Ring-Ring, Hola Medellín! Nearshoring Takes Powerful Spin in the ‘City of Eternal Springs’

Published: May 16, 2024
An aerial view of Medellin at night. Image caption reads Nearshoring Takes a Powerful Spin with Outsourcing to Colombia Call Centers.

Medellin, Colombia, is no longer the place you used to know. It has shed its old skin, revealing a vibrant future devoid of its dark past. Laureles in Medellin is now one of the ‘World’s Coolest Neighborhoods.’

Whether you’re hoping to live in Medellin as a digital nomad or thinking about outsourcing to Colombia call centers, you should learn why this city has become a haven for technology and innovation – a great place to work and do business.

Hola, New Medellin! Nice To Meet You!

Everything about the city, from its vibrant arts scene to its fantastic blend of traditional and modern culture, has drawn the attention of tourists and locals alike.

Because of this, digital nomads from across the globe are flocking to Medellin. A recent study found that over 8,300 people arrive in the city each month, taking advantage of the renewable two-year digital nomad visa.

Digital nomads from the U.S. are taking advantage of Colombia’s lower living costs (expenses are a third of the cost of living in American cities like Miami) while enjoying Medellin’s warm, welcoming, and inviting culture.

What Gave Medellin, Colombia, Its Total Makeover? LatAm’s Robust Tech Industry

Beyond its nightlife scene and lower living costs, workers, freelancers, and multinational businesses are flocking to Medellin for one simple reason: its growing tech industry.

The city that was once the inspiration for numerous narconovelas has now completely transformed into a thriving, tech-friendly economy with an increasingly young and dynamic talent pool. It has become so popular that it was covered in the coveted New York Times “36 Hours” series.

A Quick Look Into Latin America’s Burgeoning Nearshoring Industry

With the growing importance of data science, AI, and engineering in the global business landscape, call centers in South America have become pivotal players in reshaping technological innovation and adoption.

More businesses are realizing the incredible potential of nearshoring to Latin America for digital transformation. 

By outsourcing to nearby countries, companies can access high-caliber tech skills while leveraging cost-effective solutions, geographical proximity, and time zone advantages. This strategy allows them to collaborate more effectively with their BPO partners, enabling more accessible communication and greater project alignment.

Leveraging Latin America’s growing tech talent pool, infrastructure investments, and innovative ecosystems can give U.S. companies significant strategic advantages. The region’s close cultural and economic ties to North America make it an ideal partner for nearshoring initiatives.

And among the many South American cities, Medellin in Colombia stands out as a thriving technology hub. Here’s why you should pay close attention to this BPO destination:

Medellin has become Latin America’s “Silicon Valley.”

In Latin America, Colombia has become the third-largest IT services supplier. The country earned as much as $218.8 million in 2022, rising 33% compared to the previous years. Because of this, the Colombian IT sector has experienced rapid growth, with increasing demand for software, application, and game development solutions.

Colombia’s burgeoning tech industry owes much of its success to Medellin, which has quickly become LatAm’s most valuable technology hub. It’s why the city has earned its nickname as the region’s “Valley of Software.”

Medellin’s main innovation center is home to over 379 innovation and tech-focused companies, which generate over 11,000 jobs. The city’s most valuable tech companies, including international brands like Skillshare and AI Fund, have raised over $110 million.

Medellin is Colombia’s Vanguard of Innovation.

If you’re considering outsourcing to Colombia call centers to accelerate your digital transformation projects, investing in a Medellin-based BPO may be your best option.

Colombia has three major cities: Bogota, Medellin, and Cali. All of these have earned global recognition as essential innovation and technology hubs. However, Medellin stands out for various reasons, such as its accessible business environment, strategic location, penchant for innovation, and robust tech infrastructure.

According to the 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Index, Medellin ranked 2nd in Colombia and 9th in South America as among the most startup-friendly business environments in the world. Beyond favorable investment conditions, its strategic location enhances accessibility and simplifies travel, enabling stronger business partnerships.

Medellin is known for its high-tech infrastructure, including accelerator programs and business parks, which allow companies to network with and receive mentoring from fellow industry players and join an international tech community. 

The city’s continued economic growth, excellent education system, and strong consumer market also position it for success on the global stage.

Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city.

Medellin has another advantage over its fellow South American cities in population. With over 2.62 million residents, it is the second-largest city in Colombia. Its growing workforce is renowned worldwide for being innovative, dynamic, and open, with no shortage of qualified professionals for various sectors.

Medellin’s large population allows businesses to tap into a specialized talent pool. No matter their particular needs, they can easily find nearshore professionals to join their customer service teams or software development projects.

