MANILA - A manpower provider on Monday sought extra capital by making a pitch to Kevin O’Leary, known as Mr. Wonderful in reality show, “Shark Tank.”
Pearl Janine De Guzman needed P250,000 for her working business idea, Staffz, and offered O’Leary a 25-percent stake in exchange for this. Her business does work for the companies so they “won’t have to hire or maintain employees” and also bring down their turnover rate.
“Hiring and maintaining employees, it’s going to be expensive especially for startups. Sometimes, you just want a project that’s done part-time or like a project-based work and you have to hire an employee full-time because it’s their right,” she told O’Leary in an exclusive chat after ANC’s leadership forum.
De Guzman sees her company hiring individuals 18 years old and above to create graphic design and search engine optimized write-ups for clients which could be based abroad. She only currently services 2 clients, both based in the United States, and she was hoping O’Leary could help her expand her market.
“It’s interesting. To me, I’d say it potentially works because it takes advantage of labor costs, but I would be wondering how many customers you would acquire, if that’s gonna be an issue,” he told her.
“It’s tough, but the biggest challenge most startups have is customer acquisition. But your basic premise is you could be significantly cheaper than competitors, US designers, and get the same quality of work for a fraction,” he said.
Ultimately, Mr. Wonderful walked out of the deal, but not without an advice to De Guzman: “I wish you good luck. You’re not dead to me…It has potential, I think you need some customers to prove it.”
O’Leary was in Manila to headline ANC’s fourth leadership series, which was previously topbilled by billionaire philanthropist Richard Branson, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Mandalay Entertainment chairman and CEO Peter Guber.