So this region says it has a problem finding candidates for their tech vacancies? Quite the opposite, says Vinay Dasa, who started TeamExpat in 2015. “At this moment, it’s much easier for us to find suitable candidates than it is to find the companies who want to employ them. There still is a lot of hesitation on that side, which we want to help overcome.”
Dasa is an IT professional from Bangalore, India, who came to the Netherlands 10 years ago as an expat to find a job. He worked for KPN in the Hague, then moved to Eindhoven to be employed by Philips before he – in 2014 – started as a freelance IT developer. Dasa’s big eureka moment came in 2015 when a friend of his was fired. “He asked me to help him find a new job, and this worked out just fine. In fact, I quite liked the result so I thought, hey, why not make this my new job?”
So he did, and much to his surprise, “it was awesome, right from the start.” In the very first year, his new company made a turnover of 250,000 euros. Year after year, this almost doubled, and in 2017 the company passed the limit of 1 million euros. “For this year, we can double that again”, Dasa says.
TeamExpat is focussing completely on the Indian market. “That’s the culture we know, and that’s the expertise that’s needed in this region. India, and especially Bangalore, has a long tradition in IT and software. In fact, you can say that India is software.” At this moment, TeamExpat employs 17 IT-professionals, who are placed at companies like ASML, Philips, Bosch, Thermo Fisher and ING.
Because Dasa is an Indian himself, he has the credibility that’s needed to attract the new employees from India. But in order to be able to get the right connections at Dutch companies, he recently hired Benjamin Jurg as a business manager for TeamExpat. “It’s still a Dutch business we’re in, so we need a white face to perform this part of our job”, Dasa laughs.
Jurg agrees: “Our biggest challenge is not finding suitable candidates for the jobs that are available, it’s convincing the companies to employ them. So that’s why I came in.” But isn’t that a strange situation in a region where the need for tech specialists is so high that hundreds of vacancies can’t be filled in? “We hear that as well, but that’s not what we experience. Even if you look at India alone, I can assure you that there is a massive amount of suitable candidates. And yes, we are totally ready to scale up our business.”
Normally, TeamExpat scouts the candidates and hires them before the connection with a vacancy is being made. Dasa: “We can do this because we know that within a month, we can find them the right assignment.” The time in between is used to help the new employee get to know the region. TeamExpat’s expat host Rogier Overvliet takes care of the newly arrived Indians: “Dutch law, Dutch culture, the Dutch way of life, it’s all quite different from the ones they are used to in a big city in India. We help them with their IND registration, housing, schooling for their kids. And on top of that, we offer them a cultural awareness training.”
Which is much needed, Dasa adds. “The cultural shock is immense. Imagine living in Bangalore, a city of ten million people, and coming to Eindhoven. Suddenly, your outside world will feel quite boring. If you walk through Eindhoven on a Sunday afternoon, what can I say, it’s quite different from what we are used to. No shopping outside the city center, only a limited choice of restaurants and hardly any street food, and everything is moving at such a low pace!”
Of course, there are some pros as well to living in Eindhoven. “The quality of life is much better. Less pollution, a well-functioning health care system, limited working hours, and what most Indians really like: great opportunities to travel. With our visa, we can travel in Schengen countries. Being able to visit Switzerland for example, is like a dream for us.”
The future looks bright, Dasa says. “This year, our employees and turnover will again double. And we will extend our activities to cities like Utrecht and Amsterdam, and, maybe also Germany. We might even start a foothold in Bangalore as well, to be able to help our candidates preparing for their job in Europe at the earliest stage.”
Photo: TeamExpat – with Benjamin Jurg, Vinay Dasa, and Rogier Overvliet