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Written by Conor Bracken
on April 26, 2011

Andovar is pleased to announce the expansion of its global operation into Medellín, Colombia. This geographic expansion has been put in place strategically to enable Andovar to improve its services for the Americas. Our Colombian facilities will enable Andovar to continue offering highly competitive services through a combination of offshore production and intelligent project management paired with professional translators with subject area expertise that work wherever in the world they are best found.

The Andovar model ensures the competitive pricing, flexible solutions and consistently high levels of quality that Andovar has come to be known for, with working hours that better mirror our largest client market, the U.S. Additionally, this will enable key members of Andovar’s project management team to meet with U.S. clients on a more regular basis.

The Region & The Reason

Andovar has had a presence in South America since 2008 with offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina from which we were able to build strong regional resources for content creation, localization and project management. However, high rates of inflation (projected to be 30% in US Dollar terms for 2011) and other barriers to foreign investment made Argentina an increasingly less hospitable environment from which to run a competitive business. Simultaneously, Andovar’s emphasis on leveraging cloud-based technologies enables us to make geographic decisions with relative ease.

Considering the above, and with an outlook on long-term growth and competitiveness, Andovar started vetting alternative cities for our regional HQ early in 2010. Here’s what we were able to learn about Colombia through our own research and with the excellent assistance of ProExport, Colombia’s agency in charge of promoting Colombian trade, tourism and foreign investment:

  • The people of Medellín have long been known for their entrepreneurial spirit, diligence and famous hospitality and, as a Top 100 metropolitan area with over 30 universities and a strong emphasis on English education, Medellín offers breadth and depth in terms of viable staffing resources for both technical and non-technical roles.
  • Colombia has traditionally maintained an inflation rate under 5%; combined with a significant drop in crime (especially in and around Medellín), it has become a safe and desirable place in which to do business.
  • Barriers to entry are minimal; requirements for work permits (for international staffing and a globally mobile workforce) are clear and reasonable.
  • The international community of Medellín is growing rapidly, with expatriates having a high level of education and strong backgrounds in multiple languages. This is most especially true of major European languages, which represent the greater part of the services required by Andovar clientele.
  • The growing international community also reflects greater breadth of resources for multimedia and studio services such as voice-over, subtitling and localized Flash integration.
  • Recent investment by global bellwethers such as HP and others contributed to Andovar’s confidence in Medellín as a Latin American business center.
  • Members of Andovar’s leadership have ties to Colombian business and government, thus enabling a rapid uptake on the establishment of our offices here.
  • With a very favorable climate, Medellín is known as “The City of the Eternal Spring”. We believe the impact of a good climate in a great city on long-term employee retention will be favorable.
  • Medellín’s home state, Antioquia, is simply a beautiful part of the world.

The Team

Andovar has an experienced team moving to launch our Colombian operation, including Aoife Cregan, Managing Director of Andovar Americas and Mat Berland, Senior Project Manager at Andovar.

A founding member of the Andovar team, Aoife Cregan brings a tremendous depth of experience in running high level strategy in Andovar’s core service areas of localization and content creation, with additional experience in operations management. Throughout her career, she has been responsible for running global project management teams for major global clients including Yahoo!, NetSuite, Travelocity and many more. As Managing Director of Andovar Americas, Aoife will take charge of the region’s operational considerations while working directly with high profile clients to set strategic inter-organizational workflows that optimize the client experience for Andovar’s customers.

A true polyglot and highly experienced project manager, Mat Berland will take charge as Senior Project Manager tasked with high level management of the regional team of project managers and localization engineers. Mat’s experience on specialized localization engagements for such firms as HP, Disney, HolidayCheck and Prometric ensure the ability to customize services that meet the specific needs and budgets of our clientele. Mat’s expertise in language technologies, solutions scalability and breadth of experience will ensure smooth workflow and smart capacity planning that will enable Andovar to provide a continuously high level of service as Andovar’s portfolio continues to grow.

Andovar’s Outlook

All in all, we believe that the combination of technically-oriented human resources, favorable geography toward our key markets, and organizational development in a country on the upswing should all contribute to Andovar’s strategies for sustainable growth. Combined with the experienced team we’re putting on the ground as of April 25, 2011 we believe we have all of the ingredient needed in a recipe for success.

If you are interested in learning more about Andovar’s expansion plans, or in becoming a part of our global team, please contact us for more information.

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