Fireside Chat with Leroy Davis, Martin Umaran, and Josh Bresler
By Garth Martin | October 28, 2019
At ACCESS 2019, 7 Mile Partner, Leroy Davis, and Thomas H Lee Managing Director, Josh Bresler, sat down with one of the original founders and current Chief of Staff of Globant, Martin Umaran. Davis and Bresler took the chance to revisit an impressive growth story of four founders who have weathered the entrepreneurship storm over the past one and a half decades. Martin walked through Globant’s history – including early-stage and late-stage challenges, working with organizations like Google in the early 2000s, navigating investors, and ultimately their 2014 NYSE IPO, as well as some of their current objectives.
“Never Say No”
During the fireside chat there were a few themes that emerged as Martin recounted the past 15 years – the first being a “never say no” mentality. Stay focused, but be open to new opportunities and explore them. While potentially two conflicting sentiments, the artful balance of these concepts anchored with passion and commitment saw Globant through the early years.
As a small, nimble organization there isn’t a sizable talent pool kept on the bench that management can utilize on short notice. While this makes staffing projects more difficult, it allows employees to “say yes” and gain invaluable practice and opportunities when interesting engagements arise. Martin encouraged entrepreneurs to take each early engagement as a learning experience, knowing that the faster your organization can weed out system issues, the faster your organization can learn to deliver quality work efficiently. Practice makes perfect – so the ability to lean into opportunities, even with some execution risk, will challenge your employees and instill a culture of innovation.
Hard Work and a Yes Attitude Can Take You Places
The fireside chat started with the origin story: four talented friends from Argentina with skills in the technology space thought “if Infosys and Wipro can deliver services to the US using resources many time zones away, why can’t we do this from LATAM?” This group of friends had the time zone advantage, spoke English, and had the technical skills and passion to boot. Taking Globant from its origin story to a public global digital consultancy disrupting the IT Services industry in 15 years is no small feat, but it demonstrates the power of hard work, dedication, and passion.
Rehiring an Organization Every Two Years
If you are fortunate enough to experience rapid growth, hiring challenges will follow, but most acutely during the first few years of growth. During the early years Globant grew 50- 100% annually, and had to constantly find new talent in order to deliver future work – all while maintaining its distinctive innovative culture. Globant drew on one of its most important natural resources in the early years – the Argentinian people. While Globant is now a global company with resources all over the world, Globant’s ability to recruit, train, and deploy people en masse from Argentina was central to its early success. Although seemingly impossible growth to sustain in the services industry – hiring staff that fast is possible. If you find your organization in a similar situation, find and leverage good pools of talent that regenerate year to year (i.e. certain universities and organizations) in order to help keep up with demand, without sacrificing quality.
Client Service & Investor Service
As you might expect for successful services-based business, Globant prides itself on quality client service. Not only did Martin and his partners plan to take care of their clients, but they also intentionally took care of their financial sponsors along the way. Don’t be penny-wise pound-foolish, work with excellent people, take care of them, and they will take care of you. This is true for your clients, employees, and investors.
See Martin Umaran and Leroy Davis also discuss the future of the IT Services at 7MA Dealtalk.
Source: Globant Integrated Report 2018
Globant is a high-growth technology service organization. According to LinkedIn, “We are a digitally native company where innovation, design and engineering meet scale. We use the latest technologies in the digital and cognitive field to empower organizations in every aspect.” Globant has over 8,000 professionals located across 14 countries with clients like Google, Southwest Airlines, EA, BBVA, and others. They’re seen as a Worldwide Leader of Digital Strategy Consulting Services by IDC MarketScape (2016 & 2017) and continue to push the technology services industry on a number of fronts.
Not only is Globant a leader in digital for their service offerings, but financially growing revenue by 25%+ each year for at least the last four with expectations to continue that through 2019. They also posting ~15 – 20% EBITDA margins showing profitable growth. Just another reason that Globant is a leader in the technology services industry.
About 7 Mile Advisors
7 Mile Advisors provides Investment Banking & Advisory Services to the Business Services & Technology Industries globally. 7 Mile Advisors advises on M&A and private capital transactions, and provides market assessments and benchmarking. As a close-knit team with a long history together and a laser focus on our target markets, 7 Mile Advisors helps its clients sell companies, raise capital, grow through acquisitions, and evaluate new markets. For more information, including research on the M&A markets, visit www.7mileadvisors.com.