I just had the distinct pleasure of spending a couple days in Guadalajara experiencing first hand the talent, passion and capabilities of the region. Nearshore Executive Alliance held the Immercio conference there for about 80 people with a mix of buy-side, sell-side, regional experts and advisors in attendance. The sessions I attended and stories I heard convinced me that if I had any doubts about outsourcing to Mexico, it was time to see the light. I was able to hear first hand from companies like HP and United Healthcare who have opened captives with amazing success and while it is more expensive than their Indian locations, they would never consider moving out due to the unique talent, as well as time zone and cultural affinity. I met people representing companies like Softtek with 10,000 employees as well as companies like Unosquare who have 102 and growing rapidly. I met a company called Vesta that outsources all of their high-end work to Unosquare with incredible results. I toured the Institute of Technology of Jalisco and saw hundreds of "20-somethings" doing work for a dozen or so outsourcing companies located there. I met with iTexico, a start up that had eight people working for them two years ago and have 80 now, with plans for 150 by next year. I found that these companies are taking on higher end-work, not commodity type coding. They are creating apps, websites, software and interfaces for companies in North America. They are working for Open Table, Uber, and similar companies. In addition they are serving Fortune 500 companies with their corporate identities and marketing platforms and social media. Why? Well, for one, they will soon be graduating more engineers than the United States on an annual basis. Their English skills are amazing and they are recruiting from all over the world. One center I visited was like the United Nations. I met people who came from India, the UK, Australia and Michigan. Many of the people I met had at least one of their degrees from a US, Canadian or even Australian University, so not only did I find the English speaking skills impeccable, but culturally there seemed to be little to no difference either. When you visit any of the outsourcing companies located in Guadalajara, you would have a hard time believing you weren't in Silicon Valley. They all have rooms with pool tables, arcade machines, free food and casual attire, just like their American counterparts. The main difference is that in many cases, this is the first generation of middle class success for their families and for that they are proud and loyal. So, rather than leading with everyone’s favorite conversation about guns and drugs, let me end with the fact that I never felt any different than I do in any large city. There are certain areas I probably would avoid at night, so I avoided them. But that is true anywhere, and overall I had such a positive experience, that I can't wait to come back. On that note, my oldest daughter is moving to Mexico at the end of next month so I am thrilled that I will have the opportunity to watch this amazing country and industry continue to develop.
Dawn Tiura, CEO and President of SIG, SIG University and Outsource, has over 26 years leadership experience, with the past 22 years focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry. In 2007, Dawn joined SIG as CEO, but has been active in SIG as a speaker and trusted advisor since 1999, bringing the latest developments in sourcing and outsourcing to SIG members. Prior to joining SIG, Dawn held leadership positions as CEO of Denali Group and before that as a partner in a CPA firm. Dawn is actively involved on a number of boards promoting civic, health and children's issues in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Dawn is a licensed CPA and has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University. Dawn brings to SIG a culture of brainstorming and internal innovation.