itel-BPO lands new US-based client

EPSTEIN… itel-BPO is seeking motivated individuals to join the company in providing high-tech services to new US-based client

LOCAL outsourcing company, itel-BPO Solutions, has landed a new US-based client. The new contract will see the sister company to Island Outsourcers add 100 jobs in Jamaica. Itel-BPO currently employs 350 persons between its operations in Montego Bay and Grand Bahama.

An additional 100 employees will be hired by next March, increasing the outsourcing company’s staff complement to 550.

Since yesterday, the company has been hosting a job fair at its new offices located at the Cazoumar Free Zone to recruit new staff.

“Motivated individuals with interest in joining an internal organisational culture that is employee-centric and focuses on charity, family, employee advancement and engagement” are being targeted, according to a press release issued on Wednesday by Yoni Epstein, CEO of itel-BPO.

New services are also more advanced than data entry services and call centres. Sales support will use avatar technology, a high-tech way of interacting with customers.

“The rollout of this campaign will definitely revolutionise Jamaica’s ICT-BPO industry,” said Troy Cotton, chief operations officer of itel-BPO.

The new client is a media and technology firm which operates advertising-based websites and applications for web and mobile devices.

itel-BPO is a regional provider of contact centre management and back office services specialising in inbound/outbound sales and customer service; data entry; quality assurance management and back office support services for: the travel and tourism industry, telecommunications, online retail, utilities, health and insurance.

Inter-American Development Bank to Fund BPO Incubator in Jamaica

By Narayan Ammachchi

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to grant Jamaica US $500,000 to help the Caribbean nation launch a BPO incubator. “This will kick-start a new wave of BPOs in Jamaica,” said Yoni Epstein, President of Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica.

The incubator, to be set up in Montego Bay Free Zone, will support both domestic and foreign firms in launching BPO operations in the Caribbean country, whose ICT/BPO industry is worth about US$260 million and accounts for 6% of the Caribbean and Latin American outsourcing market.

The incubator, according to Epstein, will not only give birth to a string of young BPO firms but will also help the country secure more outsourcing contracts, sparking innovation in the technology sector.

With 34 BPO firms, Jamaica’s outsourcing industry has generated more than 14,000 jobs over the past five years, and analysts predict that it will have doubled in size by 2016.

“We have to … focus on maintaining standards in training (and) certification; and we also have to watch the trends in terms of how technology evolves so that we remain at the cutting edge, as a country,” stated Julian Robinson, Jamaica’s Deputy Minister of Commerce and Investment.

“Not only is the incubator needed, I think it will also spur further development,” said Anthony Hylton, the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce. IDB officials, in the meanwhile, have suggested that Jamaica focus on increasing the “viability and competitiveness” of its outsourcing industry.

The Jamaican government recently revealed that its free economic zone in Montego Bay generated US$121 million in foreign exchange earnings in the past fiscal year. Home to several top global BPO firms such as Xerox and Teleperformance, the Free Zone also reported more than 20% growth in employment.

BPO Incubator For Montego Bay

BPIAJ president Yoni Epstein

Jamaica’s fast-growing business process outsourcing industry (BPO) is projecting a growth rate of 50 per cent in the next two years, and the creation of 7,000 new jobs.

Some of that growth is expected to be facilitated by the creation of a business incubator for BPO businesses to be developed with backing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The industry’s potential was estimated by president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), Yoni Epstein, at the signing ceremony for a US$500,000 grant ($56 million) funnelled through the Compete Caribbean programme, at the IDB’s Jamaica office in New Kingston on Wednesday.

The grant is “the biggest thing to happen to our industry for many years,” said Epstein. It will “kick start the new wave of BPO in Jamaica,” he said.

The grant will finance an incubation centre in the Montego Bay Free Zone to assist new investors to more easily enter the Jamaican BPO market.

“Jamaica is well established as a destination of choice,” Epstein said. But there is also more room for Jamaican investors, as there is “strong domestic demand” from banks, hotels and insurance companies, Epstein said.

The BPO industry grew from less than 26 BPO centres in 2009 to more than 34 in 2013.

Winning the grant was no easy process. Going to Barbados to make his pitch for the grant to an IDB panel “was one of the most intimidating things I’ve had to do,” Epstein said.

