Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Jamaican offshore company, Island Outsourcers, has planted its seeds in The Bahamas.
Last Thursday, the Montego Bay, St James-based company unveiled that Caribbean island’s first call centre in Freeport, Grand Bahama, providing employment for 65 Bahamians.
The opening was officially launched by Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchombe, and Island Outsourcers founder and CEO Yoni Epstein.
Epstein told The Gleaner yesterday that the contract he had was with the Bahamas Tourist Board.
“We will be taking inbound sales and customer-service calls, as well as making outbound calls to travel agents,” he said, adding that a second contract was signed with Bahamas Telecom in which telecommuni-cations firm LIME has a 51 per cent stake.
“We are doing outbound telesales and market research for Bahamas Telecom,” he noted.
The Bahamian tourist board was the first in the region to bring home its call centre, where its own people sell its products. Esptein said this was a plus given that the “Bahamas would know the product that they are selling”.
One of the fastest-growing business processes outsourcing companies in the region, Island Outsourcers currently employs 120 Jamaicans at its Montego Freezone call centre.
According to Epstein, the company’s expansion locally and regionally rested solely on the pillars of robust infrastructure, an experienced management team, and qualified frontline professionals, who built a solid foundation, enabling the organisation’s success in delivering services at a bigger scale and to a wider market.
He said as a group, growth has been significant in the Caribbean.
“Taking our two sites into consideration, we seek to increase that growth further in 2014,” he stated, revealing that the long-term goal was to increase the staff count in The Bahamas to 600.
Admitting that The Bahamas offered better incentives than Jamaica, he said one of the main reasons for expansion was access to human capital and proximity to the United States mainland.
Welcoming the Jamaican-owned company to his country, Christie said: “Consumers and potential visitors will be prompted by Bahamas television or print ads to call 1-800-Bahamas with their questions.”
He added: “When they call this line, they will be greeted and assisted on the other end by warm, friendly, and professional Bahamian voices.”