LATAM FDI: Today. We’re pleased to have Arturo Rodriguez with us. Arturo is the founder or one of the founders of a company that is based in Hermosillo, Mexico, called Intugo. And today, we will have a conversation on outsourcing services to Mexico. Arturo. How are you today?
Arturo Rodriguez: I’m very good. I’m very happy to be here with you. Steve.
LATAM FDI: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your organization?
Arturo Rodriguez: Sure. As you said, I’m Arturo Rodriguez, Vice President of Business Development for Intugo and a co-founder. Intugo is a company that, for more than 15 years, has been helping international companies set up, run, and grow operations in Mexico. We specialize in particular in helping operations related to service-oriented activities. And as I said, we’ve been helping companies that are outsourcing services to Mexico for more than 15 years.
LATAM FDI: Many people are familiar with the power and breadth of Mexico’s manufacturing sector. But you deal with other kinds of businesses. What kind of operations can a company have in Mexico from the perspective of your clientele?
Arturo Rodriguez: Yeah, it’s a good question. Manufacturing is huge in Mexico, and the type of services we offer at Intugo are a spin-off. They are an expansion of services that have already been offered to manufacturing companies for more than 30 or 40 years. We expanded the concept and tweaked it a bit for people looking at the possibility of outsourcing services to Mexico. This relates to BPO operations, call center operations, software development, accounting, and anything you can do from a computer or maybe on a remote basis, if you will. That’s the kind of operation that we host. At Intugo, we have more than 90 different positions in different operations for our clients who are outsourcing services to Mexico. This means one position would be maybe software development. Another position would be a call center agent, for instance. Furthermore, another position would be accounts receivable agent or accountant. You can see that there’s a broad number of types of operations and positions that you can do when outsourcing services to Mexico. This aligns with what every company has as a goal to do here.
LATAM FDI: I’m familiar with your company and know you have a unique business model. But before we specify what the characteristics of your particular business model are at Intugo, what types of models, other than what you’ll explain to us about your company, are available for businesses that want to set up the kind of operations that you mentioned in Mexico?
Arturo Rodriguez: Yes, there are many models or value propositions in the marketplace, but I’ll summarize it in two big solutions, if you will. First, you want a company to help you with a particular need. Let’s say that you needed someone to help you with your accounting and do your general ledger and do your returns and do your, I don’t know, tax strategies, et cetera, et cetera. You want to outsource that to someone, maybe in Mexico, a Mexican firm, for whatever reasons. Then, you find what we call a regular outsourcing firm. A regular accounting outsourcing firm. Same thing. You can tell. Let’s say you want to do a sales campaign to sell something through a call center. You may go and find a call center outsourcing company in Mexico that does sales. You don’t want to get very much involved in the operation. You want someone to do it for you completely in your desire to outsource services to Mexico. That’s one type of company or a big number of value propositions around that concept. Our concept is totally the opposite. Our concept is all about helping you be able to control the operation for yourself using the same examples.
You don’t want someone doing the accounting for you; you want to do it yourself. You want to control it. You want to know who’s doing the work. You want to help with the productivity of the people doing the tax returns or the general ledger activities. In another example, in call center operations, you want to be involved in and control sales. Maybe that’s your core business. Maybe that’s what you do as a business, and you want to expand your operation and control the people. You want to be able to say who gets to be part of your team. Our model for outsourcing services to Mexico is all around helping, making sure that you can control productivity while we take care of the rest.
LATAM FDI: So, when you talk about “the rest,” obviously, I’m familiar with your business. I know that part of that, quote-unquote, “the rest” has to do with physical infrastructure. But in addition to physical infrastructure, what other things do you do to take off the plate for your clients so that they can on their core competencies and concentrate on what they do?
Arturo Rodriguez: Yes, we call it. We offer a bundle for outsourcing services to Mexico. Let me start by giving a view of this concept. When you have an operation or a company, you have to take care of everything that the company needs. Not only the productivity aspect, but you have to take care of the people, pay payroll, and take care of the facilities, insurance, and everything else that is needed. Our services for outsourcing services to Mexico enable you to concentrate on what you’re there to do. Our job is to try to make sure that you don’t have to deal with the complexities, particularly the complexities of doing business in Mexico, and that you don’t necessarily have to get too deep into that because we help you with that. As you said, we go from everything regarding the infrastructure and the facilities to the recruiting of the people who will be part of your team. All the human resources activities that are needed for the people not only to be recruited and hired but also for them to stay there. We provide services for outsourcing to Mexico regarding legal contracts, payroll, benefits administration, and maybe some additional benefits that you want to provide or that you’re already providing to your people back home.
We also help you with any procurement needs that you may have for your operations, including the basic things that someone in your team may need or something more related to your operation. Computers, bandwidth, more office space, et cetera, et cetera. So, in a nutshell, all the labor or law or country-related activities to be able to operate, we help you with those once again, for you to be able to concentrate on what you’re here to do, your core business in Mexico.
