By Sramana Mitra and guest authors Rajesh Nair and Aditya Modi
About Martin Migoya
Martin Migoya is the CEO of Globant. Together with three of his friends, Martin established Globant, a company that desgins software products. Under Martin’s leadership, Globant grew from four people in 2003 to 1,500 today. He has won many awards such as Endeavour Entrepreneur 2005, Konex Award for the most innovative entrepreneurs of 2008, and Security Award for the most distinguished businessmen of the year in 2009.
The fastest-growing software firm in Latin America, Globant, has become one of the top 10 software development companies in the world since its inception just over seven years ago. With more than 2,500 employees it is headquartered in Buenos Aires and has offices in the U.S., U.K., Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and all over Argentina. Globant’s clients range from software development and infrastructure management to mobile applications and e-commerce. Globant has won awards for its innovation and its delivery model.
Sramana Mitra: Hi, Martin, and welcome to the Outsourcing series. To start with, we are definitely seeing outsourcing in Latin America as a major trend, which is why I wanted to speak with you. I would like to understand more about what you are seeing and how you are navigating your way through the outsourcing industry.
Martin Migoya: OK.
SM: So, let’s start with some background on Globant. Would you please tell me more about how and when you started and how you have built a sizeable company to this point.
MM: OK, great. Globant is a company dedicated to the creation of software products that are appealing. We work with the ideation, creation, and development of software products for our customers. We are focused on that niche. In essence, what we do is create intellectual property for customers.
SM: Would you talk in more detail about what kinds of customers, what kinds of technology, and what kinds of intellectual property you are working on?
MM: Well, we work in different areas. In the gaming industry we work for Electronic Arts, Playzone, and many others. For the travel industry, we work for Travelocity, Orbitz, and many other companies. In the entertainment industry we have Dreamworks. We also work for companies like LinkedIn, Google, and so on. We are currently working on Google TV. For LinkedIn, we are developing tools that go on the toolbar that connects to Outlook. Those are the kinds of projects we do for some of our customers.
SM: Would you talk about the history of Globant and how you managed to penetrate the industry segments you just named?
MM: Globant was started about eight years ago in 2003, with four co-founders. One of them is currently the CEO, and the other three are working in different sectors. We created the company with the idea of bringing a fresh approach to the IT outsourcing industry. Coming from different regions but sharing the same time zone, we have a rich culture with an amazing talent pool. We grew the company from four founding members eight years ago to more than 500 people at present. We will probably end this year with 3,000 people; 3,000 Globantants, as we call ourselves. We have been sharpening the focus by bringing a fresh approach to IT outsourcing to be more oriented with what is happening now, which is the creation of intellectual property and software products for our customers. This is how we evolved from being a pure IT outsourcing player to the much more organized and focused company that we are today.
I would say that the process of creating a huge, successful software product company that is accessed by hundreds of millions of people is very challenging, and the experience of creating the process has changed and evolved dramatically in the past three to four years. In the past few years it has evolved from being just an engineering experience to an experience that is more connected to the design, innovation and everything in demand today. Essentially, when we talk about what is going on in the world, we say that we are leading many revolutions in the IT sector. One of those revolutions is the usability revolution. In other words, the software [should] be like a piece of art – this is the attitude that has taken root since Apple and Google have come to play. Everybody is designing software in specific ways, and we need to read that in terms of how to use that software, how appealing it is to the audience in terms of ease of use, user interface, and so on. That was our first revolution. The second revolution is the mobile apps revolution. Everybody wants to be on a mobile platform, so we pay attention to the way we develop and create software that is compatible with many different platforms, including many of the new mobile platforms like the iPad or iPhone, and of course, Android and BlackBerry. Those are trends that you see today; this is a second revolution, the mobile application revolution.
The third revolution is the revolution around the market, how those applications are sold. What we have seen in the past is that hundreds of thousands of people are moving their efforts from the open source community to Apple’s App Store and the Google Apps Marketplace. We have thousands of developers who are creating companies and applications to sell on those markets, and that is very complicated for our customers because they find it difficult to differentiate their offering from those applications they are competing with.
The fourth revolution is the social network revolution. Everybody wants to have a social media application and some connectivity with social applications. In the past five to six months, at least nine different tablet devices have appeared on the market. That is a phenomenal change. You have tablets with Android; you have tablets with Mac OS; you have tablets with Windows; and you need to create applications that are robust enough to cover all those places. That gives us a huge opportunity.