Walking through the industrial district of Itagui in Medellín, you'd never imagine that behind the doors of Perficient Latin America's new office spaces lies a modern, extravagant office bedecked with designer furniture, obligatory plant walls and tucked-away nap rooms. A stone's throw from the Envigado metro station, Perficient Latin America is one of the first tech companies that ventured into Itagui with their 600-strong employee base. They have offices in Bogotá and Cali as well, but it's their Medellín story that's worth retelling. As it turns out, they weren't just one of the first to turn up to Itagui, they were the pioneers of the city's tech scene as well. Way back in 1986.
Yes, 1986. A time when Medellín had few associations with tech or innovation and everything to do with drugs and cartel violence. Founder Jorge Aramburo believed that a company that invested in technology could be competitive globally, even if the conditions for growth were less than ideal. Aramburo once told Dinero magazine that, "My greatest motivation in life is the love I feel for my country, what really enriches me is to be able to show society that it is possible to achieve what we propose, if we take advantage of our resources." 6 years later he was proven right.
Though employed at a storied company, Camilo Gómez doesn't dwell on the past and feels that's characteristic of the company as well. "We're continually looking forward. The aim is always for more growth and we don't really look behind." the Director of Business Development for North America for Perficient Latin America told us in one of the walled-off seminar rooms.
The company sees itself as part of the city's growth, as one that doesn't look to compete with the biggest players like the Indian giants Tata Consultancy Services or Infosys, but looks to offer more streamlined client service that can benefit their needs. "We can't command 1,000 people at the drop of a hat. But we offer more boutique services that we can approach with a client in the US on a first name basis." Camilo said.
These clients include international heavy hitters, like Here, Mulesoft, IPG, CoreOS, and Microsoft to clients in logistics like Servientrega and Exito.
Although a smattering of clients is based in Latin America, the large majority of the customer base are based in the US, across cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and Austin. To that end they're also on the lookout for new staff to fill their new spaces in the region of developers and testers and their applications can be found here.
And though they're willing to take on newer clients, as suggested by their expansive investment in a new office space and desire to take on more staff, Perficient Latin America doesn't appear to want to settle for quick fixes but prefer relationships that last across years. Which is why when it comes to companies in Medellín, it appears as if Perficient Latin America is here to stay for the long run.