Juan Ospina September 18, 2023
The last several years have revolutionized how and where people work. Remote work in particular has exploded, with the number of employees working offsite rising from 5% to an astonishing 20-30% since 2020. Thanks to advancements in technology and new forms of communication, our new reality offers workers a better quality of life while presenting companies with an opportunity to improve productivity and employee engagement.
Here at Nuvalence, we stayed ahead of the curve – we have recognized the importance and strategic potential of remote work since our founding in 2018.
Initially, we distributed our teams within the United States, but we thought: why be limited to the boundaries of US geography? Subsequently, we established a presence in Canada, aiming to boost diversity and tap into a wider pool of talent. Additionally, with the aspiration to work beyond North America and ascend into a global model, we extended our workforce by going remote in Colombia.
As Nuvalence celebrates our 5th anniversary, this is an opportunity to reflect on how the company embraced diversity and ventured into a completely new continent. In this article, we’ll dive into why diversity matters, share our motivations behind this major move, and explore some outcomes of (and perspectives on) the expansion.
Diversity for Global Success
Diversity in teams brings a wealth of perspectives, experiences, and skills to the table, fostering creativity and innovation. When team members with varied backgrounds collaborate, they approach problems from different angles, leading to more comprehensive solutions and broader ideas. Distributed teams in different geographical locations leverage the power of talent from around the world. In a rapidly evolving global landscape, companies with diverse and distributed teams are better equipped to address a wider range of client needs.
Nuvalence’s globally distributed team caters to ambitious organizations across many industries. Our collective strength derives from a rich variety of skills, perspectives, and experiences that remote work helps us seamlessly integrate into our company culture. And that’s a big part of why we decided to expand into Colombia: the “new tech hub in Latin America.”
Why Go Remote in Colombia?
According to Bloomberg (2022) (link in Spanish), Latin America is the first region where international companies are focusing their efforts to hire new talent. During the first 6 months of 2022, this activity grew an astonishing 161%.
Although countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico are leading the trend in Latin America, Colombia is becoming a hotspot for IT companies, and this shift is unlikely to stop soon. The IT industry in Colombia has grown by around 25% over the last decade, currently representing almost 3% of the total Colombian GDP. Around 11,000 IT companies operate in the country, with sales representing approximately $29 Billion USD. The IT services market exceeded $8.2 billion USD in 2021, with a solid network of accelerators, incubators, and investment funds that contribute to strengthening the country’s innovation ecosystem.
Colombia surpasses other important IT hotspots like Mexico and Brazil in training and education, according to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in their world digital competitiveness ranking. Graduates of software & IT-related programs are on the rise: between 2001 and 2018, 690,491 students who graduated in those programs were located in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Bucaramanga, with Bogotá and Medellín being the cities with the most prominent future. There has also been significant growth of IT specializations, facilitated by an increasing number of courses offered for anyone who wants to grow their skills in the IT industry.
Given this context, it becomes clear why Colombia aligned perfectly with our goals and emerged as the second destination for Nuvalence’s international expansion.
The Expansion (and the Results)
As stated by Abraham Sultan, one of Nuvalence’s founders, “The country [was] very favorable in comparison to other LATAM countries.” After evaluating different aspects like proximity to the US, ease of doing business, cost of engineers, and availability of high-quality professionals, leadership felt confident in the results and cleared the way to begin recruiting. Our first employee was hired in November of 2021, and after that, we have been growing the team in line with the required staffing plan of the company. Our distributed team in Colombia now has 5 Engineers + 1 Talent Specialist, and continues to grow.
The experience with the Colombian team has been outstanding. According to Lex Kochnev, Director of Engineering, the team is characterized by “their appetite for growth and learning.” These highly-motivated engineers have a growth mindset alongside active listening skills, which he considers to be their most important contribution to our global team. They share Nuvalence’s dedication to great customer outcomes and have integrated seamlessly with their fellow engineers in the US and Canada.
And the experience of the Nuvaliens who are remote in Colombia is equally positive. Talking with the team, the most attractive aspects they highlighted include the opportunity to work with diverse teams, and feeling that the company truly cares for Nuvaliens’ well-being. Additionally, they appreciate collaborating on challenging projects using cutting-edge technology, enabling them to deliver positive outcomes in an environment that facilitates learning and development.
A Bright Global Future
Nuvalence’s international journey reflects the dynamic changes that have reshaped how we all work and collaborate. As the dust settles on the remote work revolution, many organizations are rethinking how and where workers perform best. At Nuvalence, we recognize that work doesn’t need to be confined to an office; it thrives wherever talent is. Through diversity and an expanded pool of candidates, we have access to a wide variety of skills and perspectives that fuel the best outcomes for our clients.
Our expansion showcases Nuvalence’s bold spirit. Going remote in Colombia is not just about adding a pin to the map; it’s a demonstration of our belief in global potential. The Colombian team’s hunger for growth exemplifies how diverse talent, when nurtured, can spark innovation that knows no bounds.