Sramana: Are you finding future workers while they are still students at local universities and colleges?
Neeraj Gupta: We are doing lateral hires in the market; we hire directly from the University of Michigan’s bachelors and graduate programs, from Eastern Michigan University’s bachelors and associate programs; and we are also getting candidates from the masters CS programs who are foreign students.
Sramana: Silicon Valley is booming right now, and it is very hard to hire technology talent in the Valley. There is an enormous amount of hiring going on and a lot of companies have a hard time hiring. The University of Michigan is a seriously good computer science program; don’t their graduates look toward Silicon Valley?
Neeraj Gupta: They do, but the fact of the matter is that if your life revolves around Michigan, then Silicon Valley is not that attractive. We are able to bring good people on because they don’t want to leave Michigan. They see our model as a fast path to a good job. There are not a lot of master’s CS graduates up here, but there are some and we recently hired one. The bulk of our hires are bachelors candidates.
Sramana: What about the experience management you need to scale your operation?
Neeraj Gupta: We have a significant advantage there. We can hire people very easily. There are a lot of people who have been working as managers in the global delivery industry. In our model, they work in the U.S. time zone, which is easier. In the mid and senior levels we find ourselves uniquely positioned. People like the fact that we have a scalable platform, not a boutique. They also do not have to live a nomadic lifestyle.
Sramana: Are you hiring this management from other outsourcers?
Neeraj Gupta: We hire them from other outsourcers as well as from corporate IT staff. We just hired someone from one of our larger accounts who has worked for two of India’s larger outsourcing companies. We find people from different places and do relocate people to Michigan.
Sramana: Are you doing project-oriented work or are you managing entire development centers for your clients?
basic vision is to replicate the model of
offshore delivery centers. People buy the vision of a nearshore delivery center. As part of that delivery vision, we do start with project engagement. We will send up to two people on site, but the rest work in our center. We showcase how our model works.Sramana: How many people do you have in Michigan right now?
Neeraj Gupta: We are up to 140 people, and 100 are in Michigan. The lights went on in our delivery center in September of last year.
Sramana: Where are you finding traction when it comes to clients?
Neeraj Gupta: There are two types of clients who have taken to our model. The first is the traditional large-scale enterprise client such as Best Buy. The second group is the Silicon Valley fast-paced growth companies. We do not have the scale to build a national presence yet, so we have focused our business development dollars on the major industrial centers of the Midwest and California.