In the middle of 2019, I had lunch with one of our past investors in Europe. We had a long discussion about his family. He was rightfully very proud of his children and grandchildren who live across Europe and some also moved to Israel.
He expressed pride in his history helping the State of Israel by investing in Israel Bonds, and the way his investments made him feel he is taking part in building our country.
He also mentioned that the investment was also his way to make sure his kids, and now his grandkids, will always remain connected to Israel.
At the end of our very long, and very personal lunch he committed to start investing again, and he did.
I remembered this story because when I look back at 2019, it is clear to see what was done across international. Directors, salespeople, reps, all down to the last professional were busy doing mainly one thing – interacting.
Unlike Israel Bonds USA and Canada, who both enjoy the advantages of a full digital ecosystem, Israel Bonds International is still lagging. However, the lack of technology was an advantage during 2019. It forced our great professionals to go back to the essence of marketing – meeting and interaction with people. One on one, small events, large events, round tables, strategic cooperation with other organisations and much more - all was done in order to achieve our four goal pillars: increase the investments, increase the number of investors, increasing the reach into the communities we work in and finally cultivating our best resource – our Lay Leaders.
I am very proud of what was achieved: almost all offices hit their targets if not surpassed them, Lay Leaders convened on volunteer Campaign Councils again after years being idle, Women’s Divisions were established across international countries, and we saw a 40% - plus increase in the number of clients and much more.
2020 is going to be a challenging year. We need to continue doing more of what we have been doing during 2019 and at the same time we need to think strategically about the future.
We will be spending this year trying to achieve our goals, but at the same time we will dedicate this year to building our e-commerce capabilities. We will be busy this year in the day to day task of running the offices across international, but we also need to execute 2 major delegations to Israel (including the first ever Women’s Division international delegation).
When I think of the task ahead of us, I am confident that 2020 will be a fascinating and a successful year incorporating the tactics of the day to day with the long-term vision for Israel Bonds International.
I wish all of us a happy and successful 2020.
Arnon Perlman is the Executive Director of International Sales and Operations (Europe and Latin America). He resides in London.
Plans and activities as stated in this article are specific to the City and/or Region of the writer.