2022 ILLUMINATE AWARD WINNERS
The Nexus Illuminate Awards exist to honor the achievements of the people and the places that had a profoundly positive impact in the development of this industry. After more than two years of economic struggle at a global level, it makes more sense than ever to applaud those triumphs and celebrate the efforts behind them.
These are the winners of the Nexus Illuminate Awards 2022, held in New York City during a ceremony meant to celebrate the best the industry has to offer.
Mario Chaves, president of Americas at Encora
Mario has made use of his more than 40 years of experience in the software industry to push the BPO ecosystem in the Americas. From the mid-90’s onwards, as leader of Avantica Technologies, he spearheaded the company’s growth as a provider of software engineering services to clients in the US, Canada and Latin America through development centers in Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia.
Mario keeps cultivating the BPO business in the continent to this day. Avantica was acquired by Encora in 2019, and the company saw fit to name him president of its operations in the Americas.
Over the past two years -and in the midst of the pandemic-, Encora managed to increase its pool of collaborators in the region from 900 to 1,600. The company expects to push that number to 2,500 by the end of 2022.
A veteran of Silicon Valley and the software industry; a specialist in software development, engineering services, data integration, web applications and offshore/nearshore development, among many other things; and a successful entrepreneur on his own, Mario stands out as a light that guides the efforts of those who dream of pushing the Nearshore beyond what it is and into what it could become.
“Way over 25 years ago, my brother and I had the crazy notion that the technical talent in Costa Rica could serve the needs of companies in Silicon Valley. And lo and behold, it could,” said Chaves after receiving the award. “Not only the services part of Nearshore is becoming important, but I think Latin America as a whole is coming into its own”.
Reflecting the increasing popularity of Colombia as a nearshore destination, and particularly its secondary cities, Medellín was named Nearshore City of the Year, and which is seeing an influx of investment, buoyed by government incentives, a large talent pool, its proximity to US time zones and its tranquility and political and economic stability.
Gloria Henry, President of the Global Services Association of Jamaica
Few did more for the economic growth of her country and for the development of the BPO industry during the pandemic than Gloria Henry.
As president of the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ), Gloria led the Covid-19 protocols adopted by the country’s government (the Disaster Risk Management Act and Work at Home initiative) that allowed the BPO business to thrive and grow during a time of crisis for the rest of Jamaica’s economy.
Gloria’s hand is guiding the transformation of Jamaica into a hub for the BPO industry. Thanks to her efforts, the country is on a path to find sources of economic growth other than tourism, which collapsed during the pandemic, slamming countries all over the Caribbean region.
As Assistant VP of Operations and Customer Relations at the Montego Bay Free Zone, she increased office occupancy in the zone from 64% to 98%, moving those same numbers from 23% to 100% for factories.
Adriana Llorenz, Executive Director at Mexicali EDC
Adriana’s drive is transforming the city of Mexicali (Baja California, Mexico) from another manufacturing border town into a hub for the export of business services.
Adriana took over as Executive Director at Mexicali EDC in early 2020. Since then, she has been hard at work drawing BPO investment into the city, where the industry is taking its first steps. In mid-2021, Redial BPO landed successfully in Mexicali.
With several years of experience in the public as well as the private sector, and with a successful run as promoter for business development in Tijuana(another Baja California border town known mostly as a manufacturing hub), Adriana is already speaking with other BPO investors interested in Mexicali’s bilingual labor force.
The Office Gurus
Nexus’ most prestigious award goes to The Office Gurus (TOG), a call center and BPO provider that has been expanding operations and creating jobs throughout Central America and (lately) the Caribbean for almost two decades.
TOG’s clients characterize it as a business partner that is more than dependable and which is willing to go above and beyond to stay competitive and adaptable in the ever-changing world of BPO.
TOG managed to navigate the storm unleashed by Covid-19 by leveraging work-from-home solutions in order to increase its capacity. In early May 2022, the company announced its expansion to the Dominican Republic and an increase in operations in El Salvador, Belize and Jamaica, hoping to increase center capacity by 2,000 seats.
Tata Consultancy Services (Latin America)
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been one of the companies at the forefront of the BPO business for a while, and it just keeps going.
Already an Illuminate Award winner, TCS has one of the largest Nearshore presences in Latin America, from where it provides consulting talent for major markets like Europe and the US. By the end of FY 2022, it managed to surpass the 592,000 employee mark, adding over 100,000 in one year alone.
Known for its cutting edge tech solutions like big data and analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), AI, RPA and Cloud Migration, TCS has used its strength in the industry to put cities like Guadalajara, Querétaro and Montevideo in the Nearshore map. It has also partnered with over 40 universities and enabled thousands of graduates to join the digital world through training and recruitment.
“I think, collectively, we are changing the entire landscape of Nearshore and bringing it to the global leadership of IT outsourcing and services,” said Rajeev Gupta, head of TCS’s Nearshore Operations in Latin America. “I feel extremely happy when I see that the countries in Latin America are being considered on the same level as India, Israel or Silicon Valley.”