The natural belief for most US nearshoring customers is that the big cities – Bogota, Guatemala City, Mexico City, Santiago among others – are the optimal destinations to establish services relationships.
The reality, as we are seeing more clearly than ever, is that the big cities are not the only option, and that prospective buyers should look very closely at some of the rising secondary cities across Latin America. Many of them have international airports, are located near a major university and are eager to welcome new business investment. The other critical factor is there is often less wage pressure which helps both providers and clients anticipate how to manage projects for the longer-term, knowing that competition for workers won’t spiral out of control.
For bigger countries like Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, there are a long list of secondary cities that are well positioned to become more visible on the global services map.
Such is the case for Neoris, a global IT services and consultancy firm with a strong Nearshore presence, which employs several hundred staffers at a satellite center in Cuiliacan, Mexico. Speaking this week with Doug Gattuso, Neoris’ vice president and managing director for the US, he talked about the appeal of “rural” centers (Cuiliacan is tiny compared to Mexico City, with about 600,000 residents.) The city hosts two universities, including a technical college – Instituto Tecnologico De Culiacan – where Neoris pulls much of its talent.
For bigger countries like Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, there are a long list of secondary cities that are well positioned to become more visible on the global services map. Barranquilla, Colombia – for example – is a city with over 1 million residents and, is becoming better known for its professional services capabilities.
Other cities to watch for in Central America are San Pedro Sula in Honduras, which has a well organized street system and is blessed with tremendous natural beauty, and Antigua, Guatemala, a place with rich history that is just beginning to show up on the BPO landscape.
What other cities are “off the radar” but need more attention? Tell us your thoughts.