The grant is well placed and timely, and will “spur further investment in the sector,” said Minister of Investment, Industry and Commerce, Anthony Hylton.

The incubation space will make it easier for BPO businesses to transition from the start up period to cementing themselves in the industry, Hylton said, adding that BPO is the fasted growing sector, “attracting investment almost every month”.

The industry currently employs about 14,000 people.

The grant was signed by Epstein; Harold Arzu, operations senior specialist at IDB; Marie Legault, counsellor and head of Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD); and Bhavna Sharma, acting team leader of the governance department of the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development programme jointly funded by the IDB, DFID and DFATD.

BPO math: US$50-m office build-out could create 10,000 jobs

Yoni Epstein (left), chairman of the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), shakes hands with Harold Arzu, operation specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) after signing a US$500,000- grant agreement. (PHOTO: GARFIELD ROBINSON)

FOR US$900,000 ($100.8 million), a new 200-seat call centre incubator will be built in the Montego Bay free zone.

Working round the clock, the facility, partly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), can create 600 new jobs for the local business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

That may seem a tiny blip when compared to the 14,000 persons currently employed by the sector, but the potential US$15 million it can generate for the local economy is nothing to scoff at.

BPO operators in Jamaica now pull in upwards of US$350 million annually, and that figure is expected to increase by 50 per cent, along with an additional 7,000 new jobs, should efforts focused on growing the sector are successful, according to Yoni Epstein.

The chairman of the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) believes the country is emerging as a regional hub for the provision of BPO services largely “through well-developed and reliable infrastructure, a highly literate workforce, excellent telecommunication facilities, competitive labour costs and near=shore advantage”.

He figures the sector can grow to employ as many as 45,000 professional, before it becomes saturated.

But getting there will need a lot more office space — at least 620,000 square feet more, in fact.

The Barnett Technology Park in Montego Bay is already earmarked for 800,000 square foot. Construction on a 50,000-square feet facility there commenced in January, and is expected to be completed at a cost of US$8.5 million by the end of 2014.

Using the current industry standard in Jamaica of 60-70 square feet per seat, when restroom facilities and lunch areas are included in the office space, that should translate to a minimum of 720 seats, or over 2,100 jobs over three shifts.

The new facility is also cheaper to build than the US$25 million that was spent on a 100,000 square-foot facility for Vistaprint at the tech park three years ago.

Even at the higher rate, it would cost US$50 million to create the space needed for an additional 10,000 jobs in the sector.

What’s more, financing is available.

Having already partly financed the Barnett Technology Park expansion, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is seeking an additional US$20 million from the PetroCaribe Development Fund to finance the construction of more space for the BPO sector.

The agency will lend up to US$5 million per project — representing a maximum of 70 per cent of total costs — with an interest rate of 4.5 per cent per annum on the reducing balance.

Island Outsourcers Launches Delivery Center in the Bahamas

Posted by: Narayan Ammachchi

Island Outsourcers Launches Delivery Center in the Bahamas

By Narayan Ammachchi

Jamaican BPO firm Island Outsourcers has expanded its operations into the Bahamaswith the long-awaited launch of a contact center, its first on the Caribbean island. The facility, located on West Atlantic Drive, offers advanced technology critical to meeting the demands of the outsourcing market, the company said in a press release.

The new contact center will become a national “supermarket” for the Bahamian tourism industry, said Prime Minister Perry Christie, who inaugurated the center. “This Bahamas telemarketing center is envisioned to grow into a supermarket for Bahamas tourism products,” he said.

According to his statement, the delivery center will provide voice-based BPO services to the customers of Bahamasair as well as the Caribbean country’s Tourism Department. This is matter of pride for the Caribbean country because the Tourism Department’s call center was previously based in Miami, Florida. The arrival of Island Outsourcers seems to have prompted the government to relocate the call center to theisland nation.

“As a budding global entity with a history of growth and ambition, expansion regionally was an expected next step for Island Outsourcers/itel-BPO Solutions,” Yoni Epstein, the company’s CEO said.

As many as 65 agents are currently working at the facility, but Island Outsourcers says it can generate an additional 200 jobs over the next few months.  By the end of the year, Epstein said, Island Outsourcers will seek to take on 300 full-time employees.

