Statement: JAMPRO does provide tangible support to BPO sector!

There are a number of misconceptions about the Jamaica Promotion Corporation’s (JAMPRO) role in developing the BPO sector. I would like to use this opportunity to clarify in the public’s mind, the role and achievements of JAMPRO, specifically our strategic approach in marketing Jamaica as a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) destination and the support we provide to companies setting up operations locally.

Let me put on record that the BPO sector is one of the priority sectors of our operations at JAMPRO along with other key sectors such as tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and logistics. In fact, there is a department set up within the organization to handle specific targeting of outsourcing firms globally, as well as to provide direct handholding support to local and overseas companies and to monitor after care on an on-going basis.

JAMPRO’s strategy is therefore five-pronged:

1. We position Jamaica as a business-friendly, competitive destination via targeted missions, trade shows and conferences.

2. We promote Jamaica to global BPO firms as an attractive, near shore, English-speaking destination for direct investments via direct targeting.

3. We also seek BPO outsourcing contracts for existing Jamaica based firms, local and foreign.

4. We facilitate local and foreign investment by securing business approvals for start-up firms [among other interventions].

5. We stimulate the development of the supporting eco-system, including policy advocacy, human capital training and infrastructural development.

JAMPRO is essentially a marketing-driven organization, with metrics of generating leads and converting them into actual projects. Over the past three years, this strategy has seen significant results, which speak for themselves. We have targeted 147 companies, out of which 24 projects have been implemented, resulting in job creation for approximately 8,054 persons and JA$2.2 billion in capital expenditure. To achieve these results the team has engaged in some 81 promotional events, including 23 trade shows, 56 inward missions and 2 direct sales road shows.

JAMPRO has achieved strong third party endorsement as a result of our marketing strategy: in 2014, Jamaica was recognized as a location for process expertise in finance and accounting by leading IT advisory firm Gartner. Gartner also recognized Jamaica as an emerging location for cost effective labour. Sutherland Global Services achieved the global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) award for Best Outsourcing project for its “Earn where you learn” project at UWI. Forbes magazine dubbed Jamaica the ‘Best country in the Caribbean and the third best place in Latin America and the Caribbean to do business’.

Over the past 10 years, in a highly competitive global market, JAMPRO has guided over 34 firms to establish in Jamaica, including top global firms such as Xerox, Teleperformance, Sutherland Global Services and Hinduja Global. The BPO sector currently employs over 17,000 (mainly) young people and we have attracted household names such as Microsoft, Amazon and Humana to outsource their contracts to local companies. JAMPRO plays a significant role in presenting a viable business opportunity to the local private sector to create wealth and contribute to the country’s development; we are also instrumental in facilitating the establishment of these homegrown BPO companies. Many of these companies are currently in expansion mode and the industry is experiencing gradual growth.

Over the last two decades, JAMPRO has been central to the development of a thriving BPO industry in Jamaica. We, along with partners across Government and the private sector, have put Jamaica on the international BPO map. However, this is an industry that requires strong and sustained international marketing to be successful. The private sector must understand that JAMPRO markets the country and the opportunities in the local industry. I urge new companies to ensure that their market research and marketing strategy are robust and well planned to ensure the most positive outcomes.

This is why we have supported the establishment of the national supporting body – the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) as well as the development of the National Outsourcing Strategy, which was tabled and accepted in Parliament in March this year. These initiatives are aimed at helping local companies flourish and improve their overall performance in this dynamic environment.

The BPO industry has grown due to the coordinated efforts of all stakeholders. We still have a long way to go, but given recent interest from international firms and a growing recognition of Jamaica as a BPO destination, we are poised for GREAT things. If we continue to improve our competitiveness through the right combination of attractive policies, skilled workforce, state of the art telecommunications technology, technology parks and vibrant local outsourcing companies, we will succeed. We stand ready to support the development of the sector and the growth of all firms.”

Diane Edwards

JAMPRO President

Source: 
JAMPRO
Published Date: 
Friday, September 11, 2015