Tunga taps African IT talent to meet growing demand for developers

The impact sourcing startup, which this week opened a new African office in Lagos, offers lessons for managing virtual developer teams.

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Plunging into the outsourcing market and facing much larger competition, impact sourcing startup Tunga has grown by determining the right skills, management techniques and tools best-suited for distributed developer teams, and this week has opened a second African office.

Impact sourcing is the term used for what can be considered socially-conscious outsourcing: placing people from low-employment or developing economies with remote-worker jobs for businesses internationally.

Tunga's new office, in Lagos, will join the company's operational headquarters in Kampala and its commercial office in Amsterdam, the company announced Thursday. Tunga combines the services of traditional outsourcing with a freelance software developer platform designed to match businesses with developers.

Founded in 2015 and fully operational in 2017, today Tunga has a pool of 300 developers, mostly from Uganda and Nigeria, and has serviced more than 120 companies in 12 countries, mostly in Europe.

"We grew explosively but learned a lot in the process," says Ernesto Spruyt, who founded Tunga with We Are Bits, which operates training programs in IT, multimedia and web development in locations in Africa and Pakistan. Lessons learned from Tunga's experience could be helpful to any entrepreneur or senior tech executive trying to manage a virtual team of geographically dispersed IT staff.

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