By Luke Bujarski
Close cultural alignment is a big part of Latin America’s appeal to U.S. companies as a BPO and ITO destination. But cultural differences or misunderstandings still can cause problems, and need to be dealt with right off the bat. Nearshore Americas interviewed experts in language and cross-cultural training to better understand specific types of cultural gaps. We also looked at how these cultural consultants are helping clients meet their expectations for offshore partnerships.
Beni Lopez, Softtek’s Chief Globalization Officer, recounts how Softtek positioned itself against far flung competitors – and he also talks about the real cost of outsourced services.
With reconciliation accomplished in Honduras by Colombia and Venezuela with no U.S. intervention and trade flowing away from the U.S., it seems as if Latin America is now wide open for other players to come into play with strong political and economic roles, and Canada should take this golden opportunity as soon as possible.
Indeed, as Washington is fixed in the Middle East, it seems to ignore everything that goes on in its own neighborhood. Still in the logic of a Cold War of sorts, the US chooses not to act or improve relations (whether political or economic) or increase assistance to the Latin Americans unless it feels an imminent military threat looming nearby.
Many columnists and prominent thinkers have called attention to this lack of vision regarding Latin America, from Joel Hirst from the Council on Foreign Relations to Mauricio Cárdenas from Brookings, or even Luis Alberto …
Lima — Peru, Colombia, and Chile will formally merge their stock markets Monday, creating the second-largest bourse in Latin America after Brazil and promising to increase liquidity in the mineral-rich Andean region.
The market alliance of the three right-leaning nations spanning most of South America’s Pacific coast gives investors better exposure to assets linked to the region’s natural resources and its rising middle class. And coupled with their recently announced plans with Mexico to form an economic bloc called the Area of In-depth Integration, the stock market merger creates a political foil to the Bolivarian Alliance of regional leftist governments led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
“There’s a clear difference in policy organization in this group of countries,” says economic analyst Sebastian Guevara of Apoyo Consultaría, a Lima-based research company. “There’s a conscious effort to encourage integration between these like-minded countries.”
The launch of the regional bourse, dubbed …
Beautiful Cartagena has been the setting this week for a very lively IAOP Summit, hosted by the Colombia chamber of IT and BPO companies, ANDI. Over 400 delegates from about 15 countries have shown up – there is a well orchestrated mix of academic/thought leadership along with spirited, Colombian-style networking. There is little question that this summit is another significant breakthrough for an industry that continues to attract a wider audience, generate more credibility and provide opportunities for more introspection on how to maintain industry sustainability.
US President Barack Obama rode to power on the promise of stopping American jobs from being outsourced to India.
Ironically, the Indian IT and IT services companies targeted by him may actually be bailing out unemployed Americans by hiring thousands in BPO jobs, in a US economy still struggling to cope with the aftermath of the worst recession since World War II. Outsourcing has come full circle.
Take Aegis, the BPO arm of the Mumbai-based conglomerate Essar Group. Aegis is one of the largest Indian employers in the US. It has over 5,000 US citizens on its payroll and plans to hire 10,000 more over the next three years.
“We have 10 centres operating in the US and more than 97 per cent of our employees are US citizens. Our clients are happy to have locals attend to their calls and we will be hiring many more,” said an …
Brazil’s unemployment rate fell in April to the lowest level on record for the month, keeping pressure on policy makers trying to cool demand fueled by full- employment conditions.
Joblessness in April fell to 6.4 percent from 6.5 percent in March, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro, matching the median forecast of 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Low unemployment is stoking consumer demand and adding to skepticism that policy makers in Latin America’s biggest economy will succeed in cooling inflation to the 4.5 percent mid-point of the government’s target range by 2012. Consumer prices rose 6.51 percent through mid-May, above the upper limit of the annual range for the first time since 2005.
“You can see that the labor market is very heated,” Roberto Padovani, chief economist at Banco WestLB do Brasil SA, said in an interview from Sao Paulo. Unemployment is running below its natural …
The border between Mexico and the U.S. may be permeable, but technology skills aren’t flowing as freely between the countries as other goods and services. The U.S. is well known for technical innovation and recently, some of that entrepreneurial spirit has began emerging in Latin American markets like Brazil, Chile and Argentina. However, where is the momentum from America’s most proximate neighbor, Mexico?
Chile went up from the 28th place to the 25 position in the 2011 world competitiveness ranking, which is carried out every year by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland and that in this version included 59 countries.
The first five places of the ranking belong to Hong Kong, United States, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland, which respectively occupied the second, third, first, sixth and fourth place in 2010.
Filling out the rest of the top 10 on the list – which has been recorded since 1989 – is completed by Taiwan (8th place in 2010), Canada (7th), Qatar (15th), Australia (5th) and Germany (16th).
In the last positions we find Greece (56th), Ukraine (57th), Croatia (58th) and Venezuela (59th).
In regional terms, Chile is the country with the best evaluation, located in the 25th place, leaving Mexico 13 places behind in the 38th place, …
Indra, the premier IT company in Spain and a leading IT multinational in Europe, was awarded a USD 13.5 M contract with Petroperu, the most important state-owned petroleum company of the country to modernize its business processes platform.
The contract includes the implementation of a new ERP on SAP platform to manage finance, commercialization, logistics, maintenance and refining integrally, as those are the key areas of the company. The automation, integration and standardization of these processes will reduce operation time, improve productivity and as a consequence Petroperu will grow more competitive.
The new platform will be the same for all societies, offices, refineries, sales plants and service station networks of the company Indra will destine 40 highly qualified professionals for the project which has an execution period of 15 months with 3 additional months for support.
Petroperu is the first company in terms of sales in Peru. It is engaged …