In Argentina more than 120,000 people work in companies engaged in providing offshore services in activities such as ITO, BPO, Engineering or Media. These industries generate locally revenues that exceeded US $6 billion in 2013. Both of these figures are expected to grow every year.
For this reason, several global and national companies formed ARGENCON, an entity to promote the Argentine Knowledge Service Sector. ARGENCON’s board includes companies like Accenture, IBM, HP, HSBC, ExxonMobil, PWC, CH2M Hill, Globant, Telefonica, Citibank, Siemens, JP Morgan and many others.
ARGENCON’s ambitious plan aims to generate more than 150,000 new jobs in both national and international companies in the next 5 to 10 years.
Currently more than 2 million young people are attending institutions of higher education. Of which, 240,000 students are directly enrolled in careers related to exporting services as engineers, computer technicians, accountants, specialized lawyers, graphic designers, and audio-visual content producers to name a few. But the plan needs more people to be educated in these careers to support the possibilities of development.
Therefore, ARGENCON is carrying out an ambitious project called “Open Windows” (“Abriendo ventanas” in Spanish). Volunteers who belong to ARGENCON’s member companies are focusing on mentoring young people, from low-income families, who are finishing high school. The goal is to help the mentee to decide the career that suits them and their abilities best during a six week program.
This group of young people often has trouble in accessing information on the possibilities offered by different universities or institutes. Thus, a decision to focus on this point has been taken. Volunteers address a pre-set topic per week. As a result, the process compresses all the topics that students should know. The mentoring takes place in a virtual platform provided by IBM Argentina, allowing us to monitor the progress in each case. Mentor and mentee share one face-to-face meeting. Afterwards, they then continue mentoring through this platform.
Right now, more than 200 volunteers from IBM, Accenture, HP, Grupo ASSA, Globant, Telefónica, HSBC, Siemens, JP Morgan, PWC, Telefé and CH2M Hill have been trained as mentors. On the first step, the mentoring has an equal number of young people and tutors. This program finishes in a couple of months.
The plan aims to reach at least 1,000 young people in 2015 and continue to grow in the coming years.
The “Open Windows” (“Abriendo ventanas”) project forms part of ARGENCON’S plan aimed at building sustainability to this activity which is planned as a major economic opportunity for Argentina and for this segment of the global economy. More trained people could be the key to convert Argentina into a true regional leader for this kind of business.
About the Author: Carlos Pallotti is the CEO and Director General of ARGENCON. Throughout his career he has been the founder, CEO and President of several companies engaged in IT and software business. He is also an active member of several non-profit organizations such as Enablis Entrepreneurial Network, Capitulo Argentino, Marchigianar, Fundacion Clementina and Fundacion Sadosky.
He has been recognized with several awards, including the Gold Sadosky Award 2007, Business Man of the Year 2007, as well “premier entrepreneur” from many organizations in Argentina and Latin America.
ARGENCON is an organization that brings together domestic and foreign companies that export services and software knowledge, with the aim of promoting the development of the sector and raise awareness in young people to study technology careers. Target knowledge service segments include: accounting and legal services; architecture and engineering; audiovisual and advertising; computer, software and consulting business; R&D; online services and others.
Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ARGENCON works with the Government to create leading-edge policies and regulatory frameworks that allow increased knowledge-based service exportation thereby positioning Argentina internationally as the main global service export center in Latin America.