Interview with wegg® Board Member Candice Tal
“It is not enough to be good, or even the best, at what you do. It is how you face uncertainty and true difficulties that build your resilience. How you pick yourself up and move forward will define your resilience.”
-Candice Tal, wegg® Board Member
Meet wegg® Board Member Candice Tal! Candice is one of our newest board members, and she has also been a key member of our inaugural Club wegg™ Cohort 1! As the founder and CEO of the global risk management and investigations company Infortal Worldwide, Candice brings an indispensable knowledge and mastery of international business relations to our organization.
wegg Program Manager, Lucy Brooks, interviewed Candice on what being on the board of wegg means to her, how she began Infortal Worldwide, and her best tips on ensuring your business grows and evolves year after year.
Lucy Brooks: How did you get involved with wegg as a board member?
Candice Tal: I first met Laurel Delaney a couple of years ago and we shared thoughts about the additional complexities that women entrepreneurs regularly face. Including the challenges of bootstrapping a company when external funding is not available; trying to raise a family and grow a business at the same time. Providing guidance, new ideas, and business networks for women who face the challenges of expanding their businesses globally are of great importance, even more, today than ever before due to the market challenges and disruptions we all face. Having an opportunity to share this with other entrepreneurs is very exciting.
Laurel is a great business advisor and we really enjoyed discussing how to raise this awareness more broadly. Recently she invited me to be a part of wegg’s board and I was delighted to accept!
LB: What made you want to be on the board of wegg?
CT: I’ve mentored hundreds of women over the years at various career stages, including many that were entrepreneurs facing difficult times and complex decisions. Finding a way to amplify the option to help women who are considering starting their own businesses and those who are growing globally is very important to me personally as I’ve walked that road myself and it can be a very bumpy path. Making decisions under challenging conditions, whether financially difficult or because parts of the economy have changed, or even disruptions to manufacturing and supply paths, as we’ve all experienced recently with the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, make things even more complex.
Having business colleagues and advisors who understand exactly what you’re going through can be a game changer. This can make a huge impact not only on a woman entrepreneur’s business but may have far-reaching impacts on her family, employees, subcontractors, and even her community.
wegg provides an invaluable resource to women who are looking for ways to drive their business models forward and to expand or grow across global markets. Contributing to how wegg expands strategically as a global resource to encourage and support women entrepreneurs is why I joined the wegg board.
It is so important to have capable business advisors and people that you can share both opportunities and challenges with. wegg is an excellent avenue for both educational resources and finding advisors. Connecting with other senior-level women who have both creative ideas and experience in these areas is an invaluable resource.
It is also why I am concurrently a wegg cohort member; my colleagues and peers have tremendous knowledge and new ideas that they bring to the table in our discussions; it’s a great forum to discuss confidential topics and to elicit new ideas.
LB: How did you start your risk management company, Infortal Worldwide?
CT: Infortal started as a classic bootstrapped startup company based in Silicon Valley, CA. In the early years we were focused on investigative work primarily; this was before people really thought about business risks the way we do today. For example, we have conducted mergers and acquisitions due diligence investigations for decades, but it was only after the 2008 financial crisis and corresponding federal legislation that companies started to place more emphasis on legal and financial due diligence to identify and manage risk, which was then followed by investigative due diligence.
LB: As the founder and CEO of Infortal Worldwide, what missing pieces in the corporate investigation and global security industries did you hone in on to set Infortal apart from other companies?
CT:We provide high-quality investigations to help large companies find bad actors and rogue players to prevent things like bribery and corruption in their global supply chain partnerships. What sets us apart is that we find about 30% more of this information than our competitors thus helping our clients to identify and mitigate business risks and make better-informed risk decisions to protect their global business. It is a big difference! You can only manage risks that are identified.
LB: How did you foster the company’s network and bolster global relationships in order to have a team of over 800 international investigations agencies and outreach across 160 countries?
