By Sramana Mitra and Rajesh Nair
Sramana Mitra: You are all over Argentina, so is the workforce in Argentina more distributed? Is the talent pool you are trying to tap more distributed?
Martin Migoya: No, it is not that way. For the most part, we grew first in Argentina; hence, we are distributed there and we made deep penetration into the deeper markets of Argentina. That is the same as what will happen in other countries. We started with Montevideo, Uruguay, but it is very important for us to keep on going to other cities. The same will happen in Bogotá and in other cities and countries where we start.
Sramana: Interesting. Last week, I was talking to the person who runs TCS [Tata Consultancy Services] in Latin America, and he said the exact opposite of what you are saying. He said that the workforce or talent pool in Latin America is much more concentrated than elsewhere, so they are in seven cities. They are in seven major Latin American cities, and that is all that they want to do, just to stay in these seven, cities, but you are much smaller. They have 6,500 people in Latin America, and they are growing to 25,000 in the next three to four years, while you are saying that you are 2,500 people and you are a lot more distributed, so I am trying to understand the two different perspectives.
Martin: Well, we are very different companies. TCS has nothing to do with us; we are two different entities. So, we generally look for talent in the inner cities, in a more relaxed environment, in more friendly places. We are a really Latin American company, we are not a company that is operating here. So, we know the market upside down and inside out. I would say that almost 50% of our people are not from the big cities. That is remarkable, and that would be the way we grow, but TCS may have a different view because they understand the market in a different way.
We are in different businesses. They are an IT outsourcer but they do everything. They do everything from SAP implementation to software maintenance to data center management to helpdesk to BPO. We are concentrating on intellectual property creation, which is a specialized area, and the talent for our industry is very different from the wide spectrum that TCS has.
Sramana: I think, based on what you are saying and what I heard from the TCS head, it is just a plain different perspective on how you want to grow. I think if you wanted to grow just in Buenos Aires or just in Sao Paulo, you could do that, but you could also go in a more distributed manner, which is what you are doing. So the talent is actually everywhere. Latin America today is largely an untapped market from a talent perspective.
Martin: Yes, absolutely right. You got it right. Thank you.
Sramana: Would you talk more about the dynamics of the Latin American talent pool and the skill sets that are developing in Latin American countries? Buenos Aires, for example, has developed core competency around gaming and mobile apps kind of skill sets. Is that an accurate observation? I have heard this from other people as well.
Martin: Yes, that is correct, and people here tend to be very entrepreneurial. Latin America is a place where you can find people trying their luck in the casino industry or on the Google App Marketplace. People here tend to work a lot on open source technology, on technologies that are for mobile applications. They are very aware of the latest technologies, and they are very aware of each corner of the potential markets. They really can get deep into the mobile platforms.
Also, if you look at the artistic part of the user interfaces, the way we create interfaces and the way we interact with those pieces of software, that, combined with the mobile revolution with people relying on mobile applications and interfaces that are very appealing for market use, means that we have a specific plan through which we are growing the Latin American market.