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AgileThought CEO: Why the company decided to sell and what’s ahead for local workers

Margie Manning

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AgileThought employees in sprint planning.

Continual growth has been a hallmark for AgileThought, a custom software development and consulting company in Tampa.

That growth has been organic since the firm was founded in 2004. But it’s now taking a different approach.

AgileThought announced Sunday that it was being acquired by AN Global, a technology firm with roots in Mexico and a headquarters in suburban Dallas. The deal provides a way for AgileThought to grow its service offerings for customers and opportunities for employee, said David Romine, AgileThought co-founder and CEO.

David Romine, co-founder and CEO, AgileThought

AgileThought that has generated average revenue growth of 44 percent a year, with $56.6 million in revenue in 2017. It consistently ranks among the largest software and the largest privately held companies in Tampa Bay, and it’s been on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies for 12 straight years. Earlier this year, Microsoft recognized AgileThought as a finalist for the 2019 Global Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Partner of the Year Award.

“A question I get sometimes is, ‘Why not just stay the way you are?’” Romine told the St. Pete Catalyst. “The lesson we’ve learned by challenging ourselves over the years is, you have to be moving. You have to be growing and you have to have aspirations. For us, this is one way to do that.”

Romine will be managing director, spearheading the Agile development and transformation practice for the combined business.

The company will have a joint workforce of more than 3,000 employees and offices in eight countries. It will be based in Irving, Texas and will keep the AgileThought name.

“With their strategy to make a strong push into the U.S., they looked at our brand and our reputation and what’s behind that that brand and what we’ve done over the past 15 years, and felt that was a key asset,” Romine said.

The sale resulted from a process that the company undertook to look at its next-level growth strategies, Romine said.

“We looked at a universe of options, including continuing to grow the way we had been growing, recognizing that to continue to grow at the same pace would be increasingly more challenging without big steps that would give us access to additional resources and connectivity,” he said. “As part of that process we decided we would at least take a look out into the market, go through a process to see if there was a good alignment, with complimentary skills and capabilities and strategy, in terms of a partner that we would be comfortable joining together with in order to continue growing and continue doing what we are doing.”

AN Global is “the ideal partner,” he said. Two factors were especially important.

“First and foremost, culture and emphasis on culture,” Romine said. “They fully understand they are a service business. They are a very people-centric business and client-centric business. They’ve done a good job of cultivating deep client relationships,  long -term relationships with very large organizations. This should sound very similar to our history too. But also how they really take care of their people, so that their people are serving their clients the best possible way.”

Romine sees a lot of opportunity for each firm to learn from each other, both in terms of culture and service offerings.

“We know we need to continue to broaden our service offerings in the marketplace. We’ve heard this directly it from clients. We see it in research. There are capabilities that we don’t currently have. We could embark on a process to develop these capabilities and grow our service offerings, or we could find a good partner,” he said.

No changes are planned for the Tampa office or any other AgileThought office, said Romine, who is managing director of the combined company.

“There will be zero changes to our staff, including staff location. The only thing it means for our staff is more opportunity. There’s increased diversity of clients and projects, of technologies and ways to move around in a career path,” said Romine, who will remain at the Tampa office.

He credits the quality of life in the Tampa Bay area as playing a big role in AgileThought’s success.

“This is a place that people want to be, they want to have a good life outside of work and do great work here. That’s been so critical and pivotal to our success. We can offer something that a lot of our global competition cannot. And I think it bodes well for our future in the Tampa Bay market.”

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