This is the fifth part in a series with Baruch Swinkin, the Co-Founder of Route 38 Professional Services LTD. In the first part, we discussed how he established Route 38. In the second part, we discussed an overview of the employer of record service. In the third part, we discussed the types of companies that use the service and its growth worldwide. In the fourth part, we discussed Route 38’s unique role among employers of record in Israel.
In this part, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 and Baruch’s vision for the future.
How did the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic impact your business?
As with any business, there are highs and lows. There are times when the company looks excellent and times when things seem troubling. And COVID, especially in the beginning, knocked everyone in the world for a loop. We lost a lot of clients, either to furlough or outright. Things looked bleak for a time.
However, as mentioned previously, COVID has changed corporate work culture. It was once less common to work primarily from home, and now people are reassessing the need to travel to a brick and mortar office every day. So after we navigated the initial choppy waters, COVID’s impact on how business is operated in the world has been a boon for us.
This new mindset has also been a game-changer for people interested in Aliyah. Why sit in my home in Teaneck, the Five Towns, Chicago, LA, London, or anywhere else in the world when I can do the same thing from Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Raanana, Modiin, or Efrat. As anyone from Nefesh B’Nefesh will tell you, there has been a surge of interest in Aliyah, and that can only be beneficial for our company.
Do you have a personal goal for the company?
On a personal level, my priority is to expand and grow the Israeli market.
I want to help as many people as we can, whether they have been here most of their lives or whether they are coming home from any of the four corners of the world, to help Jews succeed financially and significantly ease the Aliyah journey.
So my mission is to expand our operations to be able to help every person earn a livelihood in Israel and create the ability to bring everybody home comfortably – not just to come home and struggle, but to come home and thrive.
And for those who, for whatever reason, cannot make Aliyah, I want to help them be a part of it by supporting and providing jobs to those who have. If we can accomplish that, I will consider that the greatest success.
What do you see as the future of the company?
My primary goal is to help as many Israelis earn a livelihood and provide a pathway for olim to be able to come in droves and do the same. Right now, we just offer the structure to be able to support people who already have jobs. I would love to eventually be able to create partnerships and help match talent here to job possibilities anywhere in the world through our ever-growing network of clients. We have also discussed the possibility of creating a massive internal networking platform that would allow our employees opportunities to interact and learn from each other at various events.
Ultimately, we strongly believe that our service can be replicated all over the world. I don’t have a particular love for any other country. But suppose someone is living in Belarus, Germany, Ireland, Brazil, Argentina, Kenya, even China or Japan and has a love of their country and the desire to help people succeed in their country. In that case, the same model can be applied anywhere. It’s a mix of technology with a strong human customer service element and a lot of passion.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey. Many people dream of making aliyah, but they get stuck when they wake up to the real challenges of earning a living in Israel. What advice would you give to someone who is still dreaming?
I think that the entire aliyah process, from those very first dreams through one’s first few years here, requires considerable soul-searching to really concretize who you are and what is truly important to you. This applies both spiritually and materially. Aliyah provides a fresh start in many ways, and you do not have to pigeonhole yourself into the specific job or profession or even the specific mode of performing your job that you have been accustomed to. It requires flexibility, patience, and maybe the ability to pivot to an entirely different career. Maybe even to a non-traditional profession. Everything is accepted here in Israel, and you are not bound to the three lines of work that your grandmother expected you to study.
Making a living anywhere in the world is hard. Israel is no different. Whatever field you decide to enter here and whatever path you choose in order to support your family requires much planning, education, diligence, and patience. Always remember, it is about the journey, not the destination. Especially in Israel, the results are not up to us. So if you make the leap and put in the hard work, let the Higher Authority take care of the rest.