Inspired by discussions with more than 70 global business leaders, Javier Peña Capobianco helps to better understand the future of the global service industry.
In his new book, The New Era of Global Services (The Nueva Era of Los Servicios Globales in Spanish) which will be released by Penguin Random House this year in Spanish and English in 2022, Capobianco says what will set successful global service companies apart will be their decision to tie strong business models and disruptive technologies to a human key. .
Capobianco’s perspective is unique. His over 12 years of experience as Secretary General of the Latin American Association of Service Exporters (ALES) and as an academic in International Trade in Services and Offshoring at the Catholic University of Uruguay , allowed him to speak frankly with Nearshore. executives and companies in the IT, BPO, consulting and education sectors, including Teleperformance, Globant, Sykes, Telus International and CINDE.
The case studies, interviews and insights from the book explain his take on the anthropocentric future of the industry.
NSAM: What is the DIDPAGA model that you define in The New Era of Global Services?
Capobianco: The DIDPAGA model is the Spanish acronym for the seven characteristics, distributed among three pillars, that companies that succeed in this new era will combine.
The three pillars are technology (smart or smart companies like those involved in fintech or agrotech), business models (including a distributed workforce, platforms, agile methodologies, global reach and a rupture) and the human being (that is to say an anthropocentric view of business and a positive impact on the environment and society). When these three pillars work together seamlessly, businesses achieve what I call Triple-Win.
I believe that DIDPAGA will become more prevalent in the future due to the passage of Millennials into the C-suite of large global companies and the growing influence of Gen Z who will soon make up the bulk of the employees of these companies. Both generations are more aware of the need for social and environmental responsibility and see these concerns as an important aspect of their working life.
Businesses that exhibit only the characteristics of the technology pillar and the disruptive impact shown in the business pillar will function adequately in the new era of global services. They will survive. But if companies want to add value, differentiate themselves and prosper, then the human being must be at the heart of the overall business model. This is the central conclusion of my book.
What will differentiate successful companies is their interest in having a positive social or environmental impact, not from an external point of view such as the use of ESG metrics, but in their DNA – Javier Peña Capobianco
These companies capable of putting people at the center, I qualify them as anthropocentric companies. We are not talking about NGOs or non-profit associations here; anthropocentric enterprises remain for-profit organizations. What sets them apart is that they are interested in having a positive social or environmental impact, not from an external point of view like the use of ESG metrics, but in their DNA.
Currently, some companies are striving to achieve this goal. For example, some large companies strive to include positive and charitable efforts in the working time of their employees. Initiatives like Tech for Good or Fair Programming are other examples of systems focused on positive societal impact. But that number is still small and it must grow to “speak” to the younger generation who will be the primary source of global service employees in the future, as well as the Millennials who will lead them.
NSAM: How can companies evolve towards a structure that combines these DIDPAGA elements?
Capobianco: The book is packed with business cases from around the world that help demonstrate the triple-winning evolution of gel technology and business intelligence with this important human-centric element.
Being disruptive, being a distributed business, thinking about how best to onboard and inspiring young people, being agile, and being global early on in the business journey are all important aspects to focus on.
Microsourcing, a talent sourcing model that involves working remotely, with workers divided into small teams – sometimes even individually – in diverse locations around the world, will be at the heart of this. Although some companies have already shown that they can already work in this model, before the pandemic it was absolutely not normal to do so.
NSAM: The new era in which the Neashore industry is evolving will present challenges that will need to be overcome by business leaders. What are the most prescient challenges of the new era of Nearshore?
Capobianco: The microsourcing model I’m discussing with examples, including Teleperformance – which employs 300,000 people in 80 separate jurisdictions – has allowed great productivity gains for companies that have used it before and during the pandemic. But this is a model that will take time to adapt, with aspects such as employee mental health needing to be considered.
One consideration is innovation, which is much more difficult to achieve when working in disparate groups. During the pandemic, we have seen an increase and improvement in collaborative platforms that help remote teams or individuals to create and innovate together. But being on a collaboration tool isn’t the same as being in the same room. Innovation is best done in person. It will be a challenge for the future, with or without the hybrid model.
One challenge that businesses will face is balancing the rights of people working from home with the rights of those in the office, when people come back – Javier Peña Copabianco
Another challenge that businesses will face is balancing the rights of people working from home with the rights of those working in the office, when people come back. The hybrid model which should be a mainstay of the business world will divide these two distinct groups and preferences could be divided in this direction. This will require governance and HR teams to develop practices to ensure that working from home enjoys the same benefits and opportunities as those working on site.
In Uruguay and Costa Rica, about 80% of the services exports of these countries came from free zones. Businesses based in free zones benefit from tax breaks and are tied to their physical location. Now, with the pandemic, workers are working from home because it is not possible for them to work from the office. Regulations are being changed on this, but the hybrid model will pose a long-term problem for the core FTZ model. Governments will need to strike the right balance for businesses established inside the free zone and those based outside it, which continue to pay normal corporate tax rates.