INTERVIEW WITH MR. OSCAR LOPEZ ALEGRE – NEXTWAY TECHNOLOGYFebruary 24, 2023
1. Kindly tell us something about your work profile/business including yourself.
I come from a technology background and have led some of the largest companies in Vietnam, such as Central Retail and Vietnamworks. With my experience, I encountered a paradox: Vietnam had an amazing pool of technology talent, yet whenever you worked with local companies, project and software development did not meet customer satisfaction levels. So I decided to do something about it and, together with Thuan and Khoa, founded Nextway as a technology company that provides custom software development. However, our main focus is not just to deliver software but to ensure customer satisfaction with the software delivered.
2. When did you arrive in Vietnam and what made you / your company decided to stay here?
I arrived in Vietnam in 2010 as an intern for the ICEX program of Engineering. Initially, I was supposed to stay here for a single year. However, by the end of my internship, I had already made the decision to stay longer. There were multiple reasons for this decision, but at the time, Vietnam was a country with constant growth and a huge number of opportunities.
3. How has your professional career or your company’s career developed since then?
Staying in Vietnam put me on the fast track to become a manager and made me face multiple challenges that helped me grow as both a person and a professional. However, I strongly believe that we need to share our knowledge and give back so that everyone can grow. During this time, I have collaborated on multiple initiatives with organizations and universities to share knowledge. For example, our company has a very good relationship with RMIT, and every year, we support young professionals in gaining real work experience.
4. Culture shock related to work environment in Spain and Vietnam?
People behave quite differently in Vietnam compared to Spain. For example, the separation between work and friends is very narrow, and in some cases, work is like one more family. Over the years, I have met people with similar values, and we have decided to work together. When looking at Nextway, we can say that we do not have either a Vietnamese or Spanish culture. We have a unique Nextway culture, which is quite special.
5. As far as your sector stands today, what services Nextway offers to their clients?
Our main focus is to help customers who need to create custom software. For example, some of our clients are startups that are building a mobile app or a web application and require full guidance to move from an idea to a prototype and beyond. Another typical type of customer we serve are companies that already have an internal development team but are experiencing problems, such as the development team being unable to keep up with the pace of the business or struggling with difficult technical issues like performance, recurring bugs, or AI implementations.
6. What do you think are the biggest challenges for this sector in the future?
One of the problems that I identified in my sector is the quality of customer service. I am convinced that technology is not just about coding, but about solving problems, and the ones with the problems are the customers. I dream of a future where Vietnam is associated not just with a cheap labor force, but with skilled service professionals. I hope Nextway to be one of the contributors to that goal. I would also like to see a future with a strong collaboration between Spanish companies, I would love to be able to help to create a community that helps each other to make our mission in Vietnam a collective challenge rather than a solo adventure.
7. What type of promotional and communication campaigns do you work on?
I am proud to say that most of our growth has come from satisfied customers who share their positive experiences with their peers and recommend us. Despite having made very few investments in branding or business development, we achieved a 3x growth in 2022.
8. What is your advice to companies interested in your services?
If you would like to contact me to share your problem or idea, I am always willing to listen and provide advice for free.
9. Please tell us a little about future plans of your company in Vietnam.
To make a considerable impact, we need to grow. Our target is to have 100+ employees by 2024, which is challenging but doable. However, it is important to note that we do not want to compromise on our quality to achieve this growth. That is why we have established a strong leadership team to support us in achieving this vision.
Many thanks to Mr. Oscar Lopez Alegre for sharing your experience with us.