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Room for local investors in BPO sector

Published:Thursday | March 17, 2016 | 3:00 AMMark Titus
Gloria Henry

Western Bureau:

With vast amounts of office space now available for potential investors in the local business processing outsourcing (BPO) sector, Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) president Gloria Henry, who is also assistant vice-president of operations at the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), is calling for greater participation by local investors.

"The real estate question has been answered; it is now time for entrepreneurs to step forward as BPO providers and operators," said Henry, who is in charge of the Montego Bay Free Zone, which houses over 17 BPO operations.

"We need more local entrepreneurs to create a strong domestic base to complement the tremendous contribution being made by operators such as Yoni Epstein and Davon Crump (the only two local investors in the BPO

sector)."

The lucrative BPO sector, which is

valued at approximately US$104.6 billion globally, has been identified as an important vehicle to grow the local economy, but was plagued by a chronic shortage of space. However, a prompt response by the public and private sector to provide more space has solved that problem.

"Jamaica's BPO industry is an ecosystem of many different stakeholders. Much like any other mature industry such as tourism, it creates a variety of opportunities for entrepreneurs in areas such as cabling, security services, food services, training, interior design, build-out services and construction," noted Henry.

RAPIDGROWTH

"When we look at an industry with 18,000 plus employees and adding thousands of new employees per year, we see that no other industry in Jamaica, maybe even globally, supports this rapid yet very sustainable rate of growth."

According to Crump, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Global Outsourcing Solution Limited, he wants the new government to make things more attractive for local investors so that more persons will be encouraged to join the sector.

"My journey to where I am today is no secret - Turned down by financial institutions and being forced to borrow at extremely high rates just to see my vision become a reality," said Crump, who is renowned across the sector for being outspoken.

"However, not everyone would stick to their dream. The Government must now walk the walk and make investing more attractive and alluring."