The Business Year

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Yoni Epstein

Chairman, itelbpo

We have grown significantly over the last five years. We have moved from being a start-up to a medium-sized to a large-sized BPO services provider. We have three main goals that we have continued to work on to grow our business. One is acquisition of new clients. The larger we get, the easier it is to land bigger clients and deals. Another is providing different services as we grow, going back to our existing client base and sharing additional services with them. This is a way we can further entrench ourselves in our client base. The third is acquisition of other call centers. These include medium-sized players that may have difficulty because of capital constraints or getting new business due to the size limitations. We want to bring them into our world, help them grow faster, and help ourselves grow faster. Industry wide, I started the Business Process Industry Association five years ago with JAMPRO. The industry association has been there to hold the hand of the government to drive and steer it in the right direction to continue to make it the industry that investors would like. It is important to drop all of the barriers to entry and the process to start a business made much easier.

Ron McKay

CEO, ADS Global

From my perspective, which includes 25 years of experience, the industry is resilient if you adapt with it. With changes in legislation and automation of call center services, the whole industry was supposed to collapse. Soon, chat was going to destroy the industry because the next generation would never pick up the phone. Now, there is actually a swing back to live voice skills because everyone is getting blitzed by digital marketing, and there is no personalization or engagement. Technology was supposed to save time, but it has yet to fully replace the need for people. This is good for Jamaica, as technology will help bridge the gap in human capacity. It is not that we do not have people here that are just as intelligent or just as capable, but we just do not have as many. Technology will come in and bridge the disparity in numbers and help develop our human capital. I predict language translation will be a key technological development to build on our human resources. This will be live voice. We are working right now on market research. This will all be a game changer and will help the country tremendously if companies adopt it.

Davon Crump

CEO, Davon Crump

Six years ago, the government could not see the potential of business process outsourcing (BPO) services. Other governments in the Caribbean were doing a better job of incentivizing call centers, while we were lagging. However, we are making progress. Our energy costs are still high. In comparison, Trinidad has low energy costs and is on the verge of truly expanding in the BPO space. Energy is our biggest expense and I do not see this changing anytime soon, which impacts our competitiveness. Despite this, people still come as a result of our high productivity. I foresee even greater growth in the future. We are keen on establishing our own solar facility, though the upfront investment is still too high. The government could play a role here, though thus far it has not. Incentives such as zero interest loans for energy improvements would be extremely helpful, as would more opportunities for financing. Our technology infrastructure is vastly superior to our competitors; we expect innovation to continue changing the business. I see Jamaica’s BPO sector as being poised for huge growth in the years to come. Employment in the BPO sector has the ability to far surpass employment in the tourism sector. We are a booming industry. More international investors are coming to Jamaica and seeing excellent results.



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