Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Ibex opens in New Kingston, hunting site for another centre

Published:Friday | September 6, 2019 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder - Business Reporter
Ibex International executives (from left), Chief Operations Officer Dave Afdahl, CEO Bob Dechant and Vice-President of Operations Jaime Vergara give the thumbs up at the opening of the Ibex New Kingston contact centre at the Courtleigh Corporate Centre on Wednesday, September 4.
The new Ibex New Kingston contact centre.
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Ibex Jamaica is adding 700 jobs through its new call centre in New Kingston, but intends to grow that number to about 1,000 by year end through further expansions in another parish, the choice of which is still to be finalised.

The Ibex New Kingston centre opened on Wednesday at the Courtleigh Corporate Centre.

“Right now, in Jamaica, we have 3,500 workers. We will be growing our base to 4,500 by December. Seven hundred of them will be based in this facility and after that, we plan on expanding both in Kingston and outside of Kingston,” Ibex International Vice-President and General Manager for Jamaica, Jaime Vergara, told the Financial Gleaner.

“St Thomas and St Ann are some of the options we are looking at right now,” Vergara said, later adding Montego Bay to the list. Montego Bay is a well-established BPO [business process outsourcing] city, but St Thomas has only recently become part of the calculation for call centre operators due to the ongoing development of the Morant Bay Urban Centre, which includes BPO space.

Washington-based Ibex International is a contact centre and business process outsourcing solutions provider. The company operates 29 sites in seven countries with a total network of 19,000 employees. Jamaica accounts for about a fifth of Ibex’s global workforce today. That’s coming from 130 workers when the company first entered Jamaica in 2016.

“We currently serve 12 clients in Jamaica. We support 17 lines of business for them. We do everything, from business-to-business support, accounting, payables, credit , all the way up to shipping, transport freight and even more basic services such as retail and e-commerce – that’s something that is extremely high volume right now,” Vergara said.

Overall, the Jamaican subsidiary serves 35 companies, most of them in the United States.

“From a revenue standpoint we have grown 75 per cent year-over-year for the last three years. So we are doing extremely well. A key point for Jamaica is to try to contain costs as inflation continues to go up, so we can make Jamaica a part of a long-term strategy for our clients to want to invest and grow with us here,” the GM said.

Besides its expansion plans for Jamaica, Ibex is also looking further to enter other Caribbean markets, with Trinidad & Tobago and Belize currently under consideration, but Vergara said the addition of regional markets was “more of a long-term strategy for between 2022 and 2025”.

Ibex International CEO Bob Dechant said in a company release has surpassed the company’s expectations for growth.

In 2016, Dechant had projected growth to 5,000 employees in five years. He said that this goal was now in sight in three years.

Ibex now has three centres in Jamaica. It first opened at the Portmore Pines Plaza, St Catherine, in July 2016, and the second in January 2018 at the Digicel building on the Kingston waterfront.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com