A skilled workforce and cultural affinity with North America make the Bahamas an attractive place for investment by outsourcing service providers, said Epstein.

The Bahamas’ time zone aligns with the eastern United States. That means call center agents have no need to work on night shifts. Additionally, Grand Bahama has several flights to major cities in North America, allowing clients easy travel between their headquarters and workstations.

Headquartered in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Island Outsourcers/itel-BPO Solutions, which currently employs about 200 persons, is one of a few local BPO firms expanding rapidly in the region.

Freeport Call Center CEO addresses Chamber of Commerce

President and CEO of Island Outsourcers Call Center Yoni Epstein

President and CEO of Island Outsourcers Call Center Yoni Epstein

The island’s newest venture, the Island Outsourcers Freeport Call Center’s CEO, Yoni Epstein addressed persons at the Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Business Meeting at Pelican Bay Hotel yesterday.

Shedding light on the job of a call center along with its benefit for the nation and its success abroad, the company’s owner said the new venture could stimulate much needed growth on the island.

” What we do as a business and what our intension are here in Grand Bahama as the newest business process outsourcing company and an industry that can be a true growth projection for not only Grand Bahama, but The Bahamas,”  he said.

However, four Ys: quality, reliability, integrity, family were highlighted by Epstein as he said they were key components to his company.

” We brought that family spirit here to Grand Bahama and to our organization here when we were hiring individuals,”  he said.

” In business everything is about motivation, if your team members are motivated … coming from the top down, mountains can be moved and a lot of things can happen in business, and people are willing to see the success of it because they feel as though they are a part of the family, they feel as though they are a part of the success,”  Epstein continued.

Pleased with the remarkable growth of his company that began its journey in Jamaica, Epstein revealed its success.

” We have over 200 persons that work within our group between here and Jamaica and we’ve had 171 percent growth in 2013 calendar year in Jamaica. We were also given an award in the Montagu Bay Free Zone,”  he said.

Epstein went on to say, “When you look at the sector in Jamaica there are over 14,000 persons that work in the sector in Jamaica and we were able to have the highest percentage growth beating out some of the biggest companies in the world in BPO “services, like Xerox and Tele-performance.” 

Next up for the business owner, he said plans are looking up as hundreds of major companies are set to join both sites here and in Jamaica for business.

” We have some big Fortune 500 companies that we are talking to that we’re bringing, actually, to this site in March on this year as well as our Jamaican site,”  Epstein concluded.

Prime Minister Christie is set to be in attendance for the company’s official launch today at 3 pm.

Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie’s remarks at Island Outsourcers official opening

(AUDIO) Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie’s remarks at Island Outsourcers official opening
By The Bahamas Weekly News Team
Jan 11, 2014 – 8:54:29 PM

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island – The Jamaican-based company, Island Outsourcers officially opened the first phase of their call centre on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at Trehl Plaza on West Atlantic Drive in downtown is pleased to present herewith the entire unedited speech delivered by the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas at the opening ceremony.

In his remarks, The Prime Minister said of Grand Bahama; ” We have concentrated focus on Grand Bahama because things are happening in Grand Bahama and things will happen in Grand Bahama, and to those who have a view negative to Grand Bahama, then I’ve come to tell you; perish the thought.”

Photo: David Mackey – Mackey Media Ltd/

Addressing community leaders the Prime Minster said, ” You have to be able to see and allow yourselves to be seen to believe in the future. Why should any of you believe that where I’m sitting in my office, that I’m stupid. I ask the International Monetary Fund, Why would you want to believe that I’m stupid? Because I’m not. Why would any businessperson in The Bahamas not recognize that as leader of the country, I am someone who you can speak to, not speak at, not talk down to, but talk with, because I want what you want; an economy that prospers, an economy that experiences sustainable development and that can produce meaningful jobs for the young people of our country, and the only evidence I can point to is that when I was last in government we created 22,000 jobs, some people say 20, but we created the jobs and we are on our way to doing the same thing now.”

Prime Minister Christie explained the link to Bahamas tourism, ” Consumers and potential visitors will be prompted by Bahamas television or print ads to call 1-800-Bahamas with their questions. When they call this line they will be greeted and assisted on the other end by warm friendly and professional Bahamian voices. I am advised that more than 30 employees at Island Outsourcers who are dedicated call agents for the islands of The Bahamas, who are able to give callers the best possible information about The Bahamas, and our travel and tourism options. These 30 call center agents in particular were given intensive training to prepare them for their task. They underwent 4 weeks of extensive product knowledge training including Bahama Host.”

