Mindtree, a global information technology solutions company with over $435 million in revenues, celebrated the first successful year of its U.S. Delivery Center in Gainesville in October. In one year, MindTree has added over 100 jobs to the community, signed several more Fortune 500 companies to its roster of clients and started work on adding the fourth floor of Ayers Plaza to its space.
Mindtree Gainesville General Manager Joelle Smith said that the office has been very busy with new projects, new hires, training and knocking milestones off of the first year checklist.
On the business end of the operation, the Gainesville office focuses on delivery by developing software and leaving sales and other operations to other offices all over the country in places like New Jersey, San Jose and Chicago. Mindtree specializes in Agile software development, which is fast-paced, collaborative and client-driven.
Mindtree is all about “right sourcing,” Smith said, which means they provide a range of delivery options catered to individual clients who can work with the company in Gainesville, off-shore or directly at their own site.
Mindtree works with clients from many different industries, including financial, insurance, manufacturing, retail and transportation to create custom web sites and mobile applications. Smith said that she’s constantly on conference call or video calls and has clients come in from all over the country, which hasn’t been an issue in such a remote town because she said clients generally want to come out and see the office and university.
Smith said that she’s seen certain industry leaders that Mindtree works with start ramping up business. Half of the industries that Mindtree partners with are seeing growth, she said.
“Seeing that trend shift is very positive,” she said. And that only means more business for the highly successful U.S. operation, which Smith said accounts for 60 percent of the company’s revenue.
What’s helped the company find success in Gainesville, she said, is tremendous community support.
“We came out of the gate a lot faster than we expected last October because of the demand we encountered,” she said. She said that the 100 employees added in the first year is about where the company expected to be, but that they are still on track to 400 jobs added over five years and that the growth will likely remain steady over the next few years. “Next year we’d like to be at 150 to 200. I think that would be great for us.”
“We weren’t sure where that was going to go,” Smith said, “but it’s been amazing. We employ over 20 UF graduates, and some we’ve even been able to recruit back from other areas, like the Northeast and Orlando.”
Young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s are really valuable, she said, because they’re fresh and energetic, so Mindtree is working with the university and the city to keep those new graduates here. Those are the employees that will take initiative to make an app on their own, she said, so they’ll thrive in the IT industry.
When Mindtree was initially looking for a place to set its U.S. Delivery Center, they looked across the country at different schools with at least 10 percent growth year-over-year in their engineering departments before deciding on Gainesville, with its thriving startup community and research university.
“We have an amazing partnership with UF,” she said. “It’s really two-fold: they’re a client of ours (Mindtree works with the Enterprise Systems team on applications) and we are a partner with helping drive education around the industry itself by talking to students about the kinds of careers they can have and just promoting Gainesville itself, because even if they don’t stick around for MindTree but end up working for another great company it only helps the Gainesville community.”
“Whatever we can do to drive people to Gainesville, we’re going to do,” she said.