Medellin’s local government supports and incentivizes foreign investment.

When searching for a call center in LatAm, USA companies increasingly turn to Medellin, Colombia for its favorable BPO conditions. The city’s local government encourages foreign direct investment by exempting investors from paying Value Added Tax (VAT).

Through these financial incentives, Medellin aims to become a “knowledge economy,” using foreign investment to develop talent and increase global competitiveness. Ultimately, the government envisions the city as an international hub for technology and business. 

Their former mayor, Daniel Quintero, was a software developer and engineer who knew the power of the technology sector firsthand. Under his administration, the city leveraged innovation to boost social transformation and urban development.

Medellin prioritizes its citizens’ education and training.

Education and research are top priorities for the Colombian government, representing 4.93% of their GDP in 2020. On average, the country spent 16% of its total government budget on education during the 2010s. They continued this investment throughout 2023, allocating 11.8% more for education (around $11 billion) than the previous year.

As a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Colombia has prioritized its citizens’ economic and social well-being through its comprehensive education system. The Latin American nation has several prestigious universities that provide quality education, many of which are located in Medellin.

Medellin is home to over 80 higher education institutions, including the University of Antioquia, Pontificia Bolivariana University, and EAFIT University. The city has produced 13% of all Colombian graduates for the past decade. As such, businesses and startups that shop in Medellin often have direct access to a large pool of highly educated and trained young professionals.

Medellin embraces globalization and diversity.

Another reason Medellin is at the top of most companies’ minds when outsourcing to Colombia call centers is the city’s commitment to globalization and diversity.

In previous sections, we’ve mentioned Colombia’s Digital Nomad visa, which allows international talent to travel and live in the country while working remotely. This policy has attracted specialized professionals worldwide, helping boost the local economy while increasing the nation’s diversity and talent pool.

Of all the cities in Colombia, Medellin is the most popular destination for digital nomads and other skilled global professionals. Its tech-friendly infrastructure, high internet connectivity, and eye-catching tourist destinations make it a perfect place for people to travel while working remotely.

Medellin is also the sole host of “Centro para la Cuarta Revolución Industrial” (C4IR), Latin America’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Center. The center is part of the World Economic Forum (WEF), an international collaboration hub focused on creating innovative, sustainable, and human-centered development policies.

Medellin has a large pool of young, dynamic, and innovative talent.

For companies on the lookout for dynamic and innovative young professionals, Medellin may be the ideal place to search. 

With a large population of over 52.5 million, Colombia has a massive workforce and consumer market. Medellin, in particular, is known for having a younger talent pool because of its several prestigious colleges and universities. As such, companies typically have no trouble finding qualified young professionals to fill their talent gap.

Medellín’s cultural affinity with the United States and Europe makes it an ideal nearshore destination for companies seeking seamless collaboration and communication. The city’s friendly locals, strong English proficiency, and vibrant culture create an environment where international teams can thrive.

Mini infographic shows cost savings of hiring to Medellin, Colombia.

Powerful Backing from LatAm and Colombia Positions Medellin as a Top Nearshoring Destination 

It’s no secret that Colombia is leading the way in providing nearshore outsourcing services. With over 20 years in the BPO industry, the South American nation has attracted over $1 billion in international investments.

As the country continues investing in its IT workforce and tech infrastructure, industry experts predict its nearshoring industry will grow even further. Although they started in customer service and technical support roles, the local sector is moving toward data and knowledge-based services.

At the heart of this outsourcing boom lies Medellin. Thanks to its steadily rising local economy and tech-focused infrastructure, the city is quickly establishing itself as Colombia’s premier nearshoring location.

Medellin’s government has an exciting development plan for the future, with a strong focus on cementing the city’s status as the “Valley of Software.” By 2030, the city plans to create 20,000 new technology jobs and become the fastest-growing innovation hub in the region.

With Medellin, Outsourcing to Colombia Call Centers Take a Powerful Spin

Quality Talent at Cost-Effective Rates

More businesses are discovering Medellin’s incredible potential as a nearshoring location. Those who have already set up shop in the city have reaped the advantage of accessing top-tier talent at affordable rates, which typically saves companies between 40% and 50% in operational costs. 

With this competitive edge, U.S. companies can scale their projects and grow their capabilities without sacrificing quality or cost-effectiveness.

Strategic Time Zone Alignment

Outsourcing to Colombia call centers in Latin America has one distinct advantage over offshore options: time zone alignment.

