July, 2019

Post Archives

Chiltetec@PHL: Leveraging Global Development Teams

Monday, July 29th, 2019

Chiletec@PHL: Leveraging Global Development Teams
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce

The IT companies behind Chile’s “Ch1l3 a digital country” brand joined forces with the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce (CACC) to host Chiletec@PHL: Leveraging Global Development Teams on Tuesday, July 16th at the CACC.  The breakfast program featured remarks from Mike Giresi, CIO of Aramark, followed by two panels focused on the advantages of multicultural teams and nearshoring opportunities.

Benjamin Leavenworth, Consul of Chile, opened the event by explaining Chile’s historical trade relationship with the Greater Philadelphia region, highlighting Chile’s incredible infrastructure to support IT services. He also mentioned Chile connects with more than 70% of the world’s population via trade agreements, etc., which proves the country’s ability to work at the highest level of industry anywhere in the world. Leavenworth then introduced the visiting delegation, which included ten representatives from successful Chilean IT companies and described the brand’s mission and commitment to our region.  Following this, Leavenworth introduced Mike Giresi, CIO of Aramark, and keynote speaker.

Giresi took to the podium and thanked Benjamin and the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to speak. He began his remarks by mentioning his career spans multiple industries and that he started in the IT industry before IT existed. At Aramark, he helped to transition Aramark’s consumer experience to a more digital platform, noting that time is very important to the consumer experience. To initiate the digital transformation, Giresi said that driving cultural change is key and that cultural alignment is important. He stressed that driving this type of change is difficult, but having the right partners and people is vital for success. During the Q&A portion of his remarks, Giresi shared that the common thread between American business culture and international business culture is doing things in high quality. Giresi closed his remarks by advising the Chilean Delegation that building a great reputation among the right network and peers as well as being present is the best way to reach potential customers in the U.S. market.

Guests took a quick break to enjoy the refreshments offered and then took their seats to listen to Panel 1: Challenges and Opportunities of Multicultural Teams (Onsite and Nearshore). The first panel of the morning featured moderator Araceli Guenther from Victrix Global, Lauren Swartz, Senior Director of International Business from the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department, and Jorge Corral, Business Development Manager of Arkano Software and Ch1l3 a Digital Country. Guenther posed the first question to the panelists: what has driven US companies to expand and manage global teams? Swartz responded first saying that supply for tech talent is at a shortage, which is why companies look to countries like Chile who have talented people to add value to their companies. Corral, responding to the same question, mentioned that uniting a team from diverse backgrounds and cultures can be a huge benefit for companies. It allows for more than one way of thinking when it comes to solving a problem.

The next topic the group touched on was the difficulties that can come with having a multicultural team and ways to combat them. One challenge that Corral mentioned was the differences in culture. Employees must always be mindful of their colleagues because what may be acceptable in one culture may not be in the other. Another issue stated by both panelists was the process of aligning the multicultural team towards a common goal. They stated the best way to make sure the team aligns properly is to set a goal at the outset of the project, make sure everyone is committed to said goal, and keep reminding everyone of the goal throughout the duration of the project.

After roughly 40 minutes of discussion, attendees were given a short break before the start of the second panel, which featured Guenther as a moderator along with Martín Lewit, General Manager of Nisum Latin America and Jason Garber, COO of PromptWorks. The main topic of the second panel was the benefits and opportunities of nearshore development. The duo was asked about the value added in working with nearshore partners, with Garber the first to respond. Having already worked with a nearshore partner, shared his experience and how he partnered with an Argentinian company and outsourced work to them during periods of high demand. This, he said, was the most effective way of utilizing a nearshore partner for his company. Lewit then responded to the question to give the Chilean perspective and mentioned how companies used to only turn to nearshore partners when it was cost effective. Now, U.S. companies look for partners in Chilean companies because they have noticed that Chile is a hotbed for tech talent.

The CACC would like to thank Mike Giresi, Ch1l3 a Digital Country, the Consulate of Chile in Philadelphia, the moderator and panelists, and all attendees for making the event a success.

Ch1l3 Delegation Members:

To view more photos from the program, please visit our Flickr page.