On May 10th the conference organized by Common Sense and sponsored by Globant Argentina’s IT services in the US took place in Buenos Aires. The event was a huge success, the number of attendees was more than expected! Giving entrepreneurs and small companies tips to sell their IT services in the US was our main goal.

Some Argentina details

In Argentina the IT industry has grown from 15% to 20% since 2003, according to CESSI and approximately 87,000 students are currently following computing related university careers. This industry represents a special feature of Argentina’s culture, science and technology is a very good university option for high school students. Nevertheless, 7,000 tech-trained graduates are required every year to keep up with demand, but only about 3,000 are produced annually. The Kirchners’ governments launched incentives and fellowships for tech-oriented students. However this effort started just a few years ago so the results will not be seen for a while.

This is why Common Sense organized the conference, to bring some light to the few efforts being done by the government and the organizations, but mainly by the IT companies. The event was hosted by me and afterward we had the honor of listening to Kirk Laughlin, CEO and founder of NearshoreAmericas.com. Kirk talked about his impressions of visiting different Argentina’s companies and the Technology Minister (watch his interview here). He also explained how Argentina’s IT companies and associations should unite and create a brand to promote the big services in the US. He also gave a state of the art about the nearshoring experience.

Afterward, the panelists discussed about how to start selling IT services in the American market. Cesar DOnofrio, CEO at Common Sense; Guibert Englebienne, CTO at Globant; Javier Porretti, Head of Sales at Softek and Antón Chalbaud, CEO at Altodot gave the audience some tips on how to deal with the American clients and how to succeed against the Indian competition.

Some tips on how to offer IT services and products in the US:

  • If you offer good services, your clients will refer your company.
  • Argentina’s companies have better English speakers and more adapted employees to the American culture than Indian ones.
  • The market has more demand than offer, there is a lack of IT professionals. More well prepared people is something the industry needs to increase.
  • Argentina’s added value: what differentiates us is the service quality and not necessarily low costs. Argentina’s European heritage created cultural affinity with Northern and European countries, plus the well educated and bilingual students provides a good interaction with US companies. Companies must emphasize this in their marketing strategies.

But all these tips won’t work if Argentina is not completely represented as a brand in the US market. Cesar DOnofrio mentioned his concern: “I have been to several events during the last year, there has been no representatives from Argentina at all. It was only Common Sense and Globant on their own as opposite to other Latin American countries that have their own organizations which cover represent companies from the same country or city.”

Kirk Laughlin explains in his great article about Argentina’s situation: “The lack of an engaged group to push an IT brand into the US results in lots of firms thinking more about their own viability rather that the possibility of being part of an industry consortium that would have far more reach and influence than individual brands.”

Cesar DOnofrio expressed he is taking on the responsibility of branding and positioning Argentina’s as an IT outsourcing destination, and some companies are joining him. If you are interested, please contact me and we can start acting collectively!

All in all, we all had a wonderful evening! After the interesting conference, attendees enjoyed the typical “empanadas y vino“: i.e. turnovers with a flaky crust and a spicy meaty filling and some great Argentine wine. We were able to do some networking, and in fact we met interesting people such as Diego Maturi, Buenos Aires Government, Luis Robbio from Belatrix, our media partners Palermo Valley, CalendarioIT and Red Valleys.

I also would like to thank Kirk Laughlin and panelists, without them this conference would not have been a huge success!

We will be posting the conference videos soon, but meanwhile you can check out our photo album in our facebook page.

See you on our next event!