LATAM FDI: Just so I am clear on this, my understanding is that under your business model, the people who work for your clients are not legally, at least on the side of Mexican labor law, employees of your client. Would it be correct to assume that with regard to human resources, your company acts somewhat akin to a PEO in the United States?
Arturo Rodriguez: We could say that we call that we are the employer of record for outsourcing in Mexico. So yes, legally speaking, people are under our umbrella, and technically speaking, our clients don’t have any labor law-related liability in Mexico. Our clients don’t need to have any entity or bank account in Mexico to operate through our model. We take care of that, including what you say regarding the employer of record situation. Nevertheless, operationally speaking, the people assigned to your operation, our client’s operation, report to our client and our client’s managers and work alongside our clients’ strategies.
LATAM FDI: In other words, they have control over what they do. This means they have a complete focus on their activities, which they’re in business to do. At the same time, you take care of things in a way that enables them to plug into Mexico and be up and running, outsourcing services to Mexico in a reasonable period of time. Is that correct?
Arturo Rodriguez: That’s correct. Very correct.
LATAM FDI: So, given this model, how big of an operation can you contemplate setting up under that model in order to be able to gain some of the benefits that you’re able to gain by outsourcing services to Mexico?
Arturo Rodriguez: Yeah, we have operations that have started with one person, and we have operations that have started bigger. But most importantly, we have operations with more than 200 or 300 people. So, we host small operations or small clients and bigger ones. Maybe a common thing, a common trend amongst all our clients, is that usually, they start small by their standards. Small for someone, maybe 20 people, small for someone else can be one. Usually, they start with that and eventually grow. That has been the trend for most of our clients.
LATAM FDI: What kind of savings would a company expect to see by setting up operations in Mexico?
Arturo Rodriguez: It depends on what kind of talent pool you’re looking for. The more experience, and particularly worldly experience, the less savings you may have. Maybe. But in general, on average, you will be able to have between 25% and 50% lower costs compared to your operation in the US. In general, that’s what you find when outsourcing services to Mexico under the Intugo business model.
LATAM FDI: With respect to your company, I understand that you have several locations. Can you tell us a little bit about each location and maybe a little bit about the labor force that people can expect to find in those locations?
Arturo Rodriguez: It’s an interesting question, not only from the perspective of facilities that we have but also from the market conditions as they are right now. Because as we know, before COVID, 98% of the people working for our clients worked in one of our facilities. Just a few of them were working remotely or maybe on a work-from-home basis. Once COVID hit and everyone, including us, had to go home and work there for a while, the work-from-home, or the remote option, if you will, became a reality. Today, we have maybe 40% of the people working from home, and the rest are working on a hybrid model or an on-site model in one of our facilities. We have facilities in Hermosillo, Sonora, which is where we started. We also have facilities in Obregon, Sonora, and have facilities in Guadalajara and in Mexico City. We also have a very small operation in Monterrey. Having said that, we have recruited people for outsourcing services to Mexico from practically all over the country. A lot of the people that are working today for us and for our clients are working from different states in Mexico.
The important part regarding these concepts is that we help you decide what’s the best strategy for you. This strategy is particularly based on what kind of talent you’re looking for in order to engage in outsourcing services in Mexico. If you have an operation that needs a lot of security and maybe it’s an IT-related operation, we might suggest Guadalajara, for example. There’s a big talent pool for IT people there. But if your operation does not necessarily have that need and needs different kinds of people, different kinds of experiences, and positions, we may suggest a hybrid mode. This could maybe be with a foot in one of our facilities in one of the cities, but also with people working remotely because of the experience you’re looking for. Every operation is different, and we usually work with our clients involved in outsourcing services to Mexico to decide what strategy will be best for them to have the best talent available.
LATAM FDI: It seems this is an all-inclusive model for outsourcing services to Mexico that makes it easy to set up operations.
Arturo Rodriguez: I would like to say that with us, it’s very easy to start and very easy to start up operations through outsourcing services to Mexico.
LATAM FDI: Typically, when people listen to the podcasts we do, they have questions arising from the information they’ve listened to. That being the case, if somebody with further questions would like to contact you, how would they do that?
Arturo Rodriguez: I invite them to send me an email. I’ll give you my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s my email. They can contact me through that or go to our website, www.intugo.co, and look at our business proposition there. There, they will find different ways of contacting us, including my email, but also through a form, and we’ll answer them really quickly.
LATAM FDI: Okay. What we’ll do is, in the transcript section on the page that hosts this podcast, we’ll have that information. We’ll have your URL and your email address. Another thing that we would like to include if it’s available, is a link to people’s LinkedIn pages. Do you have a LinkedIn page that we can include in our information about outsourcing services to Mexico?
Arturo Rodriguez: That will be okay, definitely.
LATAM FDI: All right, we’ll do it. Thank you very much for speaking with us today. It’s been very interesting and informative, and we hope you have good luck going forward.
Arturo Rodriguez: Thank you for inviting me, Steve.