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How To Build Your Tech Hub In Another Country

29 Apr 2024

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In 2024, global enterprises are depending more and more on skilled tech talent located in distant regions. By outsourcing and offshoring (or nearshoring ) their tech hub to another country, these businesses can address critical talent shortages, cut costs and refocus on their core strengths.

Once upon a time, outsourcing usually meant large corporations in developed nations subcontracting non-core tasks (like call center operations) and payroll to companies in developing countries.

For example, the countries with the largest technology companies would outsource customer service and other relatively low-skill roles to remote teams in places like India and the Philippines.

But the rising offshoring costs in eastern Europe and Asian countries—as well as the growing number of highly-skilled Egyptian tech workers and developers—are making Egypt competitive in the new international business landscape.

This is particularly true in the MENA region, as we have seen (see our “Can Egypt Meet Europe’s Tech Talent Needs?” blog).

So, say you’re a growing startup or an established SMB in Germany or Saudi Arabia. How do you build an offshore technology hub that supports your business with skilled workers and lower costs?

Let’s take a look.

The New Global Workforce

Continuous technological advancements, along with the COVID pandemic’s disruptions, transformed the landscape of job outsourcing . The rise of remote work has forever changed traditional job roles, creating new opportunities (and rendering some obsolete).

For instance, jobs like telephone operators and data entry clerks are being replaced by advanced AI and machine learning technologies.

Simultaneously, there's a surge in demand for more sophisticated roles, leading to a global shortage of skilled talent and reshaping outsourcing as a means of accessing highly specialized skills.

Looking ahead, the future of job outsourcing will increasingly encompass more complex roles, including leadership roles. It will focus less on traditional low-skill jobs (the ones most impacted by digitalization and automation).

As outsourcing continues to evolve, so do the opportunities it presents. Companies in all sectors are seeing these opportunities and turning to MENA region talent for outsourced roles.

Why Build An International Tech Hub?

The short answer:

  • Lower operational costs
  • Time savings
  • Get the flexibility to change the resources anytime
  • Lose the burden of managing HR processes
  • Lower the resource costs of training new employees
  • Gain access to new markets

The slightly longer answer:

Cost plays a huge role in business decisions. That makes building a tech hub in a location with lower labor costs a smart decision.

But a remote tech hub can also open doors to new markets by establishing a presence in regions you want to target. Even global companies can benefit from building relationships locally, getting market insights through team members who speak the local dialect and understand the culture.

Finally (and here’s one that will make the CFO happy): Many countries also offer tax incentives for companies looking to establish a presence abroad.

A Custom Approach Will Achieve Your Goals

Here’s one approach: Say your company has an in-house software development team. You can expand that team by connecting with a group of talented engineers in another time zone. In doing so, your project benefits from a longer period of dedicated work per day, increasing productivity and making projects completion times shorter.

Here’s a very different take: A “nearshoring” approach, such as when A Saudi Arabian company builds out a tech hub in Egypt, also provides a time zone advantage. Since Egypt and K.S.A. are only one hour apart, teams can easily communicate and collaborate in real-time.

If your business goals require that your in-house teams and outsourced teams closely collaborate, this may be a better approach for you. The only drawback may be language barriers (not a problem for Egypt and Saudi Arabia because both speak Arabic and can easily understand each other. But when there are communication hurdles, businesses should implement communication strategies and collaboration tools. This is something your nearshoring partner can help you with.

Find the Right Partner and Get Started

After your company finds the right partner to build your offshore tech hub , you must clearly define the deliverables for them and establish specific timeframes for each one. As the client, it's crucial to set clear requirements for every deliverable. For example, this means providing your offshore service provider with specific job descriptions and specific skills you need for your tech hub. It also means setting precise parameters for measuring success.

Finally, set a clear budget to allow the vendor to identify developers or other tech talent who fit within the hiring budget.

Equipped with well-defined deliverables, clearly-defined skill sets, and a budget, your partner can source candidates who meet the necessary background and salary criteria.

The Octopus Approach: We Are Already Where You Operate

Say you’re a growing startup or an established SMB in Germany or Saudi Arabia. How do you build an offshore technology hub that supports your business with skilled workers and lower costs?

“What Octopus is offering across different locations such as Egypt, Saudi, Germany is that we have a legal presence there,” says Mona Ibrahim, who leads RTG’s Octopus division. “That makes it easy to be compliant and to attract the best tech talent.”

Octopus covers all compliance issues and legal liabilities so new hires and partners feel secure with getting the work done.

Mona has been with Robusta since 2013. Before taking over at Octopus, she was responsible for building the culture and performance management systems that make RTG into what it is today.

Mona says the most important thing to remember when building an offshore or nearshore tech hub is to focus on fairness around compensation, benefits and learning/development.

Hiring operations and managing a workforce aren’t easy. Vetting and onboarding new talent are also challenges. That’s where the Octopus outsourcing model can help—we qualify candidates before sending them to partners for final interviews. If they are selected for relocation, Octopus handles visas, work permits, and travel arrangements.

These onsite jobs are mainly for partners in Egypt, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

Octopus mainly sources roles in software engineering— backend, frontend, testing, DevOps (development and operations), mobile development (iOs/Android), design (UX/UI), product management.

“Digital transformation is critical for success for many companies,” Mona says. That’s why the candidates with technical and industrial backgrounds are so valuable.

Octopus partners can request candidates with specific experience in (for example) product management or a specific programming language.

Prospective partners often come to Octopus with pressing needs. Mona says there is usually a specific time-frame from the beginning of the requisition. The first touchpoint is aligning the job description with the candidate and defining the requirements for a specific job. Language requirements are considered, as the collaborative nature of some teams means speaking a common language is necessary for projects to continue unimpeded.

Egypt: A Home For Leading Tech Hubs

In Egypt, efforts such as coding boot camps, vocational training programs, and partnerships between universities and tech companies are underway to prepare the workforce to meet the needs of the region’s tech industry.

Egypt has become a talent supply hub for offshore jobs thanks to a qualified and cost-competitive labor force, attractive market environment, and its burgeoning tech ecosystem.

According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG) , Egypt is particularly well positioned to supply talent in six areas: customer relationship management; engineering design and consulting services; software/ applications development and integration; finance and accounting services; media services; and marketing services.

The entire MENA region comes to Robusta Technology Group when they want to attract and vet top talent. Our reputation as a preferred employer comes from our ability to customize comprehensive packages to attract and retain skilled professionals. We take care of employment compliance, freeing MENA-region businesses to focus on their core operations. We act as the official employer, handling legal and administrative responsibilities.

Robusta Technology Group’s Octopus division specializes in building high-performing, fully engaged tech teams for international companies. We can help you build your tech hub by giving you access to the top talent in the region.

Our tailored tech-hub solutions provide access to top talent in a modern nearshoring setup, so you can leverage the benefits of remote work without the common limitations. When you’re ready to get started offshoring or nearshoring your business functions with RTG and Octopus, get in touch and we’ll show you the best way forward.

Mona Ibrahim

Mona Ibrahim

General Manager - Octopus

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