Transparent BPO Invests in Jamaica for Next Phase of Global Expansion
16 December, 2021
Caribbean Nation Expands Nearshore Capacity
By Scott Newman, CEO, Transparent BPO
Jamaica is a natural fit for Transparent BPO’s growth strategy.
After visiting and evaluating several locations within a few hours of the U.S. mainland, this market just made sense. And we found great potential in other markets – great technical infrastructure, deep pool of experienced workers and good travel routes from the U.S. But “potential” is the key word here. (Check out our research and findings here.)
But Jamaica fit. Today.
By the spring of 2022, we expect to begin operations in a refurbished textile mill in the MJS Technology Park. Eventually, this facility in Angels, St. Catherine, a suburb of Kingston, will house more than 2,000 Jamaicans with about 1,500 workstations. This site will also serve as the center in Transparent BPO’s Hub & Spoke operating model for another group of agents who could work from their homes. In addition to our contact center operations, this facility will also house our administrative, recruiting, and training facilities.
This Caribbean nation of almost three million fits nicely into our nearshore capability by offering clients an additional regional location for their contact center at a competitive price. While Belize is the only Latin American country where English is the primary language, Jamaica is the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean.
Also, consider that BPO providers have a legacy throughout the country. This island nation has been a focal point for contact center centers for decades so they’re well-established from Kingston to Montego Bay. Plus, government leadership recognizes this industry as a priority segment that provides well-paid careers with leadership training and development.
But the data we uncovered about Angels ultimately solidified our decision.
No other contact center provider operates in this community, despite thousands of Jamaicans working in this sector who live here or in nearby Linstead and Old Harbour. Sometimes, they commute to and from Portmore or Kingston for work because of the prohibitive cost of living in those cities. At Transparent BPO, they can work close to home in a state-of-the-art facility with access to restaurants, open-air spaces and local transportation.
And adjacent to our facility, is the top sports-related post-secondary education institution in the Caribbean – GC Foster College. This institution turns out track and field stars faster than, – well…faster than one of its own sprinters. We’re partnering with GC Foster to make its facilities – pool, gym, track – available to our employees.
Strategically located beside the college and close to a local technical high school and six secondary high schools, Angels offers us an educated workforce that we can provide additional career development and training through our Transparent BPO University. This first-of-its-kind learning tool provides all staff the opportunity to develop professional skills and advance their careers using a self-guided, university approach to learning.
The addition of Jamaica adds a ‘third leg’ of the Transparent BPO stool by balancing our service delivery in three markets capable of providing quality contact center services. Not only does it balance our ability to serve our clients, but it also balances our growth portfolio.
We’ve experienced significant growth since we began operations in 2009 with our first facility in Belize City with 30 seats. Since then, we’ve opened our flagship 500-seat Seaside facility to complement our other location in the city, our Coney Drive location with 230 seats. In October 2020, we expanded to Belmopan, the country’s capital with a new 700-seat facility.
In addition to its nearshore operations, we established a presence in the Philippines in 2019 with 145 work-from-home agents. Today, we have 740 agents who use our proprietary WorkSecure Suite® offering unmatched security, flexibility and compliance in a work-from-home environment.
We’ll continue to invest in Belize and the Philippines but by selecting Jamaica for the next phase of our growth, we’re investing in a nearshore market that offers close proximity and easy travel to the United States. It also has a strong cultural affinity with North American lifestyles and purchasing preferences.
A client can be in their U.S. headquarters in the morning and later the same day visit the agents and local leadership supporting their customers.