anyway, back to you.

Jacob Hollabaugh: I love it. I feel like you should have a podcast of your own to get into each of those.

Anupam Satyasheel: Hey, you know what? We can partner on this. You and I can go together.

Jacob Hollabaugh: I love it. One other topic within the kind of payments world that I was interested in asking you about is that within your merchant account offering, you do have multi-currency solutions and seem to have had those for some time, and multi-currency has been a really common theme basically over the course of the last year of this show. And between it’s probably second to just the B2B world in general. In the last year or so of conversations on this show, of the things that come up the most, as the big area of opportunity, of just figuring out how to multi-currency being so much more prevalent these days, and being able to find ways to make it operationally efficient and easy. So I just wanted to generally ask you, do you agree with that statement that multi-currency remains one of the big opportunities to help and to build efficiencies, and to build new models for and see it as one of the big areas of innovation within the fintech payments portion of your business for the future?

Anupam Satyasheel: You hit upon something which one can talk about for a whole week. One of the gentlemen who was my go-to person like he was my partner at that time, he is an advisor now. He quit the company a year ago. His name is Augusto. Before he came to Aquapay, he used to work for a remittance company. And remittance companies are very good at collecting a spread on your dollar. Going to a different country, becoming a local currency. I will not quiz you, but we’ll be shocked to hear that an average parameter, average means paying under $1,000, sending to a non-busy corridor like not to India, not to Mexico, nor to China. Think of like Nigeria, think of Poland, think of, again Poland might be a zero country. It’s a busy corridor. But anything which is like think of any small country. They end up paying an average of 5 to 6% in conversion fees. So why do I say that? Because if you bring that capability and embed that into your fintech platform to process payments, somebody is taking yen, paying yen and the merchant is getting dollars. What is happening? Somebody is making 5 to 6% at the back end. If you go to Amex and they flee platform for sending wire transfers, you pay about 5% of the amount remitted spree. But 5% is what they’re making on that is, banks on both sides can make very nice.

Typically the spread is tiny. It can, let’s say GBP, USD 1.281… Like that’s the ratio, $1.27 equals to 1 GBP, but if we remit it then you get 1.261.25. But that’s because it’s a very busy corridor. And the place with the small currency, you could get the same thing being equal to 1.1,1.05. You’re getting insane margins. So absolutely incredible traders on the other side. The other busy thing is the regtech, right? In fintech world, Regtech has become a very common way to discuss like just like embedded payments are a big discussion right now. Cryptos are so Regtech is where if you want to do the perfect combination of, say, do multi-currency, reciting capability because you could get me in trouble making a payment in Germany for a law which is only German or EU. I did not know about it and that can be very expensive. And I’m not even trying to talk about the German company which blew up. Nothing to do with the situation. So you see, wherever there is a high level of expertise required to make crazy margins, big money will go there. Multi-currency, regtech capable include crypto if you want to do as many currencies, think PayPal, you can make a killing. However, it’s not for small players. It will need big capitals again if you just want to be licensed in all 50 states in the US, that’s a very big check just to do that, right? And then you go to Canada and then to 12 provinces and you go to England, then European Union. England is not anymore. It’s just expensive to start, but very rewarding if you can pull it off.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, absolutely. The final thing then I want to pivot to and ask you about is on the corporate philosophy side because I did happen to see in looking into Occams that you have an incredibly strong mission statement and a list of philosophies and values that are certainly much more bold than your typical boilerplate corporate culture jargon that most companies will put up because they feel like they have to, but it’s not actually something they’ve thought about or actually care about. It seems like yours is something you definitely care about. Or there was a lot of care that went into coming up with them and writing them, and for a little snippet for the audience here, you have your Trinity of Occams’s philosophies that lays out a model for the ideal individual, intellectual and professional. So I find this very inspiring. But it did make me wonder if the boldness of that ever creates friction with either potential partners or clients, or if possibly living up to that standard makes it harder for you to say yes to some partners or clients or employees even. Can you just tell me a little about where this company’s culture and where this philosophy came from? And if it does, does it present any friction, being one of the companies that actually has a bold philosophy and sticks to it and stands to it in a world where maybe a lot of companies aren’t actually doing that?

Anupam Satyasheel: I’m happy you asked that question. It’s always a subject very dear to my heart. I say it’s my code because I actually made up that everybody is principled till they have to cut a check. People say I care for the environment. Okay, can you cut a $75 check for this fund? Oh my God, you know how it goes. Or people care for veterans or police or anyone and they go to a checkout counter and they begin rounding up, like many retail organizations have, you can round up your payment to contribute to local police or something. Now, I’m not rounding up for 57 to $5. Not a big difference, but those numbers can add up. So I say that detailed prologue to make the point. That being principle is very convenient for companies. It sounds very good till you have to cut a check. So luckily for me, I have partners and leaders who see value in what we do and because of that, we have stats which people don’t believe are true. We have not lost a single employee in the US in all of 21, 22, and 23 till somebody resigned last week. People can’t retain employees right now. What is that we are doing when people want to stick around? So I’ll give you two examples in 2021. 2020 Actually, when Covid hit there were small business-centric companies. So most of our clients are small businesses.

