Without people, this industry would never be as interesting. From talented agents and their managers, to top-level CEOs and government representatives, its people that drive this industry from top to bottom.
Over the years, Nearshore Americas has been fortunate enough to meet and speak to a lot of these people, many of whom are veritable fountains of knowledge, with deep expertise in their respective sectors. During telephone or face-to-face interviews, we’re out there on the front-lines, hearing what people have to say about our industry on a daily basis.
These five Q&As represent some of the most insightful discussions we’ve had with people who really know their stuff and wanted to share their experiences on the topic of nearshore BPO. Click on the headings to read the full interviews.
When Edmund O’Brien, CEO of Americas at Avarto, spoke to us in March last year, he revealed the company’s plans to expand its F&A service by capitalizing on Brazil’s large labor force. The Germany-based BPO provider hired the former Microsoft executive to oversee the expansion of its operations in Latin America, as well as the setup of its American headquarters in Silicon Valley.
According to O’Brien, eCommerce and related services have huge growth potential in Latin America, with Brazil being one of the most attractive markets in the world for F&A BPO services due to the industry’s 8% rate of growth. “Additionally, given the significant risks and complexities of the financial infrastructure in Latin America, financial services, CRM, and fraud prevention are essential for eCommerce, and therefore are in great demand,” he explained. “Although there are established providers for these services, they remain local and competition remains low.”
Speaking from a political perspective, Julian J. Robinson, MP, Minister of State in the Jamaican Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, detailed the initiatives that would shape Jamaica’s BPO future after the government claimed it was “poised to reap significant benefits for the local economy, with the generation of some 15,000 additional jobs over the next five years”.
The government reiterated its support for the BPO/IT sector by announcing the allocation of US$8.6 million to establish new policies that would boost the sector. “As a country, we now have more experience in the sector to plan and project the growth trends and potential,” Robinson told us.
According to BPO and printing tech giant Xerox, Jamaica’s BPO workforce is now far outperforming its North American counterparts, so the government’s initiatives clearly paid off.
The September 2015 political crisis following the resignation of Guatemala’s president, Otto Perez Molina, placed the country under the global spotlight for all the wrong reasons, but that didn’t stop the Chamber of Commerce from foreseeing a bright future for BPO.
“The crisis is strengthening the constitutionality in Guatemala,” said Javier Zepeda, Executive Director of Guatemala’s Chamber of Commerce. “Strengthened institutions improve the competitiveness of countries and, although Guatemala is facing political scandal, we believe that the manner in which we are addressing these issues can be turned to a positive.”
The country already boasted a young population, a similar timezone to the U.S., and competitive costs. Zepeda highlighted that the country’s telecom sector was also evolving, allowing it to serve BPO market demands.
Comedian Jimmy Morales was soon after elected president following promises to end corruption and increase education, the main factor, Zepeda says, that Guatemala is lacking in. Let’s hope it wasn’t just a big joke.
After selling off its operation in the Czech Republic, BPO provider Atento shifted its focus to expanding operations in Latin America last year. Speaking to us about it, Bruce Dawson, US Nearshore Director at Atento highlighted his company’s optimism about Latin America and the verticals experiencing the greatest growth and demand. “Atento’s position as a leading CRM/BPO provider worldwide is based on our large presence and market leadership in the Latin America region,” he said.
Mentioning that the company’s two major verticals in the region are telecom and banking & financial services, Dawson pointed out that Atento’s strong presence in Latin America was definitely helping to win new U.S. clients, particularly those nearshoring CRM/BPO services to the region. “Overall, the appetite for end-to-end customer experience solutions and other forms of BPO—although not immune to the macroeconomic situation—remains solid, with companies being more focused on improving efficiencies across their entire value chain.”
The Caribbean is well-known for its capabilities in BPO and KPO services, but Julia Taggart of Innovate LSO in Barbados revealed to us that the region was also quickly becoming a player in the legal process outsourcing (LPO) game.
Barbados in particular has a unique value proposition for LPO: it is a nearshore English-speaking country and a common law jurisdiction with exceptional education standards. Furthermore, the island has strong telecoms and technological infrastructure, and is a mature and well-regulated jurisdiction with political and social stability.
“LPO solutions really benefit all sectors, including banking, insurance, healthcare, and oil and gas,” she said. “After all, who would not benefit from reduced legal costs and enhanced service delivery?”
Which Q&As did you find most insightful regarding Latin America’s BPO capabilities? Let us know in the comments below.