Nearshore Americas

The Real Story Behind the Origins of Globant

It is one of the biggest IT companies in Latin America with a global presence that reaches 17 countries.

But outsourcing giant Globant had humble beginnings – and sprung to life following a conversation between four friends in a Buenos Aires bar in 2002 while the country was in the midst of an economic crisis. The friends all had a common purpose: to build a company that would make innovative software products for the world from Latin America.

Following a rapid expansion, Globant now employs 10,000 people from Bogotá to Boston and La Plata to London.

Sparks of Inspiration

Starting from a tiny 30 m2 office in La Plata in January 2003, the idea of Globant came about when Martín Migoya saw a gap in the IT market. Along with three friends – Guibert Englebienne, Martín Umaran and Néstor Nocetti – he decided he wanted to deliver profound transformations for organizations while generating global career opportunities for IT professionals throughout the world.

Migoya had been buying shares on the stock market, had invested in different companies, but only made profit out of one of them: an Indian company that outsourced software.

This inspired him as he saw Argentina could be a strategic location in this industry too.

He immediately got his three friends round a table in the Down Town Matias bar (now closed) in Buenos Aires, located between Viamonte and Reconquista Street in Retiro’s fancy neighborhood, and they discussed how to launch Globant.

His friends were enthralled by the idea and excited because Argentina had not yet been leveraged by the IT industry – and they started playing around with names.

The name Globant came about after the four founders noticed that in the early 2000s most technology companies names ended in ‘nt’. Englebienne, now CTO at Globant, created a program to check names and their domain availability. After checking the group had checked the results, they mixed two options and came up with Globant – and luckily the domain was available.

From the outset the four founders knew that their market was going to be the world, with a strong focus on the United States and Europe.

They came up with a list of the people they knew at multinational companies and set out for the United States and the UK to present them with their business. They soon landed their first major client, London-based online travel and leisure retailer, and this kicked off the exponential growth they would come to experience in the future.

Globant opened its first office inside a building that provided internet in La Plata. The office belonged to a friend of one of our founders and the friend rented them a small room.

In 2003 they moved to a larger space at Capital Federal, where we own three floors and operate in today.

Just three years later in 2006 and they were already expanding out of the Argentine capital – opening a development center in Tandil in central Argentina, 300km from Buenos Aires. At this point they had around 300 employees, and were set on rapid expansion with the plan to continue creating opportunities for the region’s talent, regardless of where they were located.

Globant’s geographic distribution across Argentina – with development centers in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Tucuman, Cordoba, Resistencia, Bahia Blanca, Mendoza, Mar del Plata and La Plata – allows the firm to broaden the growth possibilities for young people in those cities, without them having to move to the capital or even emigrate to other countries to develop an international career.

Acquisitions Fuel Expansion

2008 saw more rapid success for the company as it acquired two companies, Accendra and Openware, with the aim to deepen specialization in Microsoft technologies and infrastructure services. This added operations outside of Argentina, in Chile and Colombia.

Come 2009 and they had created a studio model to deepen their expertise on the latest practices and technologies.

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In 2014 Globant did their IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. 2015 saw the company expand outside of the Americas to India after the acquisition of software company Clarice Technologies.

And their operations reached London and New York in 2016 following the acquisition of design firm, WAE.

Though despite Globant’s expansion outside of Latin America, it continues to strengthen its footprint in the region – this year saw the acquisition of Avanxo, a cloud transformation company with presence in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina. Along from the company’s expansion to other countries, revenue has also grown exponentially, going from US $57 million in 2010 to $522.3 million last year.

From a bright idea to a global company, one of the four unicorns of Argentina with presence Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia, in the space of 17 years Globant has grown like no other IT company in the region – and things don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Mathew Di Salvo

Mathew Di Salvo is a Colombia-based contributing writer and editor at Nearshore Americas.

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