COVID-19 has stifled many growth plans across businesses globally, and that’s why I feel immensely fortunate for Kaluza to be able to continue to hire through this period and even set up operations overseas. We’ve chosen Lisbon, Portugal to be home to our new tech hub for our flourishing product and engineering teams, which includes teams from across the OVO Group. Having previously worked at Farfetch – the luxury fashion retail platform leader based in Portugal – I know first-hand the quality of tech talent there. It is some of the world’s best.
There is something to be said about the city’s dynamic tech scene, which was non-existent ten years ago as Portugal suffered a severe economic depression. Since then, Lisbon has produced an extraordinary number of technically skilled graduates per capita. Its creative and modern approach to product methodology has attracted foreign companies and investors far and wide including Google and Mercedez-Benz.io, and the number of homegrown success stories, such as unicorn Outsystems, is rising sharply. Additionally, in recent years, Lisbon has been the destination for hundreds of thousands of tech titans who gather for major tech conferences, most prominently WebSummit. This amazing city, with its thriving tech community, could rival that of Silicon Valley and London.
As if the prospect of a hub there wasn’t attractive enough, Lisbon is also officially Europe’s Green Capital 2020, the perfect place for a company like ours that is building technologies to drive decarbonization.
Although hiring brand new teams in a brand new country during a world health crisis wasn’t the plan, because we’ve worked hard at Kaluza and the wider OVO Group to give our people maximum working flexibility, we have been well-positioned to hire in Lisbon despite lockdown.
I’m also proud that we are living and breathing our commitment to better diversity with a true mix of ethnicities, nationalities, and gender amongst our new recruits. I spoke to three of our new team members in Portugal who boasted of Lisbon’s benefits… number one, of course, was its 300 days of sunny weather a year.