1. As Senior Business Manager of Prime Nearshore, can you briefly explain to us what is the PrimeIT’s solution?
In simple terms, Nearshore responds to companies which struggle to recruit professionals due to the lack of qualified national labour force. Then it regards several countries, including Portugal, where there are quality professionals, who are available and willing to embrace new challenges, and countries which offer a advantageous financial component, which allows them to safety invest to achieve its goals.
Given that this situation, of recruitment’s difficulty, may compromise the success of its projects, Nearshore is the solution which allows the companies to quickly and efficiently scale their teams as we ensure the quality of the hiring. To offer a practical example, one of our partners took an year to recruit two people, with the necessary qualifications, in its country; meanwhile, we gathered a team of twenty-two people in two months.
2. When did PrimeIT start to focus in this business?
PrimeIT took its first steps in Nearshore 4 years ago, when we received a request from a Dutch company to support it in the creation of its Digital and Web skills centre in Lisbon. One year later, we faced a great challenge with a UK company, for whom we built a team of 12 professionals. It was a project from scratch, involving different technologies and which required a detailed assessment meeting, as we had never have before, to see if we were the ideal partner. This was our starting point in the business because, from then on, there was a different opening for these markets and it allowed us to have an idea of the dynamics of the relationships, the methodologies and how we could make all this work. However, years before, we had already contacted with this component, of remote work, when one of our partners, which had a skills centre in India, asked us to help it build its teams here in Lisbon.
3. Do you believe that this focus brought a different visibility to the company?
I believe it has brought us more visibility, although PrimeIT is already known internationally for its offices in Spain, France, Switzerland and England. These projects, and our great capacity to strengthen the teams, as I said before, were the secret ingredient for our partners to gain greater confidence in Portugal, which has been translated into a quality stamp. Proof of this are the references that begin to circulate about our services, with the typical “pass the word”. All the great projects that we have at the moment, appeared by direct contact.
4. What are the biggest advantages of Nearshore?
For our partners, the biggest advantage is, without a doubt, how fast they can have a team formed with quality. Depending on the technologies, we are able to bring together professionals in a short time. Typically, two weeks to two months is the time we need to meet the needs of the companies that work with us. Furthermore, the fact that these companies work with other countries allows them to have a different vision and to travel to these offices, where they can work perfectly well even for a day, should they need to.
For our Primers, there are many advantages! First of all, the international experience without having to leave Portugal, cancelling out all the logistics of moving. They are able to contact with other cultures, visit other countries, which they probably would never visit, and also acquire a vast technological experience as these projects are usually very innovative and use cutting-edge technologies.
For PrimeIT, it is very enriching. We grow as a company; we are challenged daily and we continuously build a highly qualified team that takes our passion for technology across borders.
5. In these projects, we work with Primers of how many nationalities?
Many! To give a quick answer, I can say that, at the moment, we have projects with Primers of six different nationalities. Besides our national talent, we have professionals from Italy, Brazil, Ukraine, Spain and India.
6. Do you believe that this diversity offers PrimeIT a richness that is reflected in our organizational culture?
There is no doubt! This diversity allows our daily life to be rich in different experiences because the knowledge exchange is a constant. Working side-by-side with someone of a different nationality is incredible, that person has had different experiences and adds an unquestionable value to your team and projects. The fact that a professional who has already worked in another country, with technologies or methodologies that until then the rest of a team had not had the opportunity to work, often allows him to find solutions different from those that were practiced to solve a certain problem. And all this is revealed in a richness that allows PrimeIT to grow in an absolutely fascinating way.
7. What makes PrimeIT the ideal choice for Nearshore in Portugal?
I can mention that there are three aspects that make all the difference for PrimeIT to be the ideal choice for Nearshore in Portugal. The quality of our team can be considered the first aspect. We have highly qualified professionals who share a passion for this area. This brings us to the second aspect: our recruitment skills. As I have already said, we are able to respond quickly to the needs of our partners and we do so effectively. Finally, one of the aspects that were transmitted to me from the
beginning, both by Ricardo Carvalho, our Founder, and by Joana Leal and Gonçalo Mousinho, CEOs: transparency and trust, the basis of our work. If there is a problem, we do not hide it. We sit down and talk about it, look together for the best solution and understand why this problem has arisen. If everything is fine, we also talk about it because we do a total follow-up and only then is it possible to bring a challenge to a successful conclusion. And in the opposite direction. If those who work with us face a problem, we talk openly about it. Our partners and employees know that we are committed to doing what is best for them. The success of our partners is the success of our Primers and, consequently, the growth of PrimeIT, so we work to make this the outcome of all our actions.
8. What was your most challenging project and why?
The truth is that we’ve been through many challenging situations in Nearshore and choosing a specific one seems a bit unfair to me because I’ve learned a lot with all of them. But I can give you an example, which I often use in assessment meetings for future partners. An Austrian company dismissed an employee who had been part of its team for ten years and who was responsible for the database that communicated with its clients and on which the entire operation of the project depended. So we were contacted to find someone to replace him. Normally, this would be a basic process, if it weren’t for the fact that we were not supposed to reinforce the team, much less for that specific position with a timing, as in good Portuguese we usually say “for yesterday”. To make matters worse, the language barrier was big, because there was a need to translate all documentation from German into English. The truth is that in two weeks we found two professionals, who had all the necessary skills for the job, who moved quickly to Austria and followed up the last three months of the employee who was leaving to ensure the success of the project. The outcome, which fortunately was very good, became our green flag because we built a trustworthy link between the company and PrimeIT, as it trusted our capabilities blindly.
9. We want our offices to be a second home for our partners. How do we make this real?
Our offices are effectively the second home of our partners, above all because of the reliable connection we have established with the companies that work with us. We have unique and dedicated spaces for each project, all have the necessary access conditions to be totally autonomous, as if they were in their own offices. Besides, we don’t need to know when those responsible travel from their countries to Portugal because they can just show up and always have the door open to come and spend the day with us. It is with this openness, without too much bureaucracy, that they really feel at home.
10. What is PrimeIT’s next step in Nearshore?
The next steps are always to work to achieve better results. At the moment we are already working with almost all of Europe, so the next step will certainly be to move on to other continents as well, taking our passion for technology and challenges further and further. If we talk about Portugal, we certainly want to invest more in Porto, where we already have Nearshore projects and where we are now starting to increasingly grow in this region.
But finally, and if you ask me what my dream for Nearshore is, I’ll tell you for sure that it is having a building full of teams working on projects all over the world!