From flatmates to founders of a global marketing enterprise

Meet e-residents Georg and Ian and their truly global marketing business Mansiontech OÜ

Together, e-resident founders Georg Klausner and Ian Ayad operate MansionTech OÜ, a global digital marketing consulting company.

And it really is global: Ian is based in Brazil, Georg in Austria, and their company is registered in Estonia. Their business is the perfect example of how e-Residency can support remote entrepreneurs working across borders.

MansionTech provides its clients with advice and support in developing digital marketing strategies. They help clients from beginning to end of the digital marketing cycle, starting with identifying relevant customers and an appropriate market niche for their brand. They then help clients integrate technology into their activities in order to synchronise all elements of their strategy and streamline implementation.

Due to their business focus and setup, MansionTech has proved resilient in the face of the current uncertain business environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet in these dynamic times, the founders are looking at pivoting their business into new areas and structures to ensure longevity and freshness. Luckily, this process of adaptation is simplified due to the flexibility afforded by e-Residency for their business model and with the support of their service provider, 1Office.

But first thing’s first. Let’s take a few steps back to where it all began… in Brazil.

Ian is currently based in São Paolo, Brazil. Photo: Ian Ayad

From little things, big things grow

A few years back, Ian and Georg were living in a small apartment in Curitiba, Brazil with two other flatmates. Ian worked as a freelance developer, Georg was managing a team in an eCommerce startup. At that time, they were working on a variety of projects together and coming up with ideas to build apps and eventually setup an Amazon FBA Service.

This period was significant for their entrepreneurial journey together, and their small apartment in Curitiba was their epicentre. They nicknamed their tiny flat the “mansion” as even though it was small and modest, it was also the birthplace of their business collaboration and fruitful cooperation.

Although they lived simply, this did not stop them from thinking big and coming up with creative ways to make a lot of out of little, like inviting friends and visitors over for inventive meals and taking trips to magical beaches on a shoestring budget.

From little things, big things grow — and their tiny “mansion” in Curitiba laid the foundations for great things for the two friends and business partners. It personified their shared brand and thus inspired the perfect name for their joint enterprise: “MansionTech” was born. Actually, it was a ‘flatmate family’ affair as their other two flatmates supported them from the start by helping build their visual brand and ramp up the new MansionTech identity.

“In the 80s people like Steve Jobs founded companies in garages; ours was founded in our shared flat. Even though we didn’t have much money, our spirit made us feel like big CEOs who could afford real mansions.”

Image: Mansiontech OÜ

At the core of MansionTech’s business is marketing. Why? Because it is a field closely related to human interactions and technology, topics the co-founders are passionate about. Plus, it makes practical sense — as Georg has a marketing background and Ian is a tech expert.

“Our primary goal is to increase visibility and improve the appearance of our clients in the worldwide web through search engine optimisation, marketing automation, social media management, and web development.”

Incorporating MansionTech with e-Residency

When setting up their business, Ian and Georg looked at various incorporation options.

Eventually, they decided that incorporating in Estonia with the help of e-Residency worked the best for their situation. This was for several technical reasons including:

  • Estonia’s simple taxation system
  • language compatibility: English is the language of Estonia’s startup ecosystem as well as of international accounting standards
  • cost efficiencies and risk reduction: Estonia has relatively low founding fees and accounting costs
  • freedom to adapt: Estonian company rules provide flexibility for business models and areas of business

Read more about how e-Residency might be the best model for your business:

With the help of service provider 1Office, Ian and Georg setup their company in no time. 1Office continues to attentively support their accounting needs and advise them on how best to structure their operations as they expand and adapt into new areas.

See how 1Office could also help you establish your e-Residency business.

A question of values

Ian and Georg also chose Estonia for MansionTech based on shared values. They realised that their own core founders’ values of freedom, travel, and learning were a good fit for the pioneering e-Residency programme.

E-Residency is proud to have similar values that embody freedom of doing business across borders as evidenced by its global community of location-independent e-resident entrepreneurs.

Georg is based in the Austrian Alps. Photo: Georg Klausner

Today, with the Atlantic Ocean separating them, Ian and Georg work remotely across different time zones and countries, providing for much greater flexibility in an already complicated world. It allows them to craft and finalize projects almost around the clock, which bears essential advantages both for their clients and for their work/life balance.

“As the planet grows closer together, diversity in knowledge becomes vital; we, therefore, work tirelessly to make our products & services available in multiple languages, including Portuguese, German, Arabic, Spanish, and of course, English. All of this with the swiftness required in today’s business environment.”

For Ian and Georg, communication with clients is the most integral part of their work. They prefer to dispense with the burdensome formality of the business world and classical working hours. Rather, they work towards what they call ‘communicative flexibility’. This means that MansionTech is open for business around the clock for like-minded clients. That is, they require a professional exchange in terms of, for instance, appointments and alignment of ideas to facilitate their collaboration.

Life-long learning is another of their founding principles, which Ian and Georg feel greatly improves the quality of their service to clients. This includes staying up to date with the lates
t in digital marketing technologies available, for example by taking online courses.

Working remotely has also allowed them to travel to countries very different from their own, which they say has broadened their horizons and understanding of the intricacies of the world and improved their communication skills, through interacting with diverse people, learning their perspectives.

Given the state of the world today and the exponential increase in people working from home, I asked expert ‘remote workers’ Ian and Georg for some tips on this topic. They gave me some great advice, which you can find below!

What does the future hold for MansionTech?

Business continues as usual. Thanks to a broad portfolio of projects, MansionTech has stayed resilient in these dynamic times.

However, like many other small businesses they have not been immune to the economic downturn. Ian and Georg are therefore taking the opportunity to pivot part of their business into eCommerce / Amazon FBA revenue streams. It’s a project idea they have had since their Curitiba times and they have decided to use this moment to finally put it into action.

We at e-Residency are looking forward to being on this journey with Ian and Georg and helping them as much as we can to achieve their mansion-sized business aspirations.

Inspired by this e-resident founders story? Ready to launch a digitally resilient business that you can manage online from anywhere in the world?

Apply for e-Residency now and turn your business plan into a reality:

The MansionTech founders’ best practices for working remotely

  1. Don’t work in your bedroom. Prepare a nice work station, preferably in your living room or in an office room. Invest in a screen, office furniture and nice speakers for good music and video call quality.
  2. Plan sports in your day. Stay flexible but determined. Get up and run, or do sports during work breaks. Get active!!
  3. Define your own work rhythm. For some that might mean work less each day, but work an extra day on the weekend to do simple tasks. This boosts both productivity & motivation. BUT, be aware. Plan at least one day per week to take off. Don’t work on this day and separate yourself mentally.
  4. Manage your social interactions. Working from home helps you stay focused but having social interactions is crucial. Therefore, meet your family or loved ones, go with someone for a coffee, schedule meetings with business partners or talk to friends via webcam.
  5. Switch it up from time to time — both your routine and your environment. It helps to get out of your ‘golden cage’. The idea is to choose the best location for the respective task: Do you have to focus and write? Visit the local library and write there. This isn’t really possible in Corona times but you will be grateful to have back your freedom very soon.
With a view like that, remote working isn’t so bad. Photo: Georg Klausner

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