By Raju Vegesna, Zoho Chief Evangelist
Talent is universal, but opportunities are not. There are qualified and brilliant people in every corner of the planet who unfortunately do not have the resources to move to major cities or who do not have access to the proper training to perform certain types of work. This reality ends up being a loss not only to those potential employees but to the organizations as well.
At Zoho, we found that the solution to this problem was to bring opportunities to those small towns and regions where these people live and are part of the community. This is part of a philosophy we call ‘Transnational Localism’ which we started several years ago by opening small offices in various cities across India to support our existing employees and recruit new people. Those offices restored the dignity of many workers and boosted the economy of those rural areas.
Now we are committed to our global presence outside the major metropolitan areas, in lower cost and higher quality of life places, such as Utrecht, in the Netherlands; Yokohama, in Japan, Tenkasi, in India, or Arequipa, Peru.
One of the lessons the pandemic has left behind is the need for employees to have physical spaces to socialize in person with their colleagues, as well as to have the opportunity to work remotely, to be close to their families and their communities. to be. In fact, according to the IT Labor Market Report 2022, remote IT jobs represent 23.5% of all vacancies.
Transnational localism has allowed us to strike a balance between face-to-face and remote work, while bringing our brand closer to communities and better understanding the challenges businesses face in those places. Hiring talent in these areas opens up opportunities for local economies and provides access to first-hand knowledge to create better products.
To implement transnational localism, we start by creating central offices, which serve to control some ‘satellites’ located in their field of activity. For example, our headquarters in Austin, Texas, supports two smaller radio stations in McAllen and New Branunfels, where some of our employees live and are more than 500 and 50 miles away, respectively.
These satellite offices have enabled us to recruit local talent to take advantage of their experience and skills, without losing control of the operation and increasing our international projection. According to the ILO (International Labor Organization), about 80 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and many of them struggle to find work.
In Latin America, we want to extend this proposal, whereby employees increase their productivity and maintain their quality of life, close to their families.
We are confident that this philosophy will help reduce inequality and lack of opportunity. Clearly, companies need to play their part in leveraging global connectivity to redistribute wealth and revitalize economies in countries where markets are less developed. Success should not be measured in numbers, but in the impact it has on employees, families, customers, industries and local communities.