CHAPTER 7: TECNOLATINAS PROFILES
The best company in the creation of digital journeys
Industry: IT Services
CEO: Martín Migoya
HQ Buenos Aires
Offices: Buenos Aires, London, New York, Palo Alto, Bogotá, Montevideo.
Globant is one of the most renowned names in the Latin American tech sector. Founded in 2003 by Martin Migoya, Guibert Englebienne, Martín Umarán, and Néstor Nocetti, the company was conceived from day one to become a global player and a leader in the creation of digital products and solutions for clients all around the world.
Globant offering goes beyond software development. The firm helps its clients develop new products from the ground up, covering every aspect of the operation, ranging from user experience, marketing, business, and the product itself. In order to do this, they rely on three basic pillars: studios, which are smaller units, specialized in specific areas like digital content, wereables, mobile, and gaming, among many others and that allow the company to rapidly develop solutions in these fields; their agile pods, cross-functional multidisciplinary teams of designers and engineers that oversee product development; and Services over Platforms, which rely on pre-crafted platforms that are adapted to clients’ needs in the form of Software as a Service products.
The founders came up with the idea in a bar, when they realized that the crisis that Argentina was going through at the time was offering a unique opportunity. After the devaluation of the Argentinian Peso, the possibility existed to offer the country’s great technical talent at bargain price to international clients, and they committed to it. In only six months they had the operation going, and were getting their first clients.
Risking their own capital, the entrepreneurs started the company with the goal to appeal to clients abroad. Their first breakthrough occuredoccurred during their second year, when they signed Lastminute.com, a leading British travel site that, despite selling over £1 Billion in tickets a year, was experiencing some serious technical problems caused by a very unstable site. The team convinced their new client to use open source technologies to build the new site, and they agreed. This drove the company’s revenues up from roughly $200,000 a year to more than $3 million, and gave it the impulse to fuel a fast growth.
But perhaps the most important milestone in Globant’s history took place in 2007, when the company was selected by Google to become its first ever external partner, a deal facilitated by a former Lastminute employee who had joined the search engine a year before. This deal put the company under the spotlight, and propelled it in the major leagues, getting clients of the likes of Coca Cola, Nike, Electronic Arts, Linkedin, and other global players. They all relied on the argentine firm to drive many of their innovation projects.
In July 2014 Globant went public, with an IPO at the New York Stock Exchange, turning it into the second Argentine unicorn (after MercadoLibre) to trade in that market. As of the beginning of 2016, the company had presence in 25 cities in 11 countries, a workforce of 5350 employees (or “Globers” as they are referred to internally), 344 clients, most of whom hire it on long term contracts, and annual revenue in the order of $253.8 Million dollars. It’s staggering success has made the company a case study at Stanford University, MIT, and twice at Harvard.
But while this Globant’s story may sound like a bumpless road to success, the truth is that attaining this sustained growth was extremely challenging. With a business model that relies on offering great talent to its clients, Globant relies on its human resources to provide its services, and to expand its offering. For this reason, the founders have had to pay special attention to hiring the right professionals since day one. Then, to meet a growing demand, they had to invest in developing training centers, and even on partnerships with universities all across the country, in order to make sure they were capable to educate new professionals who are up to the company’s standards, and who can adapt to its culture and values.
Ever since 2006, the company has been betting on talent located throughout Argentina’s provinces. That year it opened its first office outside of Buenos Aires in the city of Tandil. Since then, it has opened delivery centers within its home country in Rosario, Tucumán, Resistencia, Bahía Blanca, Mar del Plata and La Plata. It has expanded as well in other cities in the region like in Montevideo, Bogota, Medellin, Mexico City, Lima and Santiago. Finally, globally it has expanded in Bangalore, India.
But talent isn’t enough. According to its founders, Globant needs to rethink its internal structure every year, in order to meet its clients’ requirements, and also to be able to keep up with the latest trends in technology and product development.
In order to stay relevant, and keep growing its user base, Globant relies heavily on innovation. To do so, they emphasize on constant ideation sessions, hackathons where they invite internal and external talent to collaborate on new challenges, and a Labs division, which develops projects on new technologies and breakthroughs, for the sake of exploring new opportunities and to learn about these fields. Being built on a culture on innovation, it is no wonder Globant will remain a global player.
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