CI&T entered Portugal in February with an investment plan of two million euros in two years and hiring 200 people. The Web Summit was the 'catalyst' for the search for Portuguese talent.
Who says it is the co-founder and president of CI&T, Bruno Guicardi, who in an interview with Lusa explained that it was the presence at the Web Summit that introduced technology to “Portuguese talent”.
The Web Summit “was the catalyst, it introduced us to a technology community that we didn't know and a place [Lisbon] to establish that it would never be in the head”, explained the official.
“We also saw a committed government, which made a difference for us. We looked at other places: Barcelona, Torino and other cities in Europe and what made the difference were the intrinsic qualities, what the Web Summit did was to put Lisbon on the 'short-list' to be looked at ”, added Bruno Guicardi.
And then there was Tech Visa, which “was instrumental in our decision”, stressed the manager.
Created in 1995, with the vision of "helping companies to understand what the Internet has for their businesses and helping to take advantage of these opportunities", CI&T helps companies with their digital strategy and implementation, he explained.
Among its main customers are banking, insurance, consumer goods, media and telecommunications, "industries that have millions of customers", he explained.
CI&T has a presence in Asia, more specifically China and Japan, and the United States, which was the second betting market.
With the entry into Portugal, which takes place between February and March, even at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, the objective is now to bet on the European region, after having already been present in the United Kingdom.
“In Portugal, the operation is 'nearhore'”, remote operation, taking advantage of the same time zone.
The company's entry into Portugal has “the vision of being a service provider, providing services to the rest of Europe”, explained the co-founder and president of Brazilian technology.
In Portugal “we are after talent, not after customers. Of course, we think it will be natural [to have clients in the Portuguese market] when we are established, in this first moment it is the talent market we are looking for ”, stressed Bruno Guicardi.
The pandemic came to delay CT&T's hiring and investment plan in Portugal.
Currently, "we have about 40 people, we had a more aggressive plan, but the pandemic had a little interference," he commented.
But the “idea is to reach 200 people in two years,” he said.
The Portuguese subsidiary “is serving Europe”, namely the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany.
On the investment, of two million euros in the first phase, it should take “a little more” than the two years foreseen, due to the pandemic situation, that is, until 2022, when it was previously in 2021.
Asked about the type of talent that technology is looking for in Portugal, Bruno Guicardi pointed out 'designers' in the area of digital and 'software developers'.
Regarding the reason for investing this year in Portugal, the CI&T president explained that this came “in the wake of another decision”, to invest in the development of the business in Europe.
“We opened the operation in Europe five years ago”, following deals closed with North American clients - such as Johnson & Johnso, Pfizer, Coca Cola, among others, and Japanese - among which Konica Minolta - in Europe, continued .
These were contracts closed in other places that needed support in Europe, and at the time CI&T's European operation was “delivery, had no capacity to sell”.
However, "we decided to speed up this operation, start developing and go after European customers," he added.
"We are very happy, we are enjoying the talent, which was the motivation to come to Portugal, the quality of people, I think we took the correct correction", he pointed out.
In terms of revenue, the president explained that the company has revenues in Europe as a whole, and that they are still taking their first steps in this region.
“It is the youngest region [of the group], with a turnover of less than 5%. We hope to double from year to year to be relevant ”.
The president of the technology company wants the “European operation” to be “a 'driver' for CI&T's growth”.
"I want to see Europe grow next year, 60%, 70%" or even "100%", he said, despite the economic crisis in the region.
"But in the crisis, there is always an opportunity for companies that will have to find ways to do things, technology is a way to find intelligent forms of services for customers and better tools", he concluded.
CI&T will be present at this year's Web Summit - totally digital and starting on December 02nd -, with Bruno Guicardi participating in a 'masterclass' on reinventing the operational model for digital innovation, and a round table on “Agile for impact and not appearence ”.