Even when disruptions happen out of our control, our clients still need to rely on funding to keep their business going. This is the story of how our team embraced our company values, came together with a shared purpose and worked together to find a way to keep things moving for our clients—despite enormous obstacles.
Just another Friday…
On the morning of Friday, July 8, Nikita Silvestrov awoke to find that his Internet wasn’t working. He didn’t think much of it at the time and took his dog out for a morning walk. Then he checked his phone and realized that wasn’t working, either.
“I wondered, ‘What’s going on? This is a bit weird, right?’ When I got back and tried resetting my modem, I realized nothing was working,” he said. “And I couldn’t call anyone because my phone didn’t work.” So Nikita went to a nearby Starbucks where he saw about 100 people standing outside trying to access free Wi-Fi.
That’s when Silvestrov, a relationship manager with Garrington Group (the parent company of Liquid Capital), discovered there was a massive service outage at Rogers Communications—including Internet and cellular networks—affecting more than 12 million Canadians across the country. The outage also affected systems that relied on the Rogers network, including Interac debit payments and certain federal government services, as well as access to 911 emergency services.
Since his office also ran on the Rogers network, Nikita—whose job is focused on supporting long-term franchisee relationships—couldn’t work from there either. But rather than throw in the towel, call it a long weekend and take the day off, as so many other Canadians did that day, he and his colleagues banded together and found a way to make it work.
“We work with so many people who need funds day to day. Just because there’s a network outage doesn’t mean the world stops. People have to make payroll and pay their suppliers. If we don’t send cash out the door at the end of the day, they’re not able to pay their employees and suppliers.”
— Nikita Silvestrov, Relationship Manager, Liquid Capital/Garrington Group
Getting creative to keep things moving
“I ended up running around the whole day between Starbucks, the library and a couple of restaurants that had free Wi-Fi,” Nikita explained.
He knew that there was a lot riding on it. Garrington Group provides alternative financing solutions to entrepreneurs and emerging businesses, allowing them to quickly access funding without the need for traditional bank financing. Liquid Capital is part of a wider group of companies that share the same funding source and underwriting resources that fall under the Garrington umbrella.
While many companies claim that customers are at the centre of everything they do, that messaging sometimes falls apart in a crisis. But Garrington’s values came to life that day in how the whole underwriting team responded during the massive outage to keep money flowing for clients.
Banding together, through shared purpose
“Our teams knew the importance of getting money out to our clients and they did whatever had to be done, just to make sure everyone who needed money that day got their money,” said Robert Thompson-So, Managing Director and Chief Strategy Officer of Garrington Group.
Colleagues who were on the Rogers network teamed up with colleagues who were on a different network. By tethering to a network that was still in service, they were able to contact clients, submit paperwork and move money where it was needed.
“Senior management didn’t have to tell them to do that. Our people have consciously chosen to make their contribution in the world with our company. And that just speaks to the kind of company culture that we’ve tried to promote,” Robert proudly said of his team.
“We just focused on getting cash out the door, making sure that everyone got their funds that day,” said Nikita. “If you’re really passionate about your work and passionate about helping others, it shows. Everyone really banded together to get through the day.”