Ron Ben-Ari

Lessons Learned From Over 15 Years Of Entrepreneurship With Ron Ben-Ari

Last Updated on September 3, 2020

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Tell Us About Yourself And Your Background!

Among other businesses, I am currently the passionate owner and managing director of Tessa International Asset Recovery Inc. I was born, in 1965, in Frankfurt, Germany. My family, holocaust survivors, moved back to Israel in 1968, only to move to Winnipeg, Canada in 1975. In 2004 I moved to Toronto, where I eventually established Tessa International to track down lost assets world-wide and then find their rightful owners or beneficiaries. We, at Tessa International, work hard to return these assets to their owners, believing whole-heartedly in the exponential benefit this can bring to communities world-wide. I am very proud that Tessa’s mission has been acknowledged internationally and received the 2020 Communitas Award and has recently been nominated for the 2020 International Business Awards.

I am a graduate of the B. Comm program from the U. of Manitoba, speak 5+ languages and have great exposure to numerous cultures which allows me to question things taken for granted in any given society. Being curious, introverted and highly independent affords me an objectivity to spot short comings and construct opportunities. The downfall is that sometimes, as an entrepreneur, my ideas encounter greater cultural resistance than expected.

Creativity and aloofness are incredible characteristics which I feel have propelled my entrepreneurial spirit.

I started as an entrepreneur at age of 10 years of age, making and selling miniature rocking chairs with flower arrangements out of clothespins and dried flowers. During my university studies I founded Horizon Enterprises to promote and sell Canadian electric transformers in middle eastern countries, while also importing promotional items from China.

Through Tessa international, I am currently working on projects to find assets for the homeless and on a new and very innovative program to assist the elderly sector of our societies to improve their standard of living and truly enjoy their golden years.

Tell Us About Your Company! How Did You Start It? Why Did You Start It?

2011 was a year that afforded me more spare time than usual: I took advantage of this time to indulge in reading many books and articles on very diverse subjects. It was during that period, that I came across an article about the incredible amounts of lost assets that exist in the world. The ramifications of how much good all these assets could bring to individuals and communities was simply mind-boggling. It was already late at night, but I could not believe what I had just read and began investigating the subject. After 9 months of investigation, I incorporated Tessa International for the sole purpose of helping people recover their assets.

How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?

Our first client was a Mexican gentleman whose late father did business in Canada and had some funds there. Many years later, the son took over the family business and knew that his father had this money in Canada, but did not know where. When we found these assets, we contacted the son and helped him to quickly recover these funds. From there on, we just kept finding assets and clients.

Due to the nature of our business, our clients are non-recurrent customers for whom we research and find everything they are entitled to, the number of clients is not cumulative.

How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?

Our company is growing by continually seeking new techniques for finding assets and implementing more innovative tools to find their rightful owners. By streamlining the process, we can increase the number of clients we acquire and assist at any given time. That said, we also collaborate with experts in specific regions of the world to help us either to find the people, assets or the required supporting documentation.

What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?

  1. Reinvest your monies in your business and always look for ways to evolve the business concept and quality; a static business will inevitably die.
  2. Be persistent! A “no” means “you need to convince me”!
  3. Failure, in hindsight, is the best stepping-stone to reach greater heights! So whatever business ignites your passion, go for it!

What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?

As an entrepreneur, you must: 1. Be very alert to opportunities in your surroundings 2. Question everything and everybody! and, most importantly 3. Read and learn everything within reach (and out of reach), no matter how unrelated: It is the application of totally unrelated ideas and concepts that gives birth to innovation!

I have found that experiencing very different cultures and speaking many languages makes me observe and question everything in sight. Having different cultural perspectives has opened the doors to seeing things that the locals have always taken for granted as something that has always been that way!

What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?

The first time I visited Mexico, in 1995, I saw a world of opportunities. Set to conquer the Canadian tenders market with the cheap Mexican labor and friendly people, I got a tender for 67,500 pairs of woolen socks for the Corrections department of the government of Canada. Having contacted various sock manufacturers, I was quoted prices greater than the unit cost of a pair of socks in any Mexican store! A friend took me to a Mexican government agency promoting exports; The staff efficiently promised to fax a list of Mexican sock manufacturers. When we interpreted the list, we found that they had listed manufacturers of “calcetines de fierro”, which means iron socks! To this day I don’t know what those are, but, as I write this, I am investigating it in case there is an opportunity there!

In Tessa, upon investigation the ownership of lost assets we have come across very interesting cases; enough to write an entire book, ranging from corruption monies belonging to Latin-American politicians to assets belonging to jailed assassins for double homicide! Please note that, as per company policy, we do not contact people with such backgrounds!

What Are Your Favorite Books?

There are soooo many! Where to begin? I enjoy most books. The first that come to mind are Yuval Noah Harari´s books as well as Malcolm Gladwell´s books.

Anything You’d Like To Plug?

This is about helping you! I hope you find this information helpful for your project. In case you have any additional questions or, require some clarifications, please feel free to contact me. Wishing you best of luck!

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