How Offshore Development Creates Better, More Efficient Teams

The Scalers is leading the charge with a new type of digital, remote workforce — but what is offshore software development all about?

Rapid advances in communications technology have made the world a smaller place: remote working and instant multi-person communication is a piece of cake. Despite this exceptional technology, and despite many companies having struggled to hire talented software developers for some time, most businesses still recruit only in their local area — but why?

Hi Emilien, welcome to Business Matters. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself, and your job?

I’m Emilien Coquard, the CEO and co-founder of The Scalers in Bangalore, India.

So — what is the offshore software development model?

Western companies have been struggling to find quality engineers, domestically, for years. Around 30 years ago, these companies went to India, Eastern Europe, and South America to recruit cheap labour. That’s basically how offshore software development first got started.

How do your offshore development projects get started?

The companies that work with us often start with a team of anywhere between 5 to 150 engineers — a team that’s aligned with their vision, strategy, and overall business. When you build software, one of the key parameters — and this is crucial to our entire business model — is ownership.

When you start recruiting then, how do you find the right candidates?

Because our clients are not typically “famous” in India, we start by building a comprehensive employer branding. We want to show off the company: their product, ethos, people, culture — everything. Armed with this, our headhunters scout the market for potential matches for all job profiles.

What are the benefits of offshoring? Who reaps those benefits?

Any company that hires engineers in Europe is a potential candidate for offshoring. Right now, the battle for talent — the competition for quality engineers — is just insane. Everyone working in the IT industry today is aware of how hard it is to find great talent locally. But they also don’t necessarily know to look elsewhere!

Let’s get more specific: what is the value to your clients from going offshore?

The headline benefits are that firstly, going offshore allows you to access talent you wouldn’t find in your home country. Secondly, it allows you to scale up operations — fast. You can build in just a few months a team that would take 12–18 months in Europe!

There must be some risks though, right?

Of course, there are risks. Everything carries risk. The big risk is working with the wrong partner in going offshore — there are a lot of pretty bad companies in this field. Old-style offshore development is notorious for low-level companies and suppliers. If you Google “offshore software development agency” and you send off a project in a waterfall development model, you can be 90% sure that it’s going to fail.

What should CEOs know about this model before they arrange a consultation?

What’s interesting about our model is that you just use the same tools, the same processes, everything the same as you do right now. When we start working with new companies, they’re normally asking, “Oh my god, how will I communicate with our engineers?”

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