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Former E-Services managers building rival call centre

Published:Friday | July 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Karl Graham(R), formerly of E-Services Group, has partnered with colleague David Fullwood in a new call centre venture known as Fullgram. Graham is the company's chief executive officer. - File

Avia Collinder, Business Writer

Former executives of the Montego Bay-based call centre ACS E-Services Limited, Karl Graham and David Fullwood are expanding their own call centre operation, Fullgram Solutions Limited.

The partners launched into business with a J$30-million investment in March, a month after E-Services' American parent company ACS was acquired by Xerox.

Fullgram, which was started with 44 workers, now has a staff of 250 at its New Kingston location, with plans to expand its workforce to 500 by December this year.

Expansion is being made possible by a growing number of overseas contracts from new and prospective clients, Graham, the chief executive officer, told the Financial Gleaner.

"Once you do excellent work, they will always be willing to give you more," he said.

Included among Fullgram's clients is Leads Generation, an Internet site and agent of a larger business, which recruits students for universities and colleges. Another client, the name of which Graham declined to disclose, is in the field of telecommunications.

Graham himself was employed to the telecommunications giant Verizon, before he was headhunted by E-Services.

The former head of operations at ACS E-Services said securing Fullgram's first contract was easy as he and Fullwood, the former ACS E-Services chief information officer, were responsible for building the network at that company.

The workforce there grew from 1,200 to 4,000 during their tenure, he said.

Graham said he and Fullwood have been in the call centre business for 20 years.

Most of the J$30-million start-up capital was used to purchase and install state-of-the-art computing and calling equipment at Fullgram's 12-14 Oxford Road location, Graham noted.

The planned expansion will see the operation branching out to other facilities owned by the call centre's current landlord.

"We are not yet profitable because of the current expansion, but we have a fluid revenue stream," the Fullgram CEO said.

Describing the prospect for call centre operations in Jamaica as robust, he said that the main advantage was Jamaican workers who appeared convinced that their jobs placed them on viable career paths.

"The people who work in the call centres look at it as a career, starting at entry level with the possibility of going up to executive management," said Graham.

"Once we are able to keep them and keep attrition levels low, it spells success."

Jamaica still has near-shore advantage, located as it just two hours away from mainland United States and in easy reach of North American clients.