A recent newcomer to Victoria is Mario Zimmer, Country Manager of Daitan Group see more
Victoria is an attractive place for many tech companies to set up shop. Warm weather (at least for Canada), the island lifestyle and a supportive community are just some of the reasons people end up staying here from all parts of the world.
A recent newcomer to Victoria is Mario Zimmer, Country Manager of Daitan Group, a Brazilian- based custom software development company. In October 2018, Daitan made their Canadian headquarters right here in Victoria.
After considering options south of the border, the company decided that Canada would be the best spot for the expansion of their business. Victoria was a natural first choice as it offered many amenities and was the warmest place they could find in Canada.
VIATEC sat down with Mario to hear about his journey in tech and find out what he loves about Victoria...
Q&A with Mario Zimmer
Where did you grow up?
I grew up mostly in Belo Horizonte, where I was born and in Ouro Branco, a small countryside city. They are in Minas Gerais state, in Brazil.
Where did you go to school? What did you study?
I did a technical course in electronics and then I did electrical engineering. After that I did some post-graduation courses in computer networks and the PMP certification. I also did dozens of specific courses and training, always focusing on what was best for my company and my career.
What did you want to be when you grow up? What/where do you want to be in 10 years?
As most of Brazilians, when I was 10 I wanted to play football in a professional league! At some point in my childhood, I also wanted to be an astronaut or a car racing driver. When I turned 14, I definitely knew that I would be an Engineer!
Tell me about what your business does and your role at the company?
Daitan is a company that does custom software development; we build software for our clients. Most of the time, the software that we code is the product that sustains our clients - the heart of their business.
What are some things people may not already know about your company and/or product?
We are all for long-term partnerships with our clients and with our colleagues. We do some transactional work, but our business model is based on long lasting relationships; not enforced by contracts, but by the will to remain in the partnership. This provides the stability that the company needs, and so the employees can live their lives and create their families.
What introduced you to this field of work?
Since my internship, I have always been involved with software development. My role has changed around the product life cycle, but I was always in touch with the development teams.
What’s been one of your greatest accomplishments?
There are many things that I am proud of in my professional life. I helped build a product and I established it around several countries. I helped shape one entire unit inside my company, creating all basic procedures and fundamentals. When I think about great accomplishments, I think of my son! I am so proud of him. He is so polite, smart, intelligent.
Are your skills self-made or did you learn them in school?
I guess that’s a bit of both. I also learn with other people. I had some good mentors in my life, like my father and some managers. I also like to observe what works and what doesn’t for others, and try to use that in my favor. Last year I went back to school and studied Data Science for 4 months in the point of view of managers and executives.
Who are your mentors? How did you meet them? What do they do for you?
First is my father. He was a model of honesty. Every time I changed jobs I talked to him and he gave me great advice. I had some mentors during my career and I believe that most of the managers I had since I started working contributed to my career.
Outside of work and family, what do you love to do? What are you passionate about?
I love to resolve problems, find a solution and explain it. If I have to create a PowerPoint, an excel spreadsheet, and a graphic, that it is perfect. As you can see, I talk too much, so talking to resolve a problem is one of the things that gives me a sense of fulfillment.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I love to play guitar and sing rock n’ roll music!
What do you enjoy most about Victoria?
It is calm, beautiful, organized and offers lots of places to be with my family!
The newest tech firm to open doors in Victoria commands a stunning view of the region see more
Brazilian software firm Daitan Group finds right environment in Victoria
From its ninth-floor window at the corner of View and Douglas streets, the newest tech firm to open doors in Victoria commands a stunning view of the region.
It’s that view, and what’s tucked within that idyllic scene and the buzz of the city, that convinced Augusto Cavalcanti, founder and chief executive of Brazilian software firm Daitan Group, to open the company’s first development lab outside of South America. For the software company, which develops custom products for its clients, Victoria ticked a lot of boxes.
“I wanted a city that would offer to our employees a great environment,” said Cavalcanti. “Victoria is very in line with the principles and values of the company.
“We want to offer a great work environment, developing top technology, as well as a great environment for living life and that’s what we found here,” he said. “I came to Victoria and saw the family orientation, schools, parks and a good quality of life.”
It took a year of planning, research and deal making to get to the point of opening the Victoria office. Much of that heavy lifting was done or facilitated by the South Island Prosperity Project, which Cavalcanti said has made the transition easier.
“Daitan Group is a prime example of the ideal type of company SIPP works to attract. It’s a values-driven, innovative, growing company that believes in putting their employees first and creating a healthy work environment,” said SIPP chief executive Emilie de Rosenroll. “We helped Daitan Group analyze the opportunity in the region. We knew [they] would be a good fit, and their decision to move here reflects Greater Victoria’s ability to compete in the broader region.”
Cavalcanti said in Victoria he saw strong similarities to Campinas, São Paulo, where the Brazilian company started, as the south Island offers a strong technology community, universities and a culture that understands the importance of work-life balance.
It doesn’t hurt that Victoria is also strategically well-placed to service the bulk of Daitan’s U.S. clients, most of which are in Silicon Valley.
Daitan, which has 665 employees, already has a small executive, sales and customer service team in Silicon Valley, but Cavalcanti said in order to build what he hopes will be a team of more than 100 developers within the next two years he needed a city that was more affordable than Silicon Valley while having a talent pool to draw from.
He also noted the type of work they do — collaborate with companies to develop custom software — requires a lot of face-to-face interaction.
“To build a team there you face the difficult cost and the lack of available people,” he said. “The whole Bay area it’s immensely difficult to hire people.”
He understands Victoria will have problems like that as well, but he said a company culture that stresses work-life balance, offers challenging work and takes care of its people should help Daitan attract talent.
He intends to draw from the local talent pool as well as recruit from across Canada and internationally when possible.
“The whole world wants [software developers]. Who offers the best environment in terms of work as well as living I think will retain those guys and that’s why we chose Victoria,” he said.
Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, said that decision is another sign of the strength and appeal of Victoria’s tech industry.
Last week, NetMotion Software announced it will open a fourth international headquarters with a team of five people in Victoria.
As for the intense competition for talent, Gunn said all firms are facing the same situation.
“We have to find a way of growing our companies in the face of that, which means attracting people from other places and graduating more people [into the workforce],” he said. “We are still growing at such a pace that we are struggling to fill the vacancies we currently have.”
Daitan opens in Victoria with a team of 10, chosen from the company’s Brazilian operations. Cavalcanti said he is excited at the prospect of growing the new Victoria venture.
A major Brazilian tech company is expanding its presence in North America see more
Source: CHEK News
Brazilian tech company Daitan expanding in Victoria potentially bringing hundreds of jobs
WATCH: A major Brazilian tech company is expanding its presence in North America. Instead of Vancouver, they have chosen to set up shop in Greater Victoria. And as Luisa Alvarez tells us the move has the potential to bring hundreds of long-term jobs to the region.