Maria Montero

Venezuela is losing a generation of tech talent to its crisis …

The escalating crisis in Venezuela has witnessed hyperinflation, widespread hunger, and a large-scale exodus out of the country. Desperate circumstances have led more than three million Venezuelans to leave the country for a better life. According to recent figures released by the UN.Latin American countries have granted around 1.3 million residence permits and other state authorizations to Venezuelans in need.

The impact on the country has been generational and this effect is no different when applied to its technology sector. Once considered one of the centers of wealth and innovation in Latin America, the capital of Venezuela, Caracas, is now a shell of its own self, having seen a core of outstanding talent in other countries of the continent.

“At the end of the day they are going to leave,” Daniel Knobelsdorf told us about the situation in Caracas. “Over time, the market will enter a phase of cannibalization.”

Knobelsdorf has seen the carnage in Caracas first hand after spending much of his time within the city’s business circles.

Formerly an advisor to a parliamentary committee on Science, Technology and Innovation in Venezuela, Knobelsdorf is now a blockchain strategist for Kruger Corp and he’s regularly seen Venezuela’s top tech minds, especially among experienced candidates, find greener pastures elsewhere. “Most of the coaches here are very young,” he said. “When you get a person to get to the maximum or get older, they will go to Chile.”

The crisis in the first main symptom of Venezuela was a hyperinflationary currency that not only prevented the migration of technological talents from other Latin American nations, but also caused the wages of local workers to stagnate; From programmers to executives.

The situation has become so extreme that money is no longer counted, it is to weigh, as the large amount needed to buy basic goods has led to widespread poverty in the country.

According to a recent study by ENCOVI iIn Venezuela’s living conditions, 87 percent of the country now lives below the poverty line. And despite much Reporting on the so-called “cryptocurrency boom”. In Venezuela, the country’s inability to find cash for its more experienced workers has led many to look elsewhere.

Venezuela’s economy remains in the shadow of the risky policies of former President Hugo Chávez. Above, a Mural in Táchira, Venezuela. Photo by Arjun Harindranath / The Bogotá Post

A 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) was published by INSEAD Last year he exposed the cold facts of Venezuela’s “brain drain”. Out of 119 countries, Venezuela ranked 105 for the ability to compete for talent in specialized professions. Additionally, the country had a poor rating in terms of its ability to attract talent from elsewhere and was in the low end when it came to keeping their brightest minds. The tragedy of this ranking becomes too acute when realizing that this result is despite Venezuela’s high educational results and highly educated workforce.

The report also highlighted another common reality for Venezuelans: the uncertain security situation and the rampant increase in crime in the country. From the safety while riding the city’s public transport, to the constant danger of muggings, many have now decided to move from their home country for a safer future.

This also contributes to a bigger problem: the crumbling infrastructure needed for tech companies and professionals to continue working in the country. Venezuela was known as one of the Latin American countries with the best internet connectivity in the past. But now, with frequent power outages and spotty coverage, many companies have sought to opt out of the country. A recent study also showed That internet speed within Caracas is now less than half the average speed within Latin American countries.

A family walks towards a better life in Colombia. The crisis has led many families to leave their country, often on foot. Photo by Arjun Harindranath / The Bogotá Post

In addition to the companies and multinationals that left the country as a result of the crisis, the country’s leading scientific minds have also followed suit.