Q&A Johnny

Interview with Johnny - Campaign Manager

What did you know about India before you went out?

I knew that most of the country is third world. I knew there were 18 million people in Delhi, and that it has recently become the most polluted city in the world. I knew about the Taj Mahal and the story behind that being built. And I knew that Roberto Carlos is the manager of the Delhi Dynamos! And that Nicolas Anelka is the player-manager for Mumbai. All the important stuff! I also know they don't make proper Indian food like they do back in the UK.

You didn't like it?

British Indian food is proper Indian food! The food we ate out there was red hot. It ripped my face off and gave me the s****s for weeks! I love a curry normally, but not that. It's tough for a big boy like myself not to eat. I lived off Subway sandwiches and pizzas for weeks.

What did you think were your chances of getting a call centre up and running in Delhi?

I felt it would be tough. There are different laws, stipulations, rules. But I was confident Nev would sort those things, because he knows what he's doing, at the end of the day. But getting a call centre to survive, and making it profitable, is hard enough in the UK. I knew it would even tougher in India. It's hard enough when call centre workers speak English as a first language, never mind when it's not the first language. So I knew we would have a real challenge on our hands to get the conversion rates that we wanted. It would be okay if they were taking inbound calls to a customer service centre, because the Indian people are fantastic, polite, and great to work with.

What was your main role out there?

I was Hayley's bodyguard because she was swamped by hundreds of people everywhere she went! I think that was something to do with her lack of clothes. It made her stand out somewhat. Other than that, I was helping Nev to find the staff, find the actual call centre, train up the staff, and so on.

What did you teach the candidates about Welsh and British culture to help them with the cold calls?

To be honest, their English was excellent and they were all very well educated. Through their education and further education, they've learned about Britain. But to them, Britain is London. They knew nothing about Welsh. So it was interesting to teach them about that. We put pictures up on the wall with pictures of the Queen and David Beckham and pound coins and cricket grounds for them to identify. And we taught them some songs. I suppose it's not that surprising that they know so much because English is spoken in Australia and America, and the Indians hear a lot of English across TV and music.

How did you get along with the Indian people?

We grew fond of them, and they grew fond of us. I'm still friends on Facebook with some of them. They thought Hayley was stark raving mad! But we did have a laugh. And I think they grew in confidence as they went along, because for many of them it was their first time working for a foreign company.

How did you get on with Nev out there?

I've worked for Nev for four years. Previously, although I've been a senior manager, there's always been a couple of people in between me and Nev so we haven't worked together that closely. We'd talk about football and that kind of thing, and I think he respected me as a manager. But out in India, I was a lot closer to Nev. It was alright.

What do you think of his management technique?

Some of what he says is right - positivity is important, and he's right to encourage that. But some of what he says just doesn't make any sense. He just says what comes into his head. I think things like, "SWSWSWN" ["Some will, some won't, so what - next!"] are unnecessary. What you see is what you get with him.

What was your funniest moment?

Hayley and the goat. That's all I'm saying. We convinced her to milk a goat, but we didn't tell her that the goat was male and that she didn't have hold of its teat...

She made a curry didn't she? Was it good?

I didn't taste it. No chance! She can't even make a cup of tea properly, never mind a curry!