- Andela, the leading engineering talent development and outsourcing company in Africa, has announced that its entire team has gone remote as all offices have been exited and assets sold off.
- Andela CEO, Jeremy Johnson, had earlier disclosed the plans of the company to go remote in a Medium post published on May 8.
- This development highlights Andela’s evolution, as the company has undergone a lot of transformations in the past 18 months.
Andela, the leading engineering talent development and outsourcing company in Africa, has announced through WeeTracker, that its entire team spanning Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana,and the United States has gone remote as all offices have been exited and assets sold off.
This comes less than 3 days after word got around that Andela was laying off 135 employees — about 10% of its workforce — due to concerns related to the global pandemic.
On May 8, Andela CEO, Jeremy Johnson, had earlier disclosed the plans of the company to go remote in a Medium post, he said, “This week, we announced at an all-hands that we are going to be a remote-first company. While we’ve always been a leader in distributed work, we’ve now proven that we can operate fully remote by delivering excellent work to our customers over the past couple of months”.
“Andela is now fully remote in all our locations (US included),” the company told WeeTracker. “As we have now moved to a fully remote model, we have moved out of our physical leased offices in all locations and all Engineers and Enterprise Staff are working from home.”
“Of course, as a result of this, we have to move out our assets – some of which have been sold off to employees and others to third-party companies, who have shown interest in the items we no longer need,” Andela said.
This development highlights what can be defined as Andela’s evolution. The company has undergone a lot of transformations the past 18 months. A collection of tweaks have been made on the business model. Yet critics tend to point out that Andela has strayed away from the dream it offered upon arrival, in its present form.
When Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Nadayar Enegesi, Christina Sass, Ian Carnevale, Brice Nkengsa, and Jeremy Johnson co-founded Andela in 2014, the mission and model was clear — the company will enrol and train developers on a four-year contract and then generate revenue when those developers find employment with global firms in need of their skills.
The idea of unravelling, polishing and nurturing talent, and then connecting it with top opportunities, was a major catch for people.
But recently, a variety of factors that can not be overlooked have moved Andela further away from edtech to intense HR-tech, which in reality makes perfect business sense for the company at this time.
Since its launch in 2014, Andela has raised almost USD 200 Million in venture capital. Previously, the business model of the company involved educating African software engineers at practically no expense to the trainee, recruiting and hiring qualified engineers as full-time paying workers at office locations, and finally outsourcing them to “partners” which are typically overseas companies that can borrow good amounts for engineering talent.
Andela had to cut ties with more than 400 junior developers in September 2019, however, announcing that the junior talent market was now crowded such that it had more engineers than it was capable of finding employment for. At the time, Johnson, Andela’s CEO, said they had read it wrong, the demand from the market.
After shutting down its junior developer (D0) program, Andela started to seek only senior talent, even going ahead in November 2019 to launch a senior talent-focused branch in Egypt. But reports February 2020 showed that Andela was again struggling to secure placings for some of her mid-level / intermediate engineers waiting for months.
Subsequently, it was disclosed that the company had started a voluntary exit scheme in which developers who are unable to obtain placement could choose to walk away with certain benefits or be declared redundant all the same. , Clearly, the crisis hadn’t passed.
However, talks about these internal selection problems have died down somewhat after the current round of cuts that didn’t involve a single developer with the company.