Nearshore Americas, in partnership with Invest Saint Lucia, the country’s investment promotion agency, has released a new report analyzing BPO investment opportunities and the higher-value, knowledge-focused offering in Saint Lucia.
The report, titled “Saint Lucia: Readiness and Positioning in the Global Knowledge Services Marketplace”, provides a broad assessment of the island’s true capabilities, as well a competitive analysis comparing it with other markets in the Caribbean basin.
Research in the report was conducted through interviews with the key stakeholders and decision makers on the island. These include government officials, foreign investors, industry experts, and individuals with sector-specific knowledge. Third-party data was also collected from government and industry sources.
An Opportune Moment for Saint Lucia BPO
As the global BPO market shifts toward more industry-specific support, certain smaller country destinations come out stronger in their ability to target niche markets, as well as build upon local expertise. In our extensive research, Saint Lucia has been found to be a clear contender for leading in this trend.
Outlining the knowledge-focused opportunity in Saint Lucia, the report places emphasis on particular areas of opportunity, such as legal, FinTech, architecture, web services, real estate, and medical, all of which, according to our sources, have a knowledge-focused labor gap.
Our research also uncovered that foreign investors perceive Saint Lucia as a nation with a high level of workforce capability, supporting the sense of opportunity in these sectors.
“Saint Lucia possesses a worldliness, sophistication, and fluency in global commerce that is lacking on smaller islands,” says Tim Wilson, Nearshore America’s lead author and researcher, citing the outsourcing investments of Digicel, Sandals, Ark Teleservices, KM2 Solutions, Yodle, and OJO Labs as examples of this reality.
Snapshot of Saint Lucia’s Pros and Cons
In Saint Lucia, employer satisfaction rates with graduates are reportedly high. There is also an understanding that hiring is, to some extent, based on aptitude, with investments in training resulting in lower attrition rates.
Even so, our research shows that Saint Lucia has to overcome a perceived lack of scalability, uneven government services, and that operations are slightly less productive than similar operations in the United States, despite being easily offset by the lower operating costs available.
Going even deeper, this report details the average wages for entry-level, support, and experienced BPO employees on the island, as well as highlighting the unemployment rates, labor supply, and volume of soft skills and customer services.
We also break down the advantages and disadvantages of local infrastructure, environmental risk, energy dependencies, and talent availability, each driving investment and industry growth in their own directions.
CARICOM Comparisons and Case Studies
In terms of hourly wage benchmarks for the region, Saint Lucia compares favorably to the other Caribbean nations that are bidding for knowledge services investment. The report compares data from countries like Guyana, Dominica, Jamaica, and Barbados to show Saint Lucia’s true position and value in Caribbean BPO.
Giving an on-the-ground account of operating in this ecosystem, the report also features an exclusive case study from a local web development company that does outbound selling of websites to a global customer base.
The case study details the company’s delivery model and employee remuneration packages, as well as explaining how and why Saint Lucia is supporting its growth.
“Unlike smaller islands, Saint Lucia has the depth to provide labor with niche capabilities, and, unlike those much larger countries with higher populations and a lower standards of living, Saint Lucia needn’t compete as a “race to the bottom” nation, in which commodity-based pricing dominates,” states the report.
“Saint Lucia: Readiness and Positioning in the Global Knowledge Services Marketplace” is available now and free to download. Just click here and enter some basic information to download this extensive and unique study.