“We launched in July 2021, and that gave us the advantage of building a post-pandemic organization and culture. We are an engineering and data science company, and our organization was designed to attract and retain the most competitive skills and technologies available today,” he said.
Duffield is no stranger to building outsourcing models from the ground up. He previously built three other organizations using India as a base – “incredible talent, massive capability and scale”, he says of the world’s largest tech outsourcing nation – but the post cultural shift -pandemic around work processes and remote work has, he believes, given that the Nearshore region has the upper hand in the eyes of contemporary tech companies.
“Primarily it means time zone, and it means Latin America,” Duffield said. Synchronizing time zones with customers offers clear benefits in agile work processes, but this shift in perspective was also driven by the talent lens and a growing understanding of talent needs in a changing world, explained Duffield.
“Attracting top talent to India means they come to work early or stay late or have a third shift. It’s hard on people and it adds further pressure on a market that is already experiencing high attrition and wage inflation,” he said. “Things have changed. Technical managers are now at home trying to prepare meals for their families and they no longer want to jump on a call at odd hours.”
Nearshore is more than Costa Rica, of course. In Hakkoda’s search for a home in Latin America, Colombia and Mexico were both carefully considered. In the end, Duffield’s affinity with the Central American nation – he had traveled there for 10 years – and the country’s commitment to education and therefore providing top-notch talent, made the difference. .
“The country has a real and well-known commitment to higher education. We have a Costa Customer Innovation Center in Costa Rica, not an Offshore Development Center, so they’re making nut soup; engagement management, project leadership and other positions requiring high interaction with clients. High level English was vital,” he said.
The country’s prowess in IT services is certainly well known, and it’s one that has led to a tight labor market and raised questions about value relative to other countries in the region. But the pandemic has generally alleviated those concerns. While the scarcity of tech professionals in Costa Rica ranks on par with Canada and Singapore, the same difficulty in finding top talent exists in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, as Nearshore Americas reported last year. Wages, once higher in Costa Rica than in many other Latin American countries, are now on par thanks to the sharp rise in wages the tech industry is experiencing globally.
Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency CINDED worked closely with the company and provided assistance in navigating the set-up process. “They are personally invested in building relationships with universities and PROCOMER“, said Duffield.
For its part, CINDE highlighted the importance of IT services companies for its national economy: “These types of companies contribute significantly to our matrix of exports of knowledge-intensive services, which accounted for 75% of all services exported by Costa Rica in the first half of this year. Likewise, these companies are a source of formal job creation for more than 12,000 Costa Ricans, as of 2020,” CINDE Director General Jorge Sequeira Picado said in a statement. recent press release.