“En Rio Revuelto, Ganancias de Pescadores”. This Spanish saying means that there is somebody ready to take advantage of change, which captures well the opportunity to serve the growing digital citizens that has sprung up due to the pandemic market disruption.
We think it would be useful to share some insights and thoughts about how IT vendors could monitor LATAM as it goes through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reviewing the economic forecast, understanding the business climate, and deciding the go-to-market model are elements that an executive might consider when exploring how to drive new revenues in Latin America (LATAM). We’ll tackle each of these topics and suggest which one may be more critical in an internationalization process.
Latin America’s leading companies are very much committed to better serving their customers through the aggressive implementation of digital transformation initiatives.
These efforts are being supported by Agile and DevOps principles that encompass people, processes and technology. Its fascinating to see how large enterprises in the region have launched new organizational structures around “tribes” or agile teams, for application development teams and business units alike; set goals around new metrics that measure the speed of delivery, value and quality of new or enhanced services; and the myriad of technology adopted to achieve continue integration, testing, deployment and monitoring. And although digital transformation projects are very prevalent in the financial services industry, there are also active efforts in industries such as Telco, Retail, Media, Industry, and Government.
IT companies with growing revenues and strong mindshare in their home market need to determine early-on when to start their internationalization processes.
This question has become much more time sensitive and strategic as the cost of information has gone down significantly. Barry Downs and Paul Nunes, in their 2014 book “Big Bang Disruption” captures this issue well when they state:
- “Consumer no longer have any excuse for making and uninformed purchase”
- “The cost of search has fallen below the cost of regret”
-What we learned by living and doing business with Mexican decision makers-
Mexico has one of the most iconic cultures in the world and one of the most complex to do business. Besides its well-known gastronomy, the marvelous tequila and traditional mariachi music that with any doubt contribute to support the fact that is top in the Rank of Heritage in Latin America, Mexico is also unique in the way companies and executives make business decisions. In the past 12 years doing business in Latin America I have participated in several conversations with other executives about the Mexico uniqueness in the way they make decisions. These are some notes prepared to document the Mexican way to decision making process that will provide some clues to succeed doing business with the second economy of the region.
In the book “The Rise and Fall of Nations” by Ruchir Sharma from Morgan Stanley, the author presents 10 factors that are critical for a country economic success. His first chapter is on population since demographics plays such a critical role in a nation’s wealth creation.
Countries with a growing talent of workers like India tend to experience much faster growth that countries that their population are shrinking like Japan and Italy. Note also that there is a lag between the change in GDP and population growth since it takes time for a new borne to reach working age.
Anyone interested on how the barriers of commerce are disappearing has read “The World is Flat” by Mr. Freidman (http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/). Some of the concepts presented in this book released in 2005, like the 10 forces that flattened the world (open-sourcing, outsourcing, digital, mobile, etc.) are familiar subjects to executives in the IT industry.
Meet Mr. Pankaj Ghemawat (https://www.ghemawat.com/), who authored the recent Harvard Business Review cover article “Globalization in the Age of Trump”. Mr. Ghemawat states that people overestimate the intensity of the global business, and that cultural, administrative/political, geographic and economic factors represent major globalization hurdles.
Enterprise IT vendors goal is to operate in the WW stage. Besides the financial rewards, other market realities drive this goal: information about technology vendors could be accessed from any corner of the world; large banks, telecoms, retails, airlines, etc., are found in all regions of the world; innovating companies with sophisticated customer engagement processes are doing business in all major metropolitan areas; and the skipping of technology waves in less advanced economies that allows then to catch-up faster to new technology models. Many times, these market facts run ahead to the vendor’s implementation plans.
Software, and the “apps” and platforms (cloud, mobility, IOT) it enables, is becoming a driving force in today’s economy. Companies depend on software to serve their customers better and gain competitive advantage; cities with intense focus on digital technologies---Austin, Boston, NYC, San Francisco, Seattle-- are becoming entrepreneurship magnets.
How is LATAM’s software development sector? The answer: Doing very well and growing rapidly. The growth is fueled by several trends that should continue fostering the software development marketplace for many years in the future: