Thu | Oct 22, 2020

itelbpo to bring 750 jobs to St Lucia by 2021 - Int’l clients look to diversify amid pandemic

Published:Saturday | August 8, 2020 | 12:15 AM

More than 1,000 hopeful applicants from around the Eastern Caribbean island of St Lucia recently turned out as the Jamaica-based itelbpo spread its wings with an official opening ceremony and two job fairs.

The intent, as stated by the company’s founding chairman and CEO, Yoni Epstein, is to add diversity to a product in order to survive amid growing unease because of international shocks.

Over the course of the past few months, as more global brands seek out safe destinations for their outsourcing needs, this target has changed to 750 jobs by the first quarter of 2021.

“What this pandemic has done for us and this region is to show our clients that you cannot always rely on the bigger boys. You have to diversify locations and vendors,” said Epstein.

“Therefore, our existing clients have asked us to put some of their business in St Lucia in order to diversify.”

“We have more clients looking to reap the benefits and opportunities in St Lucia, and we’re confident that our St Lucian team can achieve this ... .”

Itelbpo, one of a growing number of Caribbean-grown global outsourcers, has developed a 22,000-square-foot factory in partnership with Invest Saint Lucia, the island’s promotions agency.

St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet was in attendance at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Itelbpo’s first recruits commenced training in the new facility on June 30 and the company will be hiring a total of 150 new team members by the end of the summer.

Originally, the aim was to bring 200 jobs to St Lucia within one year.

When Prime Minister Chastanet tabled the Appropriation Bill 2020-21 (Budget Address) last month, he identified the business process outsourcing sector as “... holding tremendous potential for job creation in St Lucia, especially amongst the youth”.

While the region continues to grapple with the economic repercussions of the global pandemic, itelbpo’s commitment to staying the course with its expansion into the south of the island comes at a pivotal moment for the economy.

Chastanet welcomed itelbpo “as family”. He further emphasised that young people getting jobs at itelbpo’s “world-class” facility will be very proud.

“Vieux-Fort is going to be an engine of economic growth on the island.

“We want to make Vieux-Fort competitive on a global scale. It’s not just about creating jobs. It’s creating world-class jobs,” said Chastanet.

The launch event took place at the new facility in Vieux-Fort (Hewanorra Freezone) and was preceded by the job fair.

Throughout the day, itelbpo accepted résumés from enthusiastic applicants who received group tours of the first completed building at the site. All attendees were required to wear a mask and strict health and safety measures were followed.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included remarks by Yoni Epstein, Chastanet, and Bradly Felix, minister of commerce, industry, enterprise eevelopment, and consumer affairs, and Roderick Cherry, CEO, Invest Saint Lucia.

Founded in 2012 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, itelbpo is now a global business and the region’s largest home-grown business process outsourcer.

With eight facilities in four countries, itelbpo delivers customised contact centre solutions across multiple channels and industries.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com