Four years ago, CEO John Cestar took a novel approach to increasing the skill levels at Freeborders, a small outsourcing provider that operates in China. He took a road trip around the U.S., looking for Chinese engineers working in U.S. companies who were interested in returning to China or would soon be compelled to do so because their work visas were about to expire. He recruited a pool of 20 people who spoke both Chinese and English and had U.S.-style management skills.
Today, Freeborders, which was founded in 1999, has more than 500 employees, most of them at a development center in Shenzhen in southern China. The company, which recently received CMMI Level 5 certification, specializes in .Net development and counts Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, J. Crew, Morgan Stanley and Target among its customers.