Offshore IT Services: cultural differences with Madagascar

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The French business community knows little to nothing about Madagascar. This a good reason for Bocasay to lift the veil on this beautiful island.

Very far away on a world map, Madagascar appears to be located on the other side of the earth. But when we observe the difference between time zones, it hardly feels like it. Only one hour separates Antananarivo and Paris during the summer; this increases to 2 hours in the winter, which is the same case for London. Other common grounds include the fact that Malagasy people speak and work in French. This is an asset when it comes to working with a company located in Madagascar. Moreover, their ways and habits at work are very similar to ours. 

Let us focus on just one example: Madagascar has maintained a legal system and Labor Laws that are very similar to ours. “The work week consists of 40 hours. Trial periods and prior notice systems are the same. In other words, unlike a country such as India for instance, where there is a large turn-over, Malagasy teams enjoy great stability, “says Julien Goumet, co-founder of Bocasay.

Managing a career plan and the notion of time

In contrast, time approach in Madagascar is significantly different. Short, medium and long term notions are not regarded in the same manner. Which requires companies like Bocasay to implement real and ambitious career plans assessment of skills, training sessions, objectives to achieve. Tools that ultimately help developers stay motivated

Reconcilable Differences

There are some differences in approaches that are, naturally, never really irreconcilable. Be careful, however, do not ever underestimate communication and management efforts Even though their professional approaches may be similar, France and Madagascar are not identical.

“In Madagascar, it is essential to integrate employees in decision-making processes , in order to break the paternalistic leadership notion that still reigns over the rest of the island,” said Julien Goumet.

“A Malagasy national choses to be a developer out of passion. He wants to show that he has made progress,” adds the entrepreneur, hence the importance of maintaining and developing strong values . “At Bocasay, we have a strong corporate culture. This allows us to share more with our teams. Although it requires patience, working in Madagascar remains a great sharing and challenging experience.

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