During the Nexus 2017 opening ceremony, the winners of the second annual Illuminate Awards were revealed, with Uruguayan web and mobile app developer UruIT taking home the prestigious Company of the Year award.
Held at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto, California, this year’s awards played host to over 120 attendees from the nearshore services and technology industries.
The 2017 winners range from the most innovative and pioneering entrepreneurs, to the cities and companies that have this year outshined others in their dedication to the nearshore industry.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Ricardo Duran, General Manager and Owner of Outsourcing S.A.
Unsatisfied with the level of customer service in Colombia, Ricardo Duran created the very first call center in Bogota, getting his first client (HP) in 1994, followed six months later with Microsoft.
His company, Outsourcing S.A., is now Colombia’s largest supplier of services and solutions for the contact center and BPO industry, and places a deep focus on First Contact Resolution. Today, his company has is operating in six locations and has nearly 3,000 employees.
“Building a corporation in the middle of a war is not easy, but with the peace process that started a few months ago our country is going to have a lot of opportunities for business, so I invite people to come down and see it for yourselves,” said Duran.
Executive of the Year – Rajeev Gupta, Latam Head at Tata Constancy Services
For the last ten years, Rajeev Gupta has achieved a tremendous amount of success with Tata Consultancy Services, building the Indian IT giant’s Latin American presence from the ground up.
Starting with only a few people in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2007, Rajeev has led TCS’s expansion over eight countries, and now employs more than 15,000 consultants in the region.
Today, Rajeev still sees masses of opportunity in the region as he builds the company’s capabilities to serve industries that are increasingly going digital.
“Initially, my arrival in Latin America was very difficult, but after hearing the ideas and passion from people Latin America, I became convinced that this is the region of the future, so I will continue to help growing this region in the digital age,” he said, when accepting his award.
Voyager of the Year – Miguel Matey, Managing Director and Region Head at Atento Mexico/Latam
Originally hailing from Madrid, Spain, Miguel Matey’s career with Atento has taken him from his homeland to Mexico, Guatemala, Czech Republic, Morocco, France, and back to Mexico again.
He first came to Mexico in 2003 and is now the general manager of Atento Mexico and regional director for company’s operations in Latin America.
His work with Atento has helped Miguel to satiate his travel bug, which he also shares his wife as they continue to explore Mexico together, making him a true Nearshore voyager.
“Nearshoring is something very necessary for Latin America, and the passion behind what people are doing is driving the region’s contact center and BPO industry,” he said.
Investment Promotion Professional of the Year – Vanessa Gibson, Cinde Costa Rica
Since 1998, Vanessa Gibson has been an integral part of the work going on at Cinde, starting out as a researcher, before becoming service sector manager, and now as director of the agency’s Corporate Development and Investment Climate, which she has been leading for the last nine and a half years.
Vanessa has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s in project and programs evaluation from the University of Costa Rica, the latter of which she attained while working as service sector manager, showing true dedication to her career.
Vanessa is a naturally skilled team leader and business strategist, with deep knowledge of the services sector in both Costa Rica and the Americas region.
Vanessa was not present to collect the award, but thanked everyone at the event for the nomination and award via a video recorded in Paris.
City of the Year – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Known as the Paris of the south, Buenos Aires has seen remarkable growth in the nearshore industry, especially when considering the economic conditions in Argentina.
The city is attractive and unique for business, with strong IT and design capabilities. Alongside that, Buenos Aires is also a nice place to live and visit, and is an international hub in South America with a similar time zones to the US.
Santiago Bibiloni, Co-founder and CEO of COR & Balloon Group, accepted the award for the city. Santiago lives in Silicon Valley, where he was named “Argentinian ambassador” by the Buenos Aires City Government.
Company of the Year – UruIT
Originating from Uruguay, UruIT has been developing web and mobile apps since 2007, building a team of highly-trained, English-fluent developers and experienced agile experts.
Accepting the award was Marcelo Lopez and Marcelo Martinez, two young software professionals with computer science degrees, the former of which co-founded the company, which is now recognized as one of the world’s best mobile app developers.
“Nearshore represents an untapped opportunity for US companies,” said Mareclo Lopez when accepting the award. “It is not just about the time zone anymore, but also about the talent, which I invite you all to learn more about as companies like us continue growing the industry.”