When doing business in Cairo, one of the big mistakes would be trying to convert Cairo into a European look alike. One would lose so much because Cairo and Egyptians have so much to offer.
However, suppose one wants to get the full potential from working with distributed teams in Europe and Cairo. In that case, it is crucial to have a company culture that enables the corporation. The easy part is deep-diving into the vast pool of resources, but do remember to hire people and not resources and make sure that the needed environment is also in place.
Culture is one of the “2 Big C’s”, and the other is Communication when it comes to working Nearshore/Offshore. Egypt and Cairo, in particular, have already a head start as the general cultural readiness is already in place compared to other destinations.
However, it is crucial to find a vendor that has taken the massive investment into creating a company culture that is crucial for a future value-creating cross-cultural corporation.
CrossWorkers have created a company culture through ongoing training and education based on the past +12 years of experience – aiming both at business and geographical, cultural understanding. Scandinavian ownership and management have been instrumental in this process. The Scandinavian Management culture has been embedded into management on all levels. It has successfully created a work culture focused on a constant pursuit of efficiency without missing out on the most important ingredient in all organizations – the people.
The Scandinavian influence is also reflected in transparent processes and routines that support efficiency and the other “Big C” – Communication, a pillar in the day-to-day corporation with any customer working with distributed teams. At CrossWorkers, this combines efficient knowledge systems, training and sheer access to communication tools and equipment.
Cultural understanding also means fully comprehending the primary conditions for the customers’ business environment. GDPR has since 2018 been an incorporated part of the European market, but GDPR has not yet fully been integrated into the Egyptian IT community. For European companies, it is an absolute must to secure that not only contacts support GDPR, but also the actual implementation and understanding right down to the youngest developer – at the end of the day, the responsibility always falls back on the customer with the risk of catastrophic consequences. For an organization with a European background, GDPR is already an incorporated routine with a constant focus on training, monitoring, and ensuring everybody stays updated.
Ongoing training and knowledge sharing have always been the core of CrossWorkers – European experts sharing cultural insights, Egyptian IT gurus giving insights into new technologies and methods, or two colleagues helping guide each other to finding the best solution for a customer in the fastest way. A culture that needs to be enabled, supported and maintained in a structured form and where tools are available for both employees in Cairo and the customers in Europe.
For any responsible and professional European company, out staffing goes hand in hand with keeping up the values for one’s employees. Therefore, when selecting a vendor, remember to ensure aligned values. Good office environment, hardware, work-life balance, and the combined benefits have to match the need to be attractive and correspond with customer values based in a European context. At CrossWorkers, it is already part of our DNA.
So, all in all, CrossWorkers might not be a one-to-one Scandinavia in the middle of Cairo, but we do believe we are pretty close.
About the Author: Hans Henrik Groth (52), a Danish citizen and the Founder & CEO of CrossWorkers, has extensive knowledge within the IT Offshore/Nearshore/Outstaffing domain gained from operations in Pakistan, Ukraine and Egypt. In addition, he has a background as HR Director for a listed Danish IT company. For more than ten years, Hans Henrik has been dedicated to building up CrossWorkers in Cairo, Egypt – a company with entities in Denmark, Egypt & Bahrain with sales in several European countries and the GCC region.
Hans Henrik is actively participating in increasing the capacities of the Egyptian ICT industry and, not the least, promoting the destination to the European market.