Latin American: Exploring New Markets for Collaboration and Growth

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About the event
Since the time I have started my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ (Zero Cost Management Graduate), I was very keen on knowing more about Latin American regions. This region, with huge potential has not been covered so widely in newspapers and finding information proved to be very difficult at times.
Always in search of events on Latin America, when I got to know more about event organized by NASSCOM to provide some more light on the economic style, I jumped on the opportunity.

Latin America and Carribbean: An overview
Mr. Gurmeet Kohli of AVASANT, the firm which has specialization in outsourcing provided an overview of this region. Some of the key trends, I was able to note down are:

– 1/11 of global production globally, they speaks most European languages
– low outsourding maturign. Domestic market not open to offshoring.
– Growing internet in cloud computing.
– Currently the latin american & carribben region garners about 2% of total FDI inflows globally and is looking to attract IT & ITES business that are export oriented and lad to large scale employment.
– Increase use of ICTs will help SMEs become more competitive as they are more mature compared to their counterparts in other regions.

He also elaborated how different regions of Latin America are becoming cluster of excellence. This includes North part is specializing itself as hispanic contact center with specialization on IT & creative services. While Caribbean region is specializing as an English contact center and providing services in finance and accounting back offices.

Opportunities for India In his presentation, he has highlighted what opportunities are there for Indian It companies in this growing regions. He is optimistic than leveraging non IT connections like BRICS, G-20 etc will help to strengthen business with this region in the upcoming years.

Presentation by Rodrigo Blanco, Pro Mexico
Mexico is an open economy and the ranking might differ based on the forecasting agency. He also stressed that Mexico is the largest investor in India among LAC.

Mexico’s global leadership: 3rd largest exporter and according to KPMG, software development costs in Mexico are 40% lower than in United States.

5 reasons to choose Mexico for Indian companies:
1- macroeconmic environment and infrastructure
2- strategic location and NAFTA
3- internal market
4- human capital
5- Govt. Support

Mexico has 45 countries with FTA’s. It has strategic location and lie in very suitable time zone for Indian IT companies. Mexico is part of the NAFTA and as part of it, Mexicans do not need H1B visas while going to USA for work. Under NAFTA, there has been legal & IP protection. Due to close proximity to US market, it reduced travel time and other expenditure, offering significant advantage to Indian It companies.

Mexico is very young country, with working age population will be in comparable to India from the year 2010 to 2035. Apart form everything, Mexico itself has huge internal market for IT companies. With lot of Government support provided for foreign companies, it can help Indian companies in their growth.

At the end he has highlighted following points to chose Mexico:
– Strategic location
– NAFTA
– Cultural affinity
– Language
– Education
– Human capital
– Proximity
– The mexican market
– Government support

Talk by Avishek Nigam, Director Asia, Groupo HDI

Mr. Avishek Nigam has provided personal experience of working in Brazil. He is the person of Indian origin and helped Infosys open office in Brazil.

Main points
– Offshore is no longer taboo in Brazil which was there before.
– 87% Brazil population live in cities.
– UK is the 5th largest economy and Brazil ranked 6th in the world.
– Brazil is 7th largest IT spenders in the world.
– Brazilian banks invested heavily in ICT To counter the inflation
– IBM started its 1st outside subsidiary in Brazil.
– Brazil is an emerging , so it can understand situation of India better because of the similar realities.
– Sao Paulo = New York (Business oriented city)
– Just not IT in Brazil there is a scope in oil, mining and other sectors too.
– Brazil is democratic country, you can own your business. Tough & competitive market 🙂 but differentiated products are always welcome.
– Think Brazil as domestic market, people might not speak good English, the tax is very high and there is lack of IT professionals but a differentiated product in the market is always welcomed.

Mr. Nigam than elaborated more about the process of obtaining Brazilian visa and clarified some of the doubts about tax structure of Brazil.

He ended his talk saying that language is an issue, but Indians are good in picking it up. He has also stressed that Brazilians want to see the people working in front of them, so offshore may not work in all the cases.

Conclusion
Latin America is indeed a good market for Indian companies, but there is serious lack of creating awareness. I have felt the same when I have started to study this region as part of my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’. Hopefully, more such events in future will bring this region closer to India.

Disclaimer Based on the personal account summary of the author, not necessarily to be cent percent same.

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