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Khemlani banking on BPO to rent warehouse

Published:Wednesday | February 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The Khemlani group wants to rent its large warehouse on Belmont Road in New Kingston to call centres.

"We have got a lot of interest, but I am hoping that the person with whom I am most comfortable surfaces," said Steve Khemlani on Monday.

The warehouse is some 12,000 square feet. Khemlani, who is managing director of the family-led group, will spend $12 to $15 million on renovations to woo prospective tenants.

"We are doing the renovations, so I am not in a rush to rent it," he said.

The group of companies, which includes Jewelerama and Khemlani Mart, up to last year utilised two warehouses in Kingston.

"We housed some furniture at the port and Belmont Road in New Kingston, but we took the decision to acquire more space by the port on Marcus Garvey Drive, so the New Kingston premises has been vacated since last year," Khemlani said.

BPO and call-centre operations in Jamaica reportedly offer the highest employment growth rates, with sectoral jobs totalling 14,000. The sector delivered an estimated US$250 million in value over the past decade. It currently has some three dozen companies operating with more slated to come on stream in the medium term.

"I didn't know a lot about business process outsourcing until they started calling and looking for space," said Khemlani. "We are also getting interest from financial institutions, but they are more interested in buying the property, while we are more interested in renting."