Barely 10 months after it declared a strictly remote working model, a U.S.-based startup that helps tech companies build remote engineering teams from Africa- Andela, commences its global expansion movement.
Not only that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed significantly to the need for the company to shut down its physical offices in 2020, but it also set a new path for what the company now tag as a “sustainable model.”
Of course, the remote working model has its own shortcomings, however, it has suddenly become a very much acceptable trend for most employees.
For Andela, it is just the beginning of a new journey as it is currently setting up teams of experts across 37 more countries.
According to Techcrunch, the company has seen in excess of 750% increase in the number of applicants outside of Africa.
Similarly, at least 30% of Andela’s in-bound engineer application reportedly came from locations outside of the African region in March alone.
With an increase reported in the number of applications from other parts of the world, Africa also witnessed more than 500% surge in the number of continent-wide applications.
Considering the massive increase in the number of applicants from around the world, the need to commence its global expansion was almost inevitable.
In the latest development, Andela’s client base will now have uninterrupted access to a network of engineering teams from 37 countries across five continents.
These continents as confirmed in a statement released by the company include Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe.
“Andela’s mission is to connect brilliance with opportunity”
Speaking on the new achievement, the company’s CEO, Jeremy Johnson, commented that “Andela’s mission is to connect brilliance with opportunity.
“This expansion has always been part of our long-term roadmap, and we’re excited that the world is ready for it.
“When we began inviting developers from across Africa to apply last year, we more than doubled the number of countries represented.
“We’re already seeing the same effects in new regions, and we’re excited to welcome new talent into our growing community.
“The future of work is now, and this expansion continues our march towards bringing us all closer together,” Jeremy added.
Also, beyond the networking factor, Andela’s global expansion provides clients with a wider range of diversified options – something that is considered highly important for innovation as well as the company’s growth.
Technically, clients can have access to any talent specialization from any part of the world at any time of the day, considering the flexibility that comes with the different geographical time zone.
“Growing our network of talent from Africa, to include more markets is a unique proposition”
Further commenting on the new development, VP of Engineering at GitHub, Dana Lawson said;
“As a business in the developer tool space, a lot of us are trying to enter those areas of the world (Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa) where the emergent developers are coming so we can better understand their needs.”
“Having a local presence there with amazing talent is super valuable to building a global product,” Dana added.
To further buttress on the same point, Head of Talent Operations at Andela, Martin Chikilian said that “We’ve seen exponential growth and interest from engineers from across Africa, who want to work with some of the world’s most exciting technology-focused companies.
“Growing our network of talent from Africa, to include more markets, is a unique proposition and we continue to match talent with opportunity, beyond geographical boundaries.
“Our globalization will further increase our footprint, creating more opportunities for Andela to showcase the visibility into the capabilities of engineers from the continent,” Martin added.
What else should you know about Andela?
Launched in 2014 with headquarters based in New York, U.S., Andela built physical offices in strategic African locations including one each in Lagos – Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Prior to shutting down these offices in 2020, the physical structures used to be an aggregating point where the company source, vet, and train engineers who subsequently become part of the remote teams for international companies.
So far, Andela reported that over 100,000 engineers have taken part in the company’s learning network and community while no fewer than 1,500 engineers were already on the company’s payroll as of 2019.
Although good for the onboarded engineering teams, Andela perceived that its working model wasn’t sustainable and decided otherwise.
As a result, the company, back in September 2019, discarded about 420 junior engineers across Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria – its biggest market.
Nine months down the line, following the nationwide lockdown induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Andela further laid off 135 employees from the region.
Although none of the in-house engineers was included in the layoffs as confirmed by the company’s Chief, some senior staffs had their salary cut by 10% to 30%.
Andela has since laid off about 555 employees in total. However, new team members will be onboarded to join the existing 1,199 employees last reported in May 2020.
Andela’s global expansion to solve issues relating to diversity
For now, Johnson didn’t state specifically how many developers are currently onboard, neither the number of new applicants that will be admitted on the company’s platform.
Rather, he said he is there to help Andela’s client base solve the problem of diversity that has stood as obstacles over the past years.
Talking about diversity, the company is reportedly working with eight companies that have hired some of its engineers in Latin America and Africa.
In addition to the diversity topic, Johnson added that Andela engineers – moving forward – will get to prove themselves on a global scale in a way the company has “always wanted to see.”
With over 200 customers including GitHub, ViacomCBS, Pluralsight, Seismic, Cloudflare, Coursera and InVision, Andela is on its way to beef up its customer base.