askblue, a portuguese business and technology consultancy form, has registered a consistent growth of 25% in a challenging context such as 2020, reaching a total revenue of 13,5 million euros. The international component of the business has grown even faster, at 30%, making a decisive contribution for the company’s overall performance.
The results achieved reflect the effectiveness of its strategy, supported by agile development methodologies, application maintenance, on the nearshore model and on the deep knowledge of the industries in which it operates, from finance to manufacturing, services and utilities, among other. The operations unit has registered the biggest growth last year, when the company has gained a comprehensive application maintenance contract with one of the biggest banks in Portugal. The askblue technology center (ATC), a part of this unit, has grown beyond their original locations in Lisbon and Coimbra, with the opening in 2020 of a new centre at Terceira Island, in the Azores. This growth meant that, globally, 90% of this team is currently located outside of Lisbon. According to Pedro Nicolau, askblue’s CEO:
“this was not a typical year, since the specific conditions created by the pandemic have generated a split response. In a first moment, they have let to decision postponement and, on a second one, they have led to new requests, as a result of the need to accelerate the digital transformation of several industries. Internationally, and since we have always worked remotely, this change has proven beneficial for us, since communications networks and collaboration software tools allow us today to create and manage teams that are truly global.”
During the previous year, the company has successfully invested on the international market, where it has grown its presence with projects in several areas. The company has kept close to its strategy as defined on the prior year, which resulted on the creation of a team focused on the development of business on the north American and northwestern european markets. On the former, and just during 2020, the company has made, among other, two major projects. The first one was for an american bank, for which it was selected given its deep knowledge of the financial sector. On the second project, the customer was a public sector entity in which, through a methodology of agile delivery with several of the customers’ stakeholders, it was possible to process a real estate tax for over 160.000 citizens.
Regarding the talent the company has been integrating to respond to the growing complexity and dimension of the customers’ challenges, there was a sharp increase, going from 290 team members at the end of 2019 to 330 at the end of 2020. Currently, the team already comprises 350 highly skilled professionals. To address this growth and associated challenges, the company has reinforced its HR structure with a People Management Unit that aims to be the first point of contact with the new team members throughout their stay at the firm.
For 2021, the goals are very clear – to continue pursuing the sustained growth that has characterized the company, with a growing weight of the international markets on the current and new geographies. Also to continue to focus on the quality of the projects delivered to its customers, increasingly more complex and critical, supporting their digital transformation initiatives.