CT: Over the last 20 to 30 years, I have networked with literally hundreds of investigations colleagues from over 160 countries to build a strong network of affiliates. It takes time to build trust and confidence that you are working with dependable and capable associates, and that they can also trust they can work with you. Working across borders and with different cultures can be complicated. Business transacts differently in different parts of the world even today.
I’ve also served on the board of an international association for the last 13 years which helps strengthen my company’s presence in international work.
LB: What part of wegg’s mission, “to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families, and their community.” resonates with you, and how does your work connect with or support this mission?
CT: All of these are essential for women entrepreneurs who are currently growing their global businesses or those planning to in the future. It takes constant work to build and run a healthy business and to ensure that your business can handle future growth at every level.
Whether you’re hiring employees, adding new clients, building new service offerings, or adding manufacturing or distribution options, we all want to grow our businesses smoothly and without having to reinvent the wheel. Expanding into other countries adds additional layers of education, legal considerations, employer human resources responsibilities, and even international marketing to your known business parameters. wegg provides excellent educational opportunities and resources that will certainly help women entrepreneurs in many aspects of growing and strengthening their businesses.
LB: Are there any avenues you would love to see wegg grow in or future projects you’d love for wegg to take on?
CT: Absolutely! wegg is a tremendous resource for all women entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. In addition to an extensive knowledge base, there are mentors and business advisors as well as peer groups (Cohorts) that can be joined.
If you are a woman-owned business looking to grow globally or to strengthen your company, for now, don’t think twice about joining wegg. You’ll have access to new ideas, expand on existing strategies, new resources, and business advisors, and very likely meet new acquaintances and friends who truly understand the path you are on.
LB: In your career, what has been a meaningful project or experience to work on and be a part of?
CT: In my career as an entrepreneur there have been several economic downturns. I think these were the most meaningful times for me as an entrepreneur. I’ve learned important things form each of these; the most important of which has been around resilience.
It is not enough to be good, or even the best, at what you do. It is how you face uncertainty and true difficulties that build your resilience. It is easy to become dismayed or lose focus and even lose confidence when the economy is faltering. How you pick yourself up and move forward will define your resilience. Even if it doesn’t work out one time does not mean that things will not improve the next time. Reach out and ask for help, even though you may not want to. You never know where you may find that one person or idea that may propel you into a better frame of mind or provide you with creative ways to move the needle for your business.
Also, think like a startup! If you had to start your business all over again from the ground up what would you do differently? Its rarely ever too late to do things differently. This approach had a resounding effect on my business after the financial crisis; one which I still employ today when my business is growing year on year.
LB: What is the best advice you have ever received?
CT: My grandmother gave me great advice when I was a teenager; she had a very difficult life and immigrated to England when she was a teen herself, not knowing the language or culture and having to work from a young age to help support her family with no education. She taught me to be compassionate to everyone but to trust no one. By this, she meant that even friends cannot always be trusted, and in business, there are many that could take advantage of you, therefore be aware and always be cautious.
My father and his business partner had an amazing friendship where they never argued for 40 years, even when their business had challenges. They had tremendous respect for one another. Not all business partnerships survive but they had this amazing experience that I often think about: how important it is to respect the people you work with and do business with. I bring this philosophy into my own business and it is ingrained in everything at my company from working with clients to our vendor relationships, to how our employees interface with one another. I’m extremely grateful to my dad for showing me a better way to work with others and find ways to overlook the small things that derail an effective partnership.
LB: Is there anything else you would like our wegg community and beyond to know?
CT: The next wegginar is coming up on August 3rd, 2022 with the topic “Crucial Connections: Combating Global Expansion Challenges” presented by Jessica Wargo and Beth Babich on the following topics:
- Understand the pitfalls/traps to expanding globally
- What tax and other considerations are when expanding globally
- How to select the right partners/advisors for expanding globally
- Understand how the global environment has changed in the pandemic and post-pandemic era
Tune in for excellent financial considerations and advice when expanding your business globally!
It has already been an immense pleasure to have Candice serve on our wegg board, and we are privileged by the business insight and inspiration she has shared with us. From all of us in the wegg community, thank you, Candice, for your guidance and wisdom!