Frontline Managed Services, one of the world’s largest providers of managed services, has commenced operations in Goa after growing to over 200 employees in the last 3 years and increasing recruitment in the state. Business Goa catches up with Joshua Silveira, Director, India Operations who speaks on their core philosophy, recruitment process and the future of managed services in India
What is Frontline Managed Services all about?
Frontline Managed Services® is a global provider of administrative, financial and IT managed services for legal and professional services firms. Driven by specialised technology, we innovate the service delivery model and offer scalable solutions that improve revenue, profitability and firm wide efficiencies for firms of all sizes.
What is the core philosophy of Frontline Managed Services?
With state-of-the-art technology platforms, years of expertise development and offices around the world, we share ownership of our clients’ legal operations, helping them achieve above market profitability and performance. This positions firms for financial growth, including increased profitability and decrease of capital expenditures.
What are the various services offered by you?
We provide services to legal firms in the US on the financial and IT side. eBillers, eBilling Accounts Specialists, Bill Reviewers, NOC Engineers, Project Engineers, SQL DBAs, and a number of IT specialists.
You have branches in USA and the UK. What made the company set up an office in Goa?
USA, UK and Canada are great to help us handle and manage our clients as it gives our clients a feeling of proximity, but the idea to setup an office in Goa came about when our CEO, Seelin Naidoo met up with an associate of his who ran a company in Goa, and asked him about the synergy and possibility of opening an arm here in Goa. It seemed lucrative, but was still an early concept to adopt, so we started out as a joint venture and then realised it was something we could grow. Goa is primed with talent and communication skills that are at par with the clients in the US. That is when we ventured to setting up an independent company here and it has proved to be nothing but growth since then.
Elaborate on your employee profile
We look for smart individuals in accounting and IT. We hire various levels of experience ranging from recent graduates to senior level. Our main focus is to ensure that these individuals are trainable, even if they are freshers, and have grasping power with a positive attitude.
What can you tell us about your strategic partners?
In India, as mentioned, we do not have a sales team, as this is handled by our Western branches, but we have strategic partnerships with legal and recruiting firms that have helped us expand and grow our base here in India. Our recruiting agencies have been our most strategic partners as without them we would not have been where we are. For us it was only a process of trial and error to find the perfect combination of recruiters in different cities to help us out with our growth.
How is Frontline Managed Services addressing the changing legal landscape?
The drastic change in the legal landscape, especially in the US, has actually helped us use the innovation which is promoted by our leaders. Over the pandemic and with the growth in security and technology, legal firms have also moved to hybrid model. Our company has adapted with them to ensure that we provide the best-in-class service to help each of our clients catapult their business. A lot of questions raised by legal firms are that they do not have the bandwidth to adapt, and so Frontline has jumped in to help their entire organisation adapt to the changing landscape by providing virtual IT, security and financial services to clients.
Your company has been voted as ‘a great place to work’ at by your employees. What sets you apart from other organisations?
I believe that a lot of companies are adopting an employee centric approach to their company cultures, and we have taken a similar approach. The nuance here is understanding the generation that we have as employees. This plays a major role. Leadership, in most cases, are looked on as older more experienced individuals who think of the concept of motivating employees either only through financial benefits, or vouchers. We tried to take into consideration the perspectives of Gen Z and Gen Y, to ensure that they have fun as well, even if this meant investing in a game room or recreational space. If they are looking to get married, their families as well are taken care off through insurance and benefits, and if they aren’t then at least they have a feeling of independence that in case anything does happen, the company has taken care of them. This entails a lot of research on new products in the insurance industry and frequent touch points with employees to ensure that they have an area not only to work, but also an area to come and socialize in the way that they feel comfortable. Productivity is obviously a byproduct of these engagements.
Who are on the executive team of Frontline Managed Services and what strengths do they bring to the table?
Our executive team in the US comprises of the Seelin Naidoo (CEO), David Buergler (COO), Frank Ziller (CIO), Craig Friedl (President), Gulam Zade (CLO), Mike Ferdman (SVP, Managed Financial Services) and Matt Bares (SVP, Operations). This team comes with a plethora of experiences and direction without whom the company would not be where it is today. Their combined perspective and guidance with setting up multiple types of businesses in multiple countries has helped the team in India to build a global experience for our employees. The vision to have the global company under a single cultural umbrella is what drives and motivates the employees here to grow exponentially.
Frontline has won many awards since 2018 onwards. Elaborate on the same.
We have won multiple awards pre 2018 as well, but yes, the most recent ones are Channel Futures MSP 501 and 500 respectively in 2018, 2021 and 2022, awarded to high performing Managed Services Providers in the US. We made it to the top 100 vertical market MSPs. In 2019, we won the ‘Legal Times’ best, followed by ILTA’s distinguished peer awards. Seelin Naidoo made it to the top 10 ‘most inspiring CEOs to watch out for’ in 2020 and ‘Best CEO’ in the managed services space in India in 2022. We were named Arctic Wolf partner of the year 2021 and LegalWeek year for leaders in tech law. Not to mention our biggest accolade this year which is our GPTW certification.
What can you tell us about your community outreach programmes?
Being three years in the market, our largest community outreach program has been targeted towards the youth of Goa to ensure that they have a place in Goa and do not have to go outside the State to find a great job. We have written to multiple colleges and have delivered talks and sessions for students in this regard. Sponsoring events to support entrepreneurship in Goa has also been something that we are aim to do.
Interestingly, we have also primarily targeted Goan firms to help setup business or handle recruiting or smaller architectural firms to build our physical infrastructure so that we can grow in Goa and help others grow as well.
What is the interview process like at Frontline Managed Services? How long does it take to get hired from start to the finish?
It depends on the role that we are hiring for. Just like every leader in the company, our hiring process adapts and changes to what the market provides.
Hiring pre, during and post pandemic there have been massive shifts in processes on how we hire candidates. Currently, the financial side hiring can take from five days (candidate intro to rolling out the offer) to 20 days. On the IT side it takes a little longer which can go up to even 30 days.
The process involves the HR round, a technical round that can be a test or virtual interview and a final manager round which ends with an offer or rejection.
What training does Frontline Managed Services offer its employees?
On the financial side we don’t really expect someone to know about the financial processes followed in the US, so every employee goes through extensive training before hitting the floor for production. On the IT side as well there are a number of documentations and videos that are presented to individuals to complete their training.
Not to mention that the company has a Frontline Managed Services University program for all employees where they can take certification courses that are sponsored by the company. This doesn’t just help them with their current job but helps them to move upwards by upgrading their skill sets.
We do pride ourselves on moving employees internally to management positions, rather than hiring from outside. This helps build their careers and long term job satisfaction.
What according to you is the future of managed services in India?
It seems like we have just started. Crossing our 3 year operational mark in May, we are now concentrating on scaling the business and streamlining our processes and have come a long way. We are hiring specialists in roles to ensure smooth operations and build our departments. We are experimenting on opening up departments depending on the type of skills available in India. Our Hyderabad arm is also beginning to pick up steam and expand, which helps us to hire for more IT related jobs.
What are your future plans?
I have always been about building companies and I plan on continuing to assist Frontline Managed Services-India in its growth and to ensure that the company functions smoothly and efficiently. Building this company up from scratch has been a pleasure and I intend to see it grow and provide more vacancies in Goa