Simer Mayo knows the importance of mentorship.

“When I came to the United States from India 22 years ago, I got a great mentor,” Mayo remembers. “He became my first business partner, taught me about business, taught me about how you can impact a community. And we started this in 2004 from my apartment in Scottsdale — just him and I. And now, here we are.”

Now, Mayo is the CEO of Valor Global, Phoenix’s largest minority-owned business and one of several businesses Mayo manages with his wife, Vicki. Valor Global hired more than 1,000 employees in 2020 and expects to exceed that job creation number in 2021. The Mayos also made five acquisitions in 2020 to grow their businesses.

READ ALSO: Valor Global acquires DRS Services USA; creates 500 new healthcare jobs in Phoenix

Az Business talked with Mayo about his budding empire.

Az Business: How did your business come to be in 2004?

Simer Mayo: I was a consultant for another company, helping fix people’s computers, networks, and offering technology solutions. I saw that people were always over promising and under-serving their customers. So I thought there was a great opportunity to be able to under-promise and over-deliver. That’s when I started Valor IT to help small and medium businesses with IT problems.

AB: Why did you choose the name “Valor?”

SM: We took the Valor name because of what it stands for. The focus from day one has been we take care of customers. And then the focus kind of shifted to taking care of our employees, who will take care of our customers, who will take care of our community. So we have three pillars in the business. Employees, customers, and community. We have values defined for each and everything we do in our business. And not just in Valor, but other businesses, too. If it doesn’t fit in those three core values, we don’t do it.

AB: Valor IT evolved into Valor Global. What is Valor Global’s mission?

SM: Valor Global is a call center company. We are the outsource call center for different organizations. We have four different verticals in Valor: healthcare, telecom, e-commerce, and government sector customers — some state, some city, some education. We have about 3,000 employees now. We are headquartered out of Arizona and have offices in Idaho, Costa Rico, Philippines, and we’re adding Mexico and a couple other countries now.

AB: Is there anything that you’ve learned from the pandemic that is going to make you a stronger business leader moving forward?

SM: Absolutely. The key thing was uncertainty. As leaders, I believe our No. 1 thing — not just for the pandemic, but with everything — is to remove uncertainty for people. Change is going to happen and change is always there. But change impacts people, their families, how they’re going to feed their kids. As leaders, that’s our No. 1 responsibility — to help them with change so they see the change as a positive rather than a negative, especially in the uncertain times we just went through and we’re still in. If we can remove that uncertainty and give them the assurance and a vision of what 2021 and beyond looks like and know that we are there for them, I think that’s a big plus for them.