Page 1

Better Leaders. Better Companies. Better World.

That’s what The International Exchange stands for.

It’s what companies and brands aspire to stand for.

Most CEOs want:

Motivated and engaged sta (Better leaders)

Results and retention (Better companies)

and to make an impact (Better world)


And me?

I wanted all those things.

And I wanted to have fun doing them.

So I embarked on my journey to save the oceans with the

Marine Megafauna Foundation.

And to do that, I had to dive right in.


My story begins with getting my advanced diving certificate in Mozambique. I had one last test to pass – a navigation dive. *spoiler alert: navigation is not my strong suit.


Nonetheless, I strapped on a compass and braced myself for the underwater navigation dive. It went something like this‌


Nobody was prepared to see a WHALE SHARK on our dive (it’s super rare!) I didn’t have my camera, my mask was foggy and all I remember is this magnificent, blurry shape somewhere above me… North, according to my compass.


Going into TIE there were a lot of things I was unprepared for‌

I was recovering from a broken foot

I had nowhere to live

And right before the trip, I caught MUMPS!!

*fun fact: vaccinations wear o.


Oh yeah and I didn’t have a job offer lined up for after TIE/The Fellowship…


To top it all o‌ the guy that went on this assignment before me?

Total genius. Matt came up with the most amazing creative strategy and I had no idea how do it justice. Just look at this brilliant fundraiser!


So there I was, about to go on this amazing future leaders program to improve the world but had raised no money, had no house, had no job after TIE. And felt completely let down by the industry and myself. That was my headspace going into this. 



Ironically, my brief was to GO DEEPER. The Marine Megafauna Foundation had just launched a new product –

MEGA Expeditions – marine guided dive packages.

The goal was to give people a deeper understanding of the ocean while raising much needed revenue to fund ocean conservation research and keep the organisation sustainable.

My job was to get the word out and get people to buy these packages.


“We need a consumer journey” said MMF’s CEO Josh, during my orientation. “Loads of people seem interested but we haven’t booked a single trip” A consumer journey I thought to myself... Those were a dime a dozen in ad-land.

In my head I imagined something like this diagram. But in my gut I wondered if that would even be useful. “No worries, Josh! I’ll get right to work”

?


Little did I know, Tofo had other plans for me.

Little did I know, Tofo had other plans for me.

Day 1 saw torrential downpours that washed away the roads and the electricity,

My “hut-mate� Demi and I placed large buckets under our thatched roof

And desperately tried to resuscitate electronics.


Day 1 saw torrential downpours that washed away the roads and the electricity,


Little did I know, Tofo had other plans for me.

My “hut-mate” Demi and I placed large buckets under our thatched roof

Day 1 saw torrential downpours that washed away the roads and the electricity,

My “hut-mate” Demi and I placed large buckets under our thatched roof

And desperately tried to resuscitate electronics.


Little did I know, Tofo had other plans for me.

And desperately tried to resuscitate electronics.

Day 1 saw torrential downpours that washed away the roads and the electricity,

My “hut-mate� Demi and I placed large buckets under our thatched roof

And desperately tried to resuscitate electronics.


When there was still no power by Day 3, I decided it was time for a new approach.


I bonded with my colleagues over a simple Mozambican meal – chicken and rice.


They took me to the beach for swim training – an important part of MMF’s education program.


I went to the local shops to buy some fruit – Martha had just the basics but turned out that was all I needed.


The power eventually came back and for the first time I saw my mission clearly: I was there to help people. Not to create fancy PowerPoint slides.

I went back to the brief. To the “customer journey� Josh had asked for. I took that advertising diagram and tossed it in the bin. We needed less jargon and more action.

What exactly did we need to do?


In the next 5 months We needed to fill 16 spots On 2 MEGA expeditions

And generate ÂŁ40,800 / $USD 52,480 To ensure MMF had funding for important ocean conservation research


With actual numbers in place, the task became less abstract.

16 people wasn’t even that many!

MMF already had over 50 leads but ZERO conversions. I realized: the struggle wasn’t getting people, it was getting quality people and managing them well.


This is what the sales journey looked like One teammate was singlehandedly responding to any person who “enquired� about the expeditions.

Information was manually logged in a Google sheet and 20+ emails were sent before deciding if that person was qualified.

No wonder there were no conversions, it was too much information to organize without a system!


We needed to simplify The first problem to tackle was the unnecessary communication.

Information had to be front and centre for the customer.

I sketched up some quick designs and a “Frequently Asked Questions” and then worked with MMF’s talented web designer to put it into action.


And streamline the journey But it didn’t end there – we also had to make sure we were asking the right questions when people submitted an “enquiry”


To create a new sales pipeline And then most importantly – all this information had to link to a layer of technology rather than a manual spreadsheet. I used Hubspot’s free CRM system to create a Sales Pipeline that would categorize leads by the information they entered and where they were in the sales journey.


The �solution� was actually so simple. It just took a little bit of navigating.


And like my navigation dive, the beautiful whale shark swimming above us just needed to be seen. Matt had come up with the most beautiful “whale shark” of a creative strategy. But nobody could see it with a foggy mask. Nobody could take a picture with a compass instead of a camera. 
 My job was to give people the right tools to make things clear.


And did it work? After my TIE placement was over, I learned that that all the spots for the second trip were SOLD OUT!


But that wasn’t the only success of TIE.

I didn’t need to go back to job “searching” because all of a sudden jobs found me.
 It was as if the winds had shifted.


But it wasn’t the winds that had changed, it was my mentality. I came back from TIE knowing that I had the skills to do whatever I needed to do. I felt a profound sense of accomplishment. And a profound sense of peace. And that kind of confidence moves the world.


I think back to TIE’s mission:

Better Leaders.

Better Company.

Better World.

I wish more companies would give their employees the chance to do something like this.

At the end of the day,

our business is people.

And we need to let people do something to realise their potential outside of four walls.

The ROI we get is staff coming back with a new perspective.

That feeling doesn’t just stay on TIE. The lessons learned are brought back in spades.


So this is me now – back in Australia, with two working feet, a place to live and a job I love.

I have bigger teams, bigger clients and bigger budgets, but the best decisions I make remain the simplest - cutting through the clutter to find a clearer way.

A lesson from TIE that will continue to teach me.


Thank you to the people who let me go deeper.

Profile for The International Exchange

Mika Singh's TIE Case Study - WPP and Marine Megafauna Foundation  

Mika Singh's TIE Case Study - WPP and Marine Megafauna Foundation  

Advertisement