Government agency Jampro is in talks with Outsourcing Global Technologies Limited, which offers higher-end BPO jobs to bring its business to Jamaica.
“I know BPO, business process outsourcing, is big in Jamaica, bigger than in Nigeria. Jampro has reached out to me to come and expand here, and I am seriously considering that,” said CEO Amal Hassan at the JSE Regional Capital Market Conference that wrapped up in New Kingston on Thursday.
The Nigeria company has clients in the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, and Europe, with a workforce of 1,000. It operates in various sectors, including the higher-end services that Government aims to attract as a means of providing better-paying jobs. Outsourcing Global offers services to IT, social advocacy, telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing, legal, small enterprise, government, and the financial sector.
“I have almost every profession. So now we have lawyers serving the US market, doctors serving the UK and US. We have software developers serving both Africa and the US, and people with other IT skills serving certain markets including Japan,” Hassan said, explaining that her firm has over 70 lawyers on staff.
Jamaica’s outsourcing sector employs about 50,000 persons, with plans to grow that figure to 70,000 by 2025. The sector, which earned US$780 million in 2022, remains on the path towards US$1 billion in annual revenue within four years.
Outsourcing Global is currently looking to further grow its global footprint.
“We are considering to expand to a [territory that speaks] Spanish. We are also expanding to another African country for French. And we are considering Jamaica,” she said.
Jamaica offers a competitive advantage over other countries in Asia and Africa in that it is within the same time zone as the United States, a top market from which outsourcing companies tap business. Jamaica also offers a stable working and political environment, she said.
“A US company would feel more comfortable outsourcing to Jamaica than Nigeria. How do we use that to collaborate?” she said at the forum on ‘Collaborating Between Africa and the Caribbean’ at the JSE conference.
The local outsourcing sector continues to evolve, with stakeholders recognising three distinct revenue streams: business process outsourcing or BPO; knowledge process outsourcing or KPO; and information technology outsourcing or ITO. The outsourcing sector has grown at an annual rate of about 16 per cent since 2012, with the pandemic further accelerating its growth in the past two years.
Outsourcing Global offers services covering the three sectors of BPO, KPO, and ITO. It initially served the lower-tier market, but later switched to a a partnership model for the business, which links with firms across the globe.
“[I thought], how do I create meaningful employment? I have to go beyond customer service and product marketing because I have lawyers, doctors, people in medicine, and professionals who are not employed, but with a science background,” Hassan said.
The company essentially expanded to do back-office work for corporations as opposed to basic customer service.
In 2003, Hassan set up the first organised ICT training institute in Kano, Nigeria, that provided IT training to youths, especially women, but soon realised that such training could be leveraged for outsourcing operations.
“I looked at the parameters: we have educated people with one-million graduates a year and better time zones than India and I said ‘Why not Nigeria?’. And I started to establish the company,” she said.
“It took me eight years to start Outsource. I started it four times and failed, but then by June 2016 to now, Outsource has over 1,000 employees within six years of operation,” Hassan said.
Source The Sunday Gleaner
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