Martin Méndez took over as CEO of NEORIS in August. He has been with the company since it was founded, previously overseeing South American operations, and has his sights set on further growth. The company has plans to expand into Peru and is finding new opportunities in the healthcare sector throughout the region.
Méndez recently sat down with Nearshore Americas to share his thoughts on all this and more about how NEORIS will move forward in what he sees as an increasingly borderless world.
Nearshore Americas: What’s the future for NEORIS with you at the helm?
Martin Méndez: We definitely want to grow. We see that we have a huge opportunity, especially because I am seeing that consulting services are moving from just staffing commodities of people or being part of a project through contracts more toward value-added services.
Right now and in the future everything is going to be more focused on bringing together solutions that involve talent, consulting, and intellectual property. Moving to that, we will have the challenge of better understanding the industries in which we work and how to use technology to increase the potential of our customers in the value chain. That’s why we think we will have very important participation in the future market, and we are building that right now.
NSAM: In the past, companies have often just wanted the best price. But now they want a partner and to have a deeper relationship with the client?
Méndez:You may have new tendencies like digital, Big Data, Internet of Things, or mobility. But the real problem is how to use that. You can’t just know the technology and not know their business when you go to talk with your customer.
We need to really understand how to use, for example, Big Data in healthcare. Based on that, we build our intellectual property and our services and go to our customer with a proposal — not just listen to what they need.
NSAM: Are there common mistakes that you see companies make as they evolve and adapt to Big Data?
Méndez: The way we see it is that many companies know the technology, but not many understand how to use it in a specific business. So it’s just adding more information but not knowing how to use it.
One thing we are seeing, for example, is not just having all the data, but using the data to predict the future. And for that you need to understand the business you are working with. I’m not seeing many companies with that approach.
NSAM: Is healthcare becoming a larger focus for NEORIS?
Méndez: It’s an industry that is accelerating all over the world, but especially in Latin America. Right now, many companies are becoming more professional in the industry, so we are seeing an opportunity there.
In Latin America, most of the hospitals were run by their own doctors, but now owners are not just managing one hospital but many. So they need to have more technology in order to run the business. There are many companies joining the market, and it is getting more intense.
So this is giving us an opportunity to help them in that process. We have projects in Colombia, Chile, and Peru, and now in Brazil in Mexico. Many countries.
NSAM: The value of currencies has been plummeting in almost every country in Latin America. What challenges — and opportunities — is this presenting?
Méndez: We are seeing it as an opportunity. For example, with our nearshore practice in the U.S., now you are more competitive with this devaluation. So there it is a good opportunity to strengthen our relationship with U.S. customer for nearshore.
But also, we are having many customers that have operations all over Latin America, and now that the dollar is stronger, it’s much easier for them to make investments in local currencies in each of the countries, so that’s an opportunity, too.
NSAM: Do you think this will lead to more companies coming into the nearshore market?
Méndez: You want more? It’s not enough what we have? Everybody is now here: Indian companies, American companies, from Europe. Everyone is here in the market.
You will tend to see more start-ups. That’s my guess. Based on currency, they can start easier than if they didn’t have that opportunity. But I think the big companies are already in the market, and they’re using all types of models.
NSAM: Are there any markets that you see as particularly promising over the next two years? Or five years?
Méndez: My vision is that in the mid- to long-term we will see less divisions by country. I tend to follow our customers, and our customers are everywhere. So if you start thinking by country — putting up some geographical divisions — it doesn’t make sense from our customers’ perspective. I prefer to think in the industries where we want to play rather than specific countries.
Saying that, we will open our operations in Peru. We are in that process right now. We are very strong in Latin America, and Peru is a country that is growing, and many customers that we have in Argentina or Chile or Colombia or Brazil do have operations in Peru. We need to be there, too. And on the other hand, I hope to strengthen our presence in the U.S. as well.
But technology is eliminating barriers. The old world thought about organizations more in silos — even the client was a silo. Right now, those barriers are falling down. Each new technology is removing them.