Argentina’s Lagash is not a well-known provider in the Nearshore market, but with clients like Walmart and Heineken the firm is betting that an increased U.S. presence will help it gain much needed recognition.
The company has over 500 people working from offices in Colombia, Chile, Mexico – as well as offices in Boston, Mass. and Redmond, Washington. And it is eying up other opportunities in a bid to counterbalance the unpredictability of the Argentine economy.
After rapid growth at a rate of 50% year on year, the company sees a move to expand operations in the U.S. as only natural.
But how did things get to where they are now?
Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Lagash in its early days had a strong partnership with Microsoft – by implementing the company’s tech into the market. They say this has been key in its rapid expansion.
By moving up the ranks quickly and adding top financial institutions to its portfolio, Lagash tells Nearshore Americas it is fit for U.S. expansion. Exact details of the expansion, including a timescale, were not revealed.
“We are under an expansion plan that started two years ago in which our focus is mainly getting the operation not to depend that much on Argentina or Latin America,” Chief Strategy Officer Javier Arguello at Lagash tells Nearshore Americas.
“Because Latin America is not in good shape. Our plan is to grow operations in the U.S. and work with more stable and hard currency, compared to pesos in Latin America.
“So our strategy is to open more delivery centers, optimize cost of people, certifying people, getting people to work with modern software development practices.”
Lagash was set up in 2001 to provide affordable software solutions to big companies. This includes selling teams to companies in order to provide bespoke software solutions.
The company aims to make their clients modern, digital companies with the agility and dynamism that new economies demand through technology.
The company first started working closely with Microsoft to speed up software development in the early 2000s by implementing the company’s tech into the market.
“At that time there was a tech shift in the way people build app software so we started working with Microsoft to speed-up software development,” says Arguello.
“We would work with internal engineering teams at Microsoft, implementing tech in the market. That’s essentially how we came to be in the States.”
“This moved on to us selling to Microsoft and then we expanded our operations to other Microsoft companies in the States. That’s how we ended up with offices in Redmond and Boston.”
“And then we started working with enterprise companies, top 500 Fortune companies, retailers, financial institutions – mainly big banks. As we started growing our operations together with Microsoft we grew and started working for the likes of Santander and Citibank and so on.”
Lagash also runs a program – largely out of Mendoza – with the government and various colleges and universities to train young people in the software development industry. Some students of the program are then selected so they can join the company.
Though Argentina is a great spot to recruit talent, Arguello says it is a challenge due to the South American country’s unpredictable economic situation.
“From a cost perspective there is an opportunity because the salaried people are based on Argentine pesos and not yet dollars. If we charge our customers in dollars we can pay our staff in pesos and there is a huge gap we can leverage.
“If you have customers outside of Argentina, that is a good thing. But if you have customers inside of Argentina that isn’t a good thing because of the uncertainty of what will happen in two weeks.”
But for now the company will continue to grow naturally in its home country while looking to expand further in the States.
“We are expanding our delivery centers in several states and provinces in Argentina – like Mendoza. Argentina is attractive for the moment,” he says.