While there are plenty of strong success stories in Mexico’s IT industry, the recent national recognition of iTexico for its unique business model and export practices has given the company a real edge in 2017.
“People always ask “is this a Mexican company, or is it American?”” said Guillermo Ortega, COO and Co-founder at iTexico. “This is the old fashioned way of looking at things. I always answer: “iTexico is a bi-national company”.”
Founded in 2010, iTexico has its headquarters in Austin, Texas; a regional office in Silicon Valley; a wholly owned software development and delivery center in Guadalajara, Mexico; presence in Aguascalientes; and a new center opening in Cancun this year.
“Having a wholly owned delivery center is not very common because of tax issues,” said Ortega. “In this scenario, a Mexican partner is paying the maximum tax rate as a non-resident of the US. Even so, the partnership gives me a sense of ownership of the company in the US, and it’s the same as the Mexican office with Anurag (the company’s second co-founder).”
Ortega stressed that while it’s possible to find more cost-effective financial models, they don’t allow for this sense of “one company”, and that communicating this to the team makes them feel part of something bigger, and gives them a sense of ownership and commitment too.
“Yes, it’s not common, and is kind of hard to explain, but this approach has had a huge impact on retention,” said Ortega. “We are selling talent, not bodies, so our people know that they have a purpose, and so they take ownership of their work, which gives clients a better service.”
This unorthodox model is clearly working. Since 2011, the company has been seeing 500% growth and maintains strong relationships with many large-scale tech companies, including Appcelerator, Kofax, IBM, Xamarin, and Microsoft. The company is also picking up numerous awards for its work.
Thanks to this unique and effective business model, the company recently picked up Mexico’s National Export Award, which came from both the company’s own perseverance and the recognition of external parties.
iTexico started this journey after failing to pick up the Jalisco state Export Award in 2015, but correcting that in 2016 and winning the coveted prize. “The award was handed to us by the Jalisco governor in November, on the same day that Trump won the election,” recalled Ortega. “Even though we were a little distracted by the news in the US, the award showed great recognition for the team and for the trust our customers have in us.”
The Jalisco award gave iTexico an automatic nomination for the National Award, following which the company had to pass a series of stages to ultimately take home the prize. The second and third phase involved producing lots of documents, financial statements, and export numbers, as well as helping the awards officials understand how the company operates.
The whole process, Ortega said, was an interesting opportunity to see the business through external eyes. “When you have the opportunity to get a third party analysis of your work, and there is a lot of interest in your business model, it’s a great introspective exercise. There’s really a unique professional view that only comes from an outsider evaluating your work.”
Out of 12 categories of winners, iTexico won the “services exports” category. Companies from Jalisco state in total won five out of the twelve categories, showing the strength of the region’s export industry.
“Overall it was a great experience,” said Ortega. “And while numbers are very important for the award, officials were extremely interested in how and why we started working, especially having both an Indian and Mexican founder.”
iTexico currently has 147 people in Guadalajara, 15 people in Texas, and 8 in Aguascalientes. With the upcoming inauguration of its Cancun center of excellence, which will focus on artificial intelligence solutions, the company is starting out the year with plans to double its overall headcount.
“Artificial intelligence can be applied across all verticals, so it’s a good move to work on that,” said Ortega. “We have been evolving over time and are getting more specialized in certain verticals, but healthcare and oil and gas will be very important for us next year.”
The company continues to grow fast, celebrating its third consecutive year on the INC. 5,000 listing, alongside its prestigious national export award, and aggressively pushing for new talent.
“We’re very open to hiring from all over the country and the world,” said Ortega. “We already have people from Cuba, India, Pakistan, the US, the UK, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Belgium, and more. Guadalajara is a great attraction pull to Mexico, and we aim to take advantage of that.”
To learn more about iTexico, check out the following articles:
- iTexico Presented with Highly Coveted National Export Award
- iTexico Opens New Center in Aguascalientes, Tapping into “Alternative Sources of Talent”
- ITexico Expanding into Cancun with New Software Development Center
- iTexico Team Highlights Mexico’s Passion and Capability for Entrepreneurship
- iTexico Founder Guillermo Ortega Sees More U.S. Firms Coming to Guadalajara