Muruzabal on the need for a regional approach to nearshoring and why Mexico and Argentina are the best places to find talent.
By Tarun George
In Part 2 of his special interview with Nearshore Americas, Neoris CEO Claudio Muruzabal (#4 on our Power 50 Ranking) tells us why firms need to have a holistic approach to Latin America. He also discusses the role of social media in outsourcing, and why the ‘labor arbitrage’ concept is old. Read on for more.
As Neoris continues to expand, which regions or countries are you considering as potential locations?
Muruzabal: In terms of client demand, we’re focused on building capability in the US, and in select markets in Europe. We’re also always looking at opportunities to expand our time zone coverage. We don’t have a significant presence in Asia, and that’s sometime we’ve always been considering.
In terms of Latin America we’ll continue growing our footprint in local markets like Brazil, which has exploded recently, and we’ve enjoyed that growth. But I believe that Latin America can never be a country discussion – it’s a regional discussion. You cannot be successful and have a significant nearshore capability if you’re focused only on individual countries. You need a region-focused strategy because that’s the only way you can get access to the quantity and quality of talent required to aggressively address the market.
There are a few LatAm countries that are very interesting. We’ve had success in Colombia after the acquisition we did there in 2007, and Peru is another emerging market that we’ve been considering. But I believe that the largest talent pools in Latin America are in Mexico and Argentina. So for the time being, for what our clients require, we will continue to increase capability in those two countries.
You’re a big user of Twitter, and that’s something still fairly uncommon among CEOs of global outsourcing firms. How has that affected your business, and leadership style?
Muruzabal: I have no doubt that social media is here to stay. It’s no longer a question of connecting people – it’s actually becoming an operating system by itself. The way people interact in their social life will become the way they expect to interact in their business life – and this will be true in Business to Consumer, and Business to Business relations. We’re an early adopter of that trend. We started our YouTube channel and our Facebook page a long time ago, and we have a strong presence on Twitter. Those are channels that will not only make us better known in the marketplace, but they are also our response to the expectation of communicating easily with us that our client base is having.
The social network platform is growing, and we want to be able to have a continuous conversation with the market and with our clients, and increase transparency. That concept of being close to our clients and making their lives easier is behind the management culture of the company, and behind my leadership style.
What are the new market trends you’re personally observing in the Nearshore IT industry?
Muruzabal: What I’m seeing is that offshore or nearshore models that are based on the concept of ‘labor arbitrage’ are old, and are evolving into something else. Sophisticated clients want to solve a business problem through the application of IT, either to improve what they already have or to create what they don’t have. These high value clients consider as a given that you, as the provider, would source the work from the place that is most attractive. They just want to make sure that you’re using the best talent at the best price.
The other thing they consider as a given is the quality of service. The expectation is that you will be at par or better than the best providers in the market. Essentially clients these days are looking for not just vendors but partners in their business – this is main trend right now in the outsourcing industry.
For Part 1 of Muruzabal’s interview with Nearshore Americas, click here.