Photo: David Mackey – Mackey Media Ltd/

Alluding to Value Added Tax the Prime Minster said, ” I have to confess to amazement sometimes when there is a belief that I would impose, or my government would impose, a tax that would muffle the economy, that would cause setbacks to an economy coming out of recession, without in fact sharing the constraints for the government, and under which the government is operating. No one in this country must pretend not to know that there are rating agencies and The International Monetary Fund. We are prepared to share every bit of information we have so each and every person who has an interest can arrive at their own conclusion as to what is the right course of action to take. So as we look to countries to the South and we see the handicapping circumstances under which they are trying to operate, we have to be mindful of why we must continue to drive hard to take advantage of all the benefits that God has given this country by geophysical positioning; being the closest offshore country to United States of America.” The Prime Minster went on to say, “I have every intention of leaving The Bahamas in the best possible condition when it is my time to move on”.

There was much said by The Prime Minister, We encourage you to listen to his entire discourse.

The direct audio link is HERE.

Island Outsourcers Officially Opens in Grand Bahama

AUDIO) Bahamas Minister of Tourism’s remarks at Island Outsourcers official opening
By The Bahamas Weekly News Team
Jan 11, 2014 – 8:55:09 AM

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island – The Jamaican-based company, Island Outsourcers officially opened the first phase of their call centre on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at Trehl Plaza on West Atlantic Drive in downtown Freeport. On hand for the opening was the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas and the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism, along with other government officials and Grand Bahama business persons. is pleased to present the unedited speech delivered by Hon. Obie Wilchcombe at the ceremony who said in part; ” We can cause this call center to become an entrance to The Bahamas and change this entire complexion of this island of Grand Bahama and certainly of our commonwealth…Freeport can finally achieve the objectives that were set out many many many years ago; that it can become a center for business, particularly offshore business and certainly for tourism…in our own country we have Bahamians who can adapt very very quickly, learn and be able to fulfill the professionalism that’s required.”

Audio direct link is HERE.


About Island Outsourcers & itel-BPO Solutions

Island Outsourcers/itel-BPO Solutions is one of the Caribbean’s most dynamic business process outsourcing service providers. It operations began in Jamaica in June 2012 with a subsidiary operation established in Grand Bahama in November 2013. A private owned venture, Island Outsourcers/itel-BPO Solutions manages contact center and back office functions for local and US based companies. Island Outsourcers/itel-BPO Solutions specializes in inbound/outbound sales and customer service, data entry, quality assurance management and back office support services.

Island Outsourcers/itel-BPO Solutions has expanded and diversified its solutions and services over the past year with the launch of its sister brand in October 2013, itel-BPO solutions. Under the itel-BPO solutions division, the entity has expanded its range of solutions and support services to include the telecoms, online retail, utilities, health insurance, and medical industries. The Island Outsourcers brand has deepend its focus on the travel and tourist industry which comprises rent-a-cars, airlines, hotels, sales and reservations.

Island Outsourcers services and solutions are delivered through a set of standardized best practices and sophisticated technologies by a highly skilled workforce of approximately 200 employees supporting customers in the Caribbean and North America with two centers. Island Outsourcers build its outsourcing excellence on the premise of its core values – the 4Y’s:

•Quality: the executive team prides itself in selecting the right people, providing them with the highest standards of training and empowering them to work effectively on or off script. Island Outsourcers maintain a 1:12 supervisor to agent ration so as to ensure the best quality and service standards are maintained.

•Integrity: each client relationship will be independent of each other for confidentiality, security and efficiency; individual attention will satisfy the client knowing that their product is never sacrificed.

•Reliability: Island Outsourcers uses the most robust network and telephony equipment to maintain its current 99.99% up time. Our team is also reliable and ready to provide exemplary customer service and meet all service level agreements.

•Family: we pride ourselves by treating our team members and our clients like family

Island Outsourcers Makes Inroads Into The Bahamas – Jamican Company Opens First Call Centre In Grand Bahama

Published: Monday | January 13, 2014


 Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

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”.

robust infrastructure

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.”