Number could grow over 750 by the first quarter of 2021
Jamaica-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company, itelbpo is growing its St. Lucian subsidiary.
Itelbpo, which is regarded as the region’s largest homegrown BPO, is rapidly expanding its business in St. Lucia and continues to provide employment opportunities for locals. The company, which was founded in 2012 in Montego Bay, St James in Jamaica, has grown into a global business.
Having launched its St. Lucian subsidiary in July this year, with 30 full-time staff members, the number has grown to 450 employees on-site in less than six months. The plan is to further grow the staff complement to 750 by the first quarter of 2021.
With the level of staff growth, itelbpo St. Lucia has put under construction a further 20,000 square feet to house the additional employees. The new space will also satisfy the robust COVID-19 health and safety programme being rolled out at the company.
Commenting on the increasing staff as well as the expansion of the physical space, itelbpo St. Lucia said it stands resolute in its promise to enhance job creation and economic growth on the island. Having broken ground in St Lucia in November 2019, itelbpo intended to start operations four months later in March 2020 with capacity for 250 employees.
GROWING ADDITIONAL CAPACITY
However, with the changes in market dynamics caused by COVID-19, the company saw the need for additional capacity, given that most services were migrating online. For his part, Yoni Epstein, itelbpo’s CEO and founding chairman, said COVID-19 resulted in an overwhelming response towards itelbpo both internationally and locally.
“We have clients lining up to move some of their operations to what they see as a stable business environment with a high-potential labour market and we have a strong pool of interested applicants eager to join our team,” Epstein said.
“Clients are looking for greater geo-diversity to assist with mitigating risk in their outsourcing operations and the St. Lucia proposition is an attractive one.”
Arising from the overwhelming response and to meet the increasing demand, itelbpo made another agreement with Invest St Lucia for the retrofitting of an additional building in the Hewanorra Freezone. The freezone, which is currently under construction, will house the additional space for the expanded St Lucian operation.
The new building will bring the freezone’s capacity to more than double the initial target set for December 2020. However, there have been some delays.
Despite the delays in construction, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, itelbpo’s CEO and leadership team were not deterred and have brought the schedule back on track. In spite of the many challenges caused by COVID-19, Epstein and his team are not fearful about the future or buckling under the pressure of the changing times.
They have taken an optimistic view of the future and the possibilities therein rather than being pessimistic, given the challenging times. The itelbpo boss declared that this is the time for the company to advance strategically.
Speaking about the support received in coming to St Lucia, Epstein singled out the government and local partners, such as Invest St Lucia, which he said were eager to expand the bpo sector there and wanted to see a movement up the value chain. Some of the value chain improvement singled out included FINTECH, health care, banking and other specialised offerings.
The itelbpo founder said he has been impressed with the performance of the St. Lucia team, which has excellent attendance, very low attrition while at the same time exhibiting a great mindset for delivering world-class customer experiences.