We knew what is coming. It’s going to be long fight. The entire leadership team of the company went off the payroll. That was in April of 2020. Right? In the beginning, we had our financial problems to solve and we solved it. But we want to make sure that we’re not laying off anybody because we have to pay ourselves. Now when you ask David or other people that want to partner say, well, you know, no hesitation. There was no hesitation here, we’ll go, we’ll fix this problem, then come back and collect something if we can. Likewise, in 2021, beginning of the year, when we’re talking about unexpected loss of people had faced. Everybody had concerns about we didn’t have a 401 K plan. Now you start A41 compliance 2021, you will struggle to meet the compliance test because participation is going to be really low. We solved the problem in five seconds. We will make it non-contributory. We’ll put in 3% into everybody’s 401K account. They don’t have to contribute.

And somebody asked me that you’re making a decision at this time when this company is going through the toughest financial state of its life. I said, exactly in this moment, you have to make that decision because when things up go, you’ll make the decision and you’ll regret it. We make this decision at this moment will change the character of this company forever. I’ll end with the last example. We had a certain employee behind on rent and she reached out to us saying, can I borrow money to pay rent? We have an employee loan program, with no interest. They can pay over 12 months. But if you think deeper into it, Jacob, a person who is behind on rent and badly behind that they have to ask for a loan from an employer because they’re giving 0%. They can’t borrow from somewhere else. The income is not changing. So how are they going to ever come out of that problem? So they’ll have a smaller paycheck every month. So we thought for a moment and the leadership team, we said this $2,000, we can build this. We just ask the 20 most paid like the highest paid people in the company, not everybody. We sent out whatever is called, cause there’s some website that allows you to do things for that. And I forgot, I had made the profile. If you Google my name, you’ll see in eight hours it was overfunded and she literally cried when she gave the money to us. Like, listen, now go pay your rent. Here’s a little extra. Do whatever you have to do.

And we got a chance to do it a couple of months later for one of our India-based employees who got two premature twin kids. And there’s no way he could have kept any of them. We came up with $12,000, and unfortunately one of them didn’t survive, but the other one did. Again, these are all examples of little things we do on daily basis, like 1% of our gross revenue, not margin, goes into an auto-save charity account every month. End of the month finance makes a report that money gets shipped to the trust account. Once you start doing it on a daily basis like you will see you have appreciation, gratefulness, mindfulness, our values we talk about then I think it’s a cultural thing we can do way better. By the way, Jacob, I always say that the people who are doing better, they want to do better. We want to have a culture where everybody actually cares for everyone. There’s no political angle. There is no groupism or factionalism or whatever you call it, racial cultural thing. We want to be a melting pot. We want to be a company which actually is based on true values thinking, regenerative thinking, circular economy, not thinking. Just use and throw kind of models. It all is very gratifying. There’s no town hall in which you don’t cry, by the way. It always happens because I see people do amazing things.

That’s the real currency that entrepreneurs get paid in, Jacob and I always say to people, if you’re faint of heart, you want to become an entrepreneur because you want to make money. You’ll make money, probably, but you won’t get satisfaction or fulfillment. Tony Robbins is very well known. He says there is a science of making money, and there’s an art of fulfillment. The science of making money is easy. The art of fulfillment is very difficult. But I’m very lucky to have partners who see the value in supporting employees, taking care of them, buying them things when they need to, even outside. Like they go and buy things for somebody totally unreported. No social media post. They just did that because somebody needed some help, an employee or no employee. And those things make me very proud with his…you’re actually living it on a daily basis. So a long answer to a short question, but actually there’s something to be said about caring, genuinely caring. When a client comes to say, listen, I want to cancel a refundable retainer. Within the contract, We don’t have to, we don’t have to, but they have a financial problem. I can’t continue with you. No problem. Here’s a refund. That one client comes back with five referrals. 90% of our business is from referrals. Somebody’s happy, they send another client to us. So it’s actually working in the most genuine way, the way it should work. Every now and then we also run into issues where somebody is doing something strange. We brush it off, move forward. Sometimes they get angry and they brush it off a day later. So those are not just for the signage. It actually will live that on a daily basis.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, I love that. I’m glad I asked and I hope those listening and just more out there can generally live a little more like that and actually live up to it, Yeah, doesn’t have to be just in your own life too. In the business world, especially the entrepreneurs out there, living up to those within your company and having your company living up to real principles and real ideals benefits you most of all, but benefits a lot of others out there. As well. So thank you for that. And that’s a fantastic note to end on. So this conversation’s been a real pleasure for those listening who may want to either follow you or learn more about your company, and keep up with everything that you and the company have going on. Where would be the best place for them to go to learn more?

Anupam Satyasheel: If they want to speak with me, I have a kind link on the website. They can just go walk time with me. They want to speak to anybody else. They have the same choice. They can call the main line with a phone number people can call or actually, they get a real person’s work hours. They can ask anybody to speak with them. We continuously request you to visit our social media page or I say, actually read what we write. We don’t write casually, and we hope people read what we write. And if they don’t, then they can look for a capsule. The headlines also are pretty useful. If there’s one thing I’ll always tell anyone who is listening is that we must be grateful for just the great thing that you wake up in the morning, that itself, because many don’t. And it starts from being grateful that I woke up this morning. You’ll have a very different day than what you will have if you start by saying, oh my God.

Jacob Hollabaugh: Absolutely. It’s the mind is a powerful thing, and I’m right there with you on that. It’s the best. So it’s the proper way to wake up, the proper way to attack your day and your life in general. So thank you for that and thank you for your time and knowledge. Today we will link to the company site and social pages and everything else you mentioned there in the show notes below. And thank you so much for your time. I’ve greatly enjoyed it and hope to speak again sometime soon.

Anupam Satyasheel: Jacob, I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Jacob Hollabaugh: If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, head on over to to subscribe on your podcast listening platform of choice. That’s