Nearshore Americas

Ukraine’s Softserve Makes Full-Speed Entry into Latin America

Softserve looks set to make a full-speed entry into Latin America, with the Ukrainian IT outsourcing firm unveiling two delivery centers in the region, in addition to its plans to launch an office in Chile shortly.

The company unveiled offices in Guadalajara (Mexico) and Medellín (Colombia), promising to hire more than 3,000 people in the region over the next three years.

A strong IT talent pool, time zone alignment and geographical proximity to the United States were the primary reasons behind the expansion into Latin America, stated the IT firm in a press release.

“Delivery offices in Latin America will better connect our clients to top talent in the region and will more efficiently support operations within these time zones,” said Softserve CEO Chris Baker.

It is becoming increasingly certain that most of these nearshore centers will cater to the company’s North American clients, whose numbers have grown rapidly in the past two years following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As our client roster continues to grow, both new and existing customers are requesting more digital engineering to support their transformations,” Baker added.

Founded by two polytechnic students in Leviv, Softserve’s expansion comes amid a raging war in its homeland.

While Softserve’s main customers are IBM, Cisco, Deutsche Bank and Cloudera, it has won a lot of new clients in the energy and oil industries in recent years. Latin America’s large presence in the energy and commodity sector could also be the reason behind its expansion, analysts said.

Upskilling and Re-skilling

The talent shortage is a global problem, and Latin America is no exception. However, Softserve looks confident in acquiring enough tech talent in the region.

The company assured that there are “over 500,000 IT professionals in software engineering and 350,000 IT graduates throughout Mexico, Colombia, and Chile.”

Its confidence apparently stems from its own ability to train new employees in software development. It has a large team of experts, which continuously offers upskilling opportunities to its employees under a banner called “Softserve University”.

Growth and Expansion

With a staff of over 13,000, Softserve operates as many as 41 delivery centers around the globe, mostly in Europe. Its real growth came in 2014 when it acquired two of its European rivals: Amsterdam-based tech services firm Initium Consulting Group BV and UGE UkrGermanEnterprise GmbH. Three years later, it made its third acquisition: Coders Center, a company based in Wroclaw (Poland).

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However, the last two years have been troublesome for the company. In September 2020, it was hit with a ransomware attack. The breach dealt such a blow to its operations that the company had to shut down many of its internal systems in a desperate bid to block the virus.

Then came the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Days after the war began, Softserve started to move thousands of its employees to safer places within Ukraine. Baker told recently said that the IT firm moved around 2,000 employees from Eastern Ukraine to Western Ukraine in a space of a few weeks.

As the war raged on, Softserve leased an entire apartment in Gdańsk, a port city in Poland, to relocate hundreds of employees. Softserve has declined to talk with Nearshore Americas. According a recent Forbes report, its Ukrainian operations are still in limbo.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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