Invest Saint Lucia and itelbpo Smart Solutions Sign MOU
Itelbpo Smart Solutions was founded in 2012 in Jamaica. Nearly eight years later, it is now a global business, and the region’s largest home-grown business process outsourcer. The company is running eight facilities in four countries namely Jamaica, The Bahamas, Mexico and the USA.
On Wednesday, January 29, 2020, itelbpo Founder and Chairman, Mr Yoni Epstein signed an MOU with Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) to begin operations in what would be the fifth territory for the company.
At Wednesday’s MOU signing, ISL CEO Roderick Cherry said, “We invited itelbpo on an extensive site visit to Saint Lucia and right away, they were convinced that the place to set up their latest operations would be in the south of our island. Nothing could make our team at Invest Saint Lucia happier.” ISL is currently retrofitting a 20,000 sq. ft. factory shell in the Hewanorra Free Zone in preparation for itelbpo’s opening in April 2020.
Mr Cherry went on to lay out what itelbpo’s entry into Saint Lucia would mean for the economy, “This new state-of-the-art BPO facility will house initially 150 employees in the global services sector with aggressive growth plans by itelbpo…Invest Saint Lucia has a critical role to play in reducing the 20% unemployment rate in our country, particularly among young men and women by half within three years.”
For the ISL CEO, Saint Lucia’s workforce also has a lot to offer itelbpo’s success in its newest location. “Our people are eager for opportunities and are very receptive to training, learning fast and applying consistently what they have learned,” said Mr Cherry, “That raw potential when combined with a company like itelbpo which places emphasis on employee development, work experience and opportunities for advancement will set the stage for a new generation of securely salaried Saint Lucians who can build a life, start a family and provide for their children.”
Mr Epstein expressed his determination to keep itelbpo’s focus in the Caribbean so that the results of the employees’ hard work also manifests within the region. Still, he implied that Saint Lucia might be one of his favourites “given the experience that I’ve had in the past and the expectations that have been set, knowing what Saint Lucians are equipped with to provide services to our clients”.
He said that in the first six months of opening, itebpo intends to hire 200 people. “Saint Lucia may not have been in my purview originally, but the Invest Saint Lucia team made it possible for us,” said Mr Epstein, “We live by what is called our four Y’s which is quality, integrity, reliability and family. You have a big heart, a big family…and that is a big part of our organisation. Managing our team members and giving them a work experience that is second to none is a big part of our mandate.”
Minister for Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Bradly Felix also welcomed itelbpo specifically to Vieux Fort which he believes will be the “mecca for bpo/kpo investment”.
Minister Felix said that the location is well-suited to take advantage of this industry. “Saint Lucia currently ranks 2nd in the English-speaking Caribbean for ease of doing business and 69th in the world for ‘Starting a Business’,” he said.
More importantly, Minister Felix alluded that making the right choice did not only belong to Saint Lucia. “Invest Saint Lucia has brought on board an investment partner that seems to want to invest in the wider community as a responsible corporate citizen,” he said. “This is a company already known in Jamaica for its stellar corporate governance. It pays one of the most stable, competitive and dignified wages of its competitors, provides employee benefits, incentives and opportunities for advancement within its organisation.”