Because the education part of Flywire’s business is seasonal, there was a lot of uncertainty and many potential scenarios to consider when the pandemic started to unfold. CEO Mike Massaro talks about how his team worked to ensure the safety and productivity of its employees and customers, while making careful business decisions to manage costs.
Like most businesses, when the pandemic started to unfold in early 2020 and the global economy pretty much shut down, Flywire’s immediate reaction was to pull back and assess the potential damage and risk to our team and our business. We had some early insight into what was coming because of our business operations across Asia and our employees (FlyMates) in China.
We spent March and early April focused on the following:
Because part of our business (education payments) is seasonal, there were a lot of potential scenarios to consider, and a lot of uncertainty about the future of higher education around the world.
As a leadership team, we were in an uncertain time with imperfect information. There was no most likely scenario or clear path of action for us to take. Once we made clear decisions on our costs, we decided to put our business back on the offensive. We were determined not to be paralyzed by the uncertainty we saw ahead. We didn’t want to spend our time or our team’s time looking for all the potential challenges the pandemic might present for our team and our business. Instead, we wanted to focus on what progress we could make with a focus on our team and our clients. In practice, that meant:
These decisions helped keep our FlyMates focused on what we all could impact rather than getting distracted by the challenges.
While all of these investments enabled Flywire to address some of the short-term obstacles created by the pandemic, more importantly, we believe they will also make Flywire a stronger business and a better-aligned organization in the long run.