It has been two years since Pentalog opened an office in Hanoi, Vietnam. The group had reached a point when it needed to complete its offer with „extreme low cost” services. At the time when we carried out the location study, we had to choose between Vietnam and China. Our final choice was determined by Vietnam’s more apparent cultural and linguistic resemblance to France and the certainty of having an easier access to high-level resources. The gamble has paid off, as today we have 60 collaborators in Hanoi, all English speakers, half of them speaking French as well, who are working for customers like Altadis (Imperial Tobacco Group), as well as for innovative projects within Pentalabbs. At present, we consider that our Vietnamese positioning, which is low cost but offers engineering services of high added value and which benefits from the entire Quality system and organization implemented at group level, could also represent a satisfactory response to Asian nearshore market expectations, especially to the Japanese market.According to Gartner, the Japanese outsourcing market registered a 4-billion-dollar sales figure in 2009, more than half of which is represented by embedded software development services. Japan’s providers are especially Indian and Chinese, of course, but the Vietnamese market share (on 3rd place after the 2 giants) is on the rise, while that of India has been decreasing since 2007. Vietnamese IT providers are working for Japan in particular, but their services are often limited to testing. It is in this respect that we can stand out from local competitors: we are capable of providing high-level development services (IS and embedded systems), within large projects.Opening an office in Japan won’t be a piece of cake. This is the first time we are going to face such a cultural and linguistic gap. But our past experience, both multicultural and multilingual (French, English, Romanian, Russian, German, Vietnamese, Hebrew etc.) will be a major asset. We are going to have to quickly identify a future local associate, with a double cultural identity, either European-Japanese or Vietnamese-Japanese, and with a genuine entrepreneurial motivation. We are launching our research right away.
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