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Meet Javier Balieiro- How a tech company adapts to a pandemic world from one of the southernmost countries in the world

Today we have selected Javier Balieiro to take his interview. He is the Chief Business Officer at ZentaGroup & Co-Founder of ZentaLabs.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

Health comes first, and we have been very focused on that within ZentaLabs, not only at the level of our teams but also within our families. We have been a little over a year with very few infections and no loss of life to regret.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?

Father of two beautiful children and happily married for 15 years. I worked a large part of my life in the corporate world of large companies. Five years ago, I wanted to make a turn in my career, so I join the team at Zenta Group as Chief Business Officer with a clear focus on scaling business nationally. We grew around 70% in new clients, and since 2019, we are expanding internationally through ZentaLabs, our branch office, where I’m a co-founder.

How does your company innovate?

We are constantly reviewing both the market and internal ideas. We believe that innovation is not delegated to a single unit within ZentaLabs, but rather is part of all who work in our company. We always seek to innovate in all our processes, technological, financial, recruiting, training, customer success, and many others. Our innovation processes are pretty fast; if we think we can improve, we do it, test it, review it, and try it again. We have a strong culture of “fail fast,” and we always seek to be in “trial and error” mode. We believe that disruption and disagreement is the true path to innovation.

How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Starting the pandemic, we were affected directly by our clients’ businesses, which saw their operations impacted by an average of -60% in different markets. First, we had to migrate 100% of our operation to a Work From Home format, with +250 people working remotely with almost zero impact for our clients in record time, in less than one week. This was a tremendous collaborative effort between many internal units, and it was what allowed us to continue serving our clients. By the second half of 2020, we began to perceive a tepid recovery in the technology market, which today continues to increase and generate new and more businesses in this pandemic times.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Without a doubt, 2020 has been one of the most complex years in our history. The main success factor was collaborative teamwork with a clear vision of where we were going based on two central axes; take care of our teams and our clients. Then we had to take care of the jobs of our teams, so we decided to create a plan to avoid layoffs at all costs. We prioritize our team’s rapid relocation to different clients and temporarily reduced salaries to support this decision under the vision of “It’s better that we should all suffer a little than any of us should have to suffer a lot.”

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Today we are incorporating monday.com as one of our core software. Also, we are the first Google Cloud Premier Partner in Chile (and the third partner in South America) to achieve a double certification: data analytics and machine learning, powered by Google. Together with them, we have developed great businesses during 2020. We project tremendous growth this 2021 in different sectors such as Emerging Markets, the Caribbean, and other countries in America, hand in hand with our expertise associated with data and analytics. Also, this year we are going for our 3rd and 4th specialization within the Google Cloud suite.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

We face giants like Globant, Accenture, Everis, Thoughtworks, among other IT companies. We not only learn from them, but we also seek to differentiate ourselves healthily and competitively. We stay in the game playing our own game, which is based on technical expertise, as a human quality and closeness to the client’s needs like no other. We are obsessed with it, and we are always looking to be a partner rather than a vendor. We carry this vision with ZentaLabs under our internationalization project to offer our technical expertise remotely from Chile in a nearshore format. Our goal is not to win the game but to stay in the game for as long as possible. We’ve been playing it for 14 years. We will go for another 14 more, and why not another 50 years.

Your Final Thoughts

From one of the southernmost countries in the world, we seek to contribute to the global technology ecosystem with our +250 remote talents based in Chile, offering nearshore services at very competitive prices. We have experience in very complex IT projects, and we have the support of giants such as Google, VISA, HPE, among others. We created the concept of TaaS, Talent as a Service, where we make available our best techy talent to solve the needs of our clients. Next time you need talent, how about as a service?

  • Spokesperson: Javier Balieiro
  • Company: ZentaGroup & ZentaLabs
  • Website link: www.zentalabs.com

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