itelbpo, the region’s largest homegrown contact centre, continues to provide employment opportunities for Saint Lucians.
Founded in 2012 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, itelbpo is now a global business and the region’s largest home-grown business process outsourcer.
The company launched its operations in Saint Lucia in July of this year with 30 full-time staff members and less than six months later, there are now 450 employees on-site with an aim to reach 750 employees by the first quarter of 2021.
With 20,000 additional square feet under development and a robust COVID-19 health & safety programme, the company stands resolute in its promise to enhance job creation and economic growth on the island.
When itelbpo broke ground in Saint Lucia in November 2019, the plan was to begin operations in March 2020 with a capacity for 250 employees. As it’s clients grappled with uncertainty amidst the changing global economy, the company quickly saw a need for additional capacity.
Clients are looking for greater geo-diversity to assist with mitigating risk in their outsourcing operations and the Saint Lucia proposition is an attractive one.
To meet the demand, itelbpo made another agreement with Invest Saint Lucia for the retrofitting of an additional building in the Hewanorra Freezone, which is currently under development.
The new building will bring the site’s capacity to more than double the initial target in December.
Despite delays in the construction timeline caused by the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, itelbpo’s CEO and leadership team were not deterred. Now, the business process outsourcer is an employer of choice on the island attracting some of Saint Lucia’s most talented workforce.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response 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,” said Yoni Epstein, itelbpo’s CEO and founding chairman.
CEO of itelbpo,Yoni Epstein
“We are already impressed by the performance of the Saint Lucia team, which has excellent attendance, very low attrition and a great mindset for delivering world-class customer experiences,” Epstein added.
The Vieux Fort-based business process outsourcer has received committed support from the government and local partners, such as Invest Saint Lucia, who are eager to expand the sector and see it move up the value chain with FINTECH, health care, banking and other specialised offerings.
Around the globe, the tourism industry continues to be one of the hardest-hit sectors, and the BPO sector, which has invested USD $264 million into the local economy since 2002, provides an opportunity for the island to diversify and earn foreign exchange, even in the face of COVID-19.
That being said, itelbpo is not dismissive of the threat posed by COVID-19. Instead, they are facing it head-on with its endorsement of “Let the Protocols Work” campaign reminding their team and all Saint Lucians to stay strong and follow the protocols established by the public health authorities. Onsite, itelbpo has implemented strict health and safety measures, including ongoing education and awareness campaign.
“We have successfully implemented these protocols across all of our 5 sites in 4 countries where we have simultaneously sustained operations while preventing a workplace spread of the virus,” stated Epstein.
“It’s a testament to the effectiveness of the protocols and shows that we can and must strike a balance between preserving lives and livelihoods,” he added.
He noted that by maintaining robust operations, the industry can attract new clients to do business on the island, which will ultimately allow the country to achieve a strong global positioning. Rather than feeling fearful about the future or buckling under the pressure of the changing times, Epstein takes an optimistic view of what’s possible and sees this as an opportunity for itelbpo, and the island as a whole, to advance strategically.
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