December 9, 2019
Jamaica Observer | December 6, 2019
Jamaican business processing outsourcing company itelbpo in partnership with Invest Saint Lucia is developing a 20,000 sq ft factory shell located in the Hewanorra Free Zone in Vieux-Fort, St Lucia, which will house more than 300 employees in the global services sector.
The move is a strategic one aimed at expanding its geographical footprint, ultimately diversifying its workforce and further enriching its global talent pool as the company pushes aggressively towards its five-year goal of 5,000 new seats in its contact centre operations. Itelbpo and Invest Saint Lucia have broken ground and the new site is set to open on April 1, 2020.
St Lucia will be the fifth country in which itelIbpo has established business, with its first location in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and others in The Bahamas, the USA and Mexico.
Just off the heels of a recent deal in which PanJam Investments and Portland Private Equity each acquired a 15 per cent stake in itelbpo, the company is quickly activating its new capital investment with the development of a two-building site in St Lucia. The site is located in the south of the island and is within walking distance of Hewanorra International Airport, which is also undergoing extensive redevelopment to support the area's booming economy. The south of St Lucia is quickly becoming a mecca of activity and socio-economic progress.
“We are wasting no time in taking advantage of the growing global business process outsourcing (BPO) market,” commented Yoni Epstein, itelbpo's founding chairman and CEO. “We see the enormous pipeline of opportunity for the Caribbean in this fast-growing sector, and we're excited to realise the potential for job creation and revenue growth.”
Nearshore Americas, in partnership with Invest Saint Lucia, the country's investment promotion agency, released a study in 2018 analysing St Lucia's readiness and positioning in the global knowledge services market. It highlighted how the country is poised to take advantage of the large demand for specialised expertise in BPO.
According to the study, the island's small size is favourable to providing industry-specific support to niche sectors, as opposed to competing on commodity-based offerings. St Lucia's historical strengths in given industries along with educational depth provide a strong base in the workforce that can be further developed through knowledge-focused training.
On this point, Epstein further pointed out that, “As a global organisation, itelbpo has the capacity and experience to tap into St Lucia's talent pool and provide targeted training that will enable the St Lucia team to deliver customer experiences at our award-winning global standard. St Lucia is ready and waiting for us, and we're excited to collaborate with government and private sector partners in helping to move the country further up the economic value chain.”