Blanca Treviño, CEO of Softtek.
If Mexico wants to meet its objectives in terms of technological innovation, it needs to work with more Mexican firms and talent, a strategy that would spark growth in the sector.
In an interview with CNN Expansion, one of the few women working in the technology industry in Mexico advised that the government needs to work more with startups and small and medium-sized businesses in order to encourage development of the local market.
This is a fundamental means of sparking entrepreneurship in the technology sector, said Blanca Treviño, CEO of information technology firm Softtek.
“This is a most favorable time to spark new enterprises; yes, there is a rhythm of growth, but we need more new businesses. Something that would facilitate this would be Mexico giving more opportunities for new businesses to provide their services.”
If all the government is going to do is offer broadband access, technology businesses won’t have the opportunity to become integrated into the market, she said during the technology exposition, Campus Party 2014 in Zapopan, Jalisco.
She cited the United States, China, Spain, India and others where the participation rate of national firms in government projects stands around 40%. In Mexico the figure is barely one per cent, according to the consultancy Gartner.
“This makes it very difficult for the sector,” Treviño continued. “This local consumption is fundamental for the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. I’m not saying don’t give the contracts to foreigners, but I would like to see a balance, this is key.”
One way of achieving that would be through the integration of local firms into government purchases for projects such as the National Digital Strategy (EDN). Treviño said three foreign firms appear in the contracts currently approved by the EDN, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, yet only one Mexican firm is among them, which is a distributor for an American firm.
Treviño was one of the presenters at the event in Zapopan. Based in Monterrey, Softtek is an international provider of IT services with offices in Latin America, United States, Europe and Asia.
She wrote late last year on Quartz that Latin America is becoming a hotbed for business innovation. “A growing middle class with disposable income coupled with the rise of the digital information economy and increased access to mobile broadband has created ripe conditions for innovation throughout the region.”
According to the Inter-American Development Bank, broadband internet access has tremendous potential to promote growth. The bank states that a 10% increase in broadband penetration in Latin American countries brought about an average increase of 3.19% in per-capita GDP, an 2.61% increase in productivity and generated 67,000 new jobs.
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