Thursday, May 30, 2024

New Perspectives On Remote Teams; Interview with Roman Gordy, CEO of Arbonum

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Embracing the future of remote teams, digital nomads, and game development teams is not just a trend but a transformative shift in how we work. As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for collaboration across borders and time zones are endless. Remote work offers flexibility, efficiency, and diversity that can enhance productivity and creativity. In this TechBullion interview with Roman Gordy, founder of Arbonum, he talks about the Arbonum platform and the impact it is making among remote teams, digital nomads, teams in Gamedev and businesses across borders.

Please tell us more about yourself.

My name is Roman, I am a CEO and co-founder of Arbonum. I founded Arbonum in 2020 with my partner as a step towards a dream of making creative people free of paperwork, visas and an inefficient financial environment. 

What is Arbonum? Tell us what inspired this platform and the demand for it, with an insight into the global remote working market? 

Creative minds often find themselves at odds with the minutiae of accounting. The realm of contracts, invoices, and receipts is antithetical to the natural order, presenting a landscape that the human brain is not innately equipped to navigate. The mere thought of wrestling with Excel can induce a panic attack, and the arduous task of tax preparation can push one to the brink of nervous exhaustion. It is imperative that we automate these processes, to ensure that such bureaucratic demands do not hinder the creative spirit from what it ought to do: create the new and the beautiful.

Hiring remote contractors frequently requires them to handle their own paperwork, which means employers often need to allocate about 20% of the talent’s time just for administrative tasks. This not only burdens the contractor but also impacts overall productivity as creative energies are diverted towards mundane paperwork instead of primary job functions.

Could you give us a walkthrough of the Arbonum platform, how does it work and what is the technology behind this platform?

This is a very simple service: a company invites its remote team to their account, assigns tasks, approves results, and pays remote contractors, no matter where they are located. However, you must realize that to make this possible, we had to integrate several banks into one simple interface, make sure it is compliant with the labor and tax legislation of dozens of countries, and learn to respond to contractors’ questions with the same attention as you would to a question from your best friend.

How does Arbonum help businesses streamline the process of onboarding international contractors?

There are many countries filled with incredibly talented individuals—artists, screenwriters, developers—but there’s a barrier: it’s unclear how to pay them, how taxes are calculated there, and how to securely obtain rights to the work. Because of these uncertainties, companies often overlook candidates from these countries and entire regions. At Arbonum, we have created a solution that allows companies from the USA, UK, EU, Japan, and many other nations to work with contractors as if they were in the same office, overcoming these international hiring challenges.

What advantages does Arbonum offer for remote teams in terms of instant payments and live support and In what ways does Arbonum simplify the process of handling payments?

For example, a game development company commissioned a 3D artist from Nigeria to create character designs and game environments, and a team of contractors from Colombia for voice-overs. Once the work is complete, and it’s time to move on to the next task, payment must be issued. Without Arbonum, this process could take two to three weeks. With Arbonum, the company can send payments with just two clicks, and the recipients receive the funds where it’s most convenient for them, often within minutes.

If contractors have changed bank requisites or a tax regime, we handle them directly, as it is not a client’s business anymore. Everyone should be able to laser focus on their work.

Can you explain how Arbonum supports the life of digital nomads working with global talents and in what ways does Arbonum simplify the process of providing support for diverse groups of global talents?

It’s like an airport control center. Here in our office, we coordinate hundreds of teams and tens of thousands of contractors. If a contractor needs a proof of income for a visa, they simply message us and we assist. If a contractor requires a custom contract form, a few messages in the chat, and boom – it’s in their mailbox. Let’s say a contractor relocates frequently and needs universal health insurance — that’s something we handle too.

In reality, despite all the buzz about digital nomads, many are still tied to a single employer, city, or type of visa. These aren’t true nomads but often professionals who are disadvantaged in terms of rights and benefits. It is just one step from digital nomads to digital slaves. We try to liberate creative people.

What unique perspectives does Arbonum bring to the concept of remote working teams in Gamedev and What sets it apart from other platforms when it comes to onboarding and managing global talents?

It seems to me that when an American startup helps hire contractors in Canada, it’s not a model that can be applied worldwide. We have experience working with regions whose annual budgets are comparable to that of Seattle. Primarily, these are in Asia, some countries of the former Soviet Union, and Africa. We understand the local people’s concerns, what worries them, how local banking systems operate, and what expectations they have from global clients. This understanding, this expertise sets us apart. Another distinct feature is that we don’t have weekly meetings where we look at depersonalized metrics. We say this: a new team has come to us, 75 people from 8 countries, with such requests, such expectations, the team is full of excellent talents, and our task is to make the transition from the old work model to working through Arbonum easy and convenient. Every talent in Gamedev is a gem and both HRD and recruiters do their best to make them happy and so do we.

How can businesses benefit from using a single platform to pay and manage their international contractors through Arbonum? How does Arbonum make it easier for businesses to navigate the complexities of working with remote teams across different countries?

Every manager, HR professional, or company owner knows how many processes need to be controlled to ensure the team functions smoothly, salary payments are unquestioned, and performance remains consistent. Imagine if, in your car, not only did you have a manual transmission, but you also had to manually adjust the suspension during the drive, crank the generator to keep the headlights on, and physically move the windshield wipers. You’d simply be wasting the most valuable thing—time. Increasingly, companies are realizing that all this manual labor is senseless and costly in the medium term, more so than using a specialized service designed to streamline these tasks.

Who currently uses Arbonum, how big is the community, what success stories would you like to share with us and where do you see the future of remote working with Arbonum? 

Our team is fully distributed across several countries, including Cyprus, Japan, Dubai, and others. We are well-known in the Gamedev community and work with teams from companies like Konami. A significant segment of our clients are software developers whose specialists are located across five continents. Our current success story is that, remaining a completely bootstrapped company, we can afford to decline working with those who do not share our values of talent freedom, who try to substitute employment relationships with freelancing, thus depriving people of crucial social support.

I like to mention one of our first clients as an example, whom we helped set up payments and document exchanges with contractors from Nigeria, South America, and the Middle East. These are top-level developers who, due to circumstances, lack the variety of financial infrastructure available in developed countries.

What are you currently working on, any available opportunities for investors and partnerships at Arbonum, do you have more tips for our readers today?

We are working to become a household name among HR professionals in Gamedev. Therefore, we are developing several new products within our service that will significantly simplify life for People Ops. We are also continuously expanding our network of partners who advise contractors on local tax regulations and often help choose a country for the relocation of self-employed specialists. Unlike our competitors, I do not like to engage in price dumping or promotions. The work of our team does not become cheaper. However, from your first contact with us, you will notice the difference—we fully engage with the problems of new clients instead of offering some generic, one-size-fits-all solution.











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Hi, I'm Muhammad Burhan. I'm a tech blogger and content writer who is here to help you stay up to date with the latest advancements in technology. We cover everything from the newest gadgets, software trends, and even industry news! Our unique approach combines user-friendly explanations of complex topics with concise summaries that make it easy for you to understand how technologies can help improve your life.

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