Colombia’s time zone is only an hour behind the U.S. East Coast and two hours behind the West Coast. For companies in Western Europe, Colombia has only a seven-hour time zone difference.

With this time zone alignment, companies can more easily communicate with their BPO partners. They can collaborate in real-time, whether virtually or through an in-person visit, to accelerate project development, helping them better adapt to the fast-paced nature of the tech industry.

Access to Specialized and Niche Skills

When it comes to technology and innovation, businesses must be vigilant and proactive in keeping up with the latest advancements. However, not every company has the in-house expertise to create, adopt, or implement new technologies.

By tapping into Medellin’s vibrant tech community, businesses can readily embrace innovation and face each new challenge and opportunity head-on. You can partner with nearshore professionals skilled in software development and data science or have experience and knowledge in using artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

Outsourcing to Colombia Call Centers? Here Are the BPO Solutions You Can Delegate to Nearshore Professionals

Omnichannel Customer Service

Although many businesses may associate outsourcing to Colombia call centers with tech and knowledge-based solutions, nearshore BPOs also take on customer service roles. In fact, nearshore call centers offer many of the same advantages as offshore ones, such as lower operating costs and highly skilled workers.

The main benefit of outsourcing customer service to a Medellin-based BPO is the geographic proximity and similar time zones. As such, industries where location is essential, such as supply chain and logistics, may benefit more from the real-time communication of nearshore call centers. 

Additionally, with the country’s robust tech infrastructure, outsourcing to Colombia call centers can provide seamless and streamlined omnichannel customer support, allowing your customers to reach you on whichever platform they prefer.

Multilingual Support

Here’s another role you can outsource to call centers in South America: Spanish-speaking multilingual customer service.

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken vocabularies in the world, with over 500 million native speakers and 600 million second-language speakers. It is the official language of about 20 countries and one of six official United Nations languages.

U.S.-based companies benefit from Spanish-speaking customer support because the country has a massive Hispanic population, including 41.76 million people who consider Spanish their mother tongue. Having this language option also helps them tap into European and South American consumer markets.

By outsourcing multilingual support to a call center in Medellin, companies can tap into a talent pool of highly qualified bilingual agents. As the nation with the second-highest number of native Spanish speakers, boasting a population of 51.2 million, Colombia has no shortage of candidates for call center roles.

Back Office Solutions

Beyond client-facing functions, businesses can also delegate back-office support roles to call centers in Colombia. Letting a nearshore team handle administrative and support functions, such as data entry, payroll, and accounting, can free up the workload of your core team, allowing them to focus on crucial projects.

Software Development

Colombia is known for its wealth of qualified software developers and engineers. In fact, the country’s software sector is the fourth-largest economy in the Latin American region.

A report from the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MinTIC) found that the industry generated over $2.4 billion and created job opportunities for over 150,000 specialists.

Hiring a Medellin-based software developer can enable businesses to create brand-new software for their tech projects or improve existing applications. These nearshore professionals use programming languages to build operating systems, websites, applications, and even video games.

AI and ML Development Support

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hottest buzzword in the tech industry today, and call centers in Latin America are leading the charge in its adoption.

Industry experts foresee that artificial intelligence will contribute up to 5.4% of LatAm’s GDP in six years, earning approximately $0.5 trillion. The South American economy, particularly Colombia, will facilitate greater innovation and digital transformation by continually investing in IT infrastructure and education.

If you need help accelerating your AI and machine learning (ML) projects, consider working with a nearshore AI development support team in Medellin, Colombia. These specialists can handle tasks such as Python development, data labeling and annotation, prompt engineering, AI architecture, computer vision engineering, ML research, and more.

Data Science

Beyond software and AI solutions, Latin America is also quickly becoming a haven for data science. A recent report estimates a rapid increase in demand for data center nearshoring in LatAm markets, with Colombia and Mexico highlighted as top destinations.

Outsourcing data science to specialists in Medellin, Colombia can enable businesses to extract meaningful insights from raw information. These nearshore professionals can help you identify patterns, anticipate trends, and make better decisions.

A mini infographic shows benefits of outsourcing to call centers in Medellin, Colombia.

Thinking of Outsourcing to Colombia Call Centers? Let SuperStaff Be Your Guide!

Learning about the advantages of outsourcing to Colombia call centers is only the first step of your BPO journey. Your next move should be to find a reliable nearshore partner you can trust to bring your projects to life.

SuperStaff has a BPO center based in Medellin, Colombia. Our team takes advantage of the city’s robust infrastructure and technology to provide exceptional outsourcing services. We offer various customizable and scalable solutions, from customer support to software development.

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