JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that eight of the approximately 40 business process outsourcing (BPO) companies operating in Jamaica have five-year expansion plans that could create almost 6,000 additional jobs.
  • Describing the BPO industry in Jamaica as a “game changer,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said the sector is creating employment for thousands of persons, while generating an estimated US$500 million in revenues annually.
  • She encouraged the workers to “always give excellent service and to devote yourself to the success and growth of this company and, by extension, our economy.”

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that eight of the approximately 40 business process outsourcing (BPO) companies operating in Jamaica have five-year expansion plans that could create almost 6,000 additional jobs.

She made the disclosure at the official opening of Sutherland Global Services’ New Kingston offices on January 22.

Describing the BPO industry in Jamaica as a “game changer,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said the sector is creating employment for thousands of persons, while generating an estimated US$500 million in revenues annually.

She noted that the Government is encouraging the continued growth of the industry, through the provision of additional operating space that is being built by the Factories Corporation of Jamaica in the Montego Bay Free Zone and the Portmore Technology Park.

She informed that the private sector-owned Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay is undergoing expansion to attract more companies.

“This build-out of space has been supported by the Government’s creation of a dedicated and attractive Infrastructure Loan Facility managed by the Development Bank of Jamaica,” she informed.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the Government recognises the outsourcing sector as an important driver of economic development through foreign direct investment, job creation and general business expansion and will continue to provide the enabling environment to facilitate investment.

“Currently, Jamaica offers a comprehensive range of incentives to facilitate firms looking to establish offshore outsourcing operations in Jamaica. They can enjoy concessions on income tax, exemption from the duties and taxes on imported items for their businesses, and employment tax credits.  There is also training and recruitment support,” she pointed out.

The Prime Minister said companies like Sutherland Global are looking to Jamaica, because of the island’s proximity to major markets in North America; reduction in operating costs; and a growing number of persons who are trained, qualified and educable.

She encouraged the workers to “always give excellent service and to devote yourself to the success and growth of this company and, by extension, our economy.”

“I am proud that Sutherland Global has established itself in Jamaica and has been on an expansion drive since arriving here. Jamaica looks forward to working with you and your team on the further expansion of your vital operations in Jamaica. The Government and people of Jamaica appreciate this investment and the thousands of jobs being created,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the sector is critical to job creation and currently provides employment opportunities for approximately 17,000 persons.

He said that employment in the sector is projected at 32,000 by 2020, and based on the reports received, “we are on target to meet this goal.”

Chief Commercial Officer, Sutherland Global Services, K. S. Kumar, said discussions are ongoing as it relates to the creation of another location in Kingston.

“We are very committed, we are going to make a difference, we want to stay invested in this country and we are here for good,” he said.

Country Head and Associate Vice President, Sutherland Global Services, Odetta Rockhead Kerr, informed that the company has employed over 3,000 Jamaicans in just three years.

“We have established three service delivery centres across the island. We have one at UWI (University of the West Indies) with 1,300 professionals of which 600 are students. We have this facility with 1,200 professionals and we just opened in Mandeville, our third facility, which already has 500 professionals on board,” he said.

She said the company caters to a premier clientele, which includes three corporations that are in the top 50 ranking on the Fortune 500 list.

“Fifty-six per cent of Sutherland’s revenue globally is generated by Fortune 500 clients,” she said.

Established in 1986, Sutherland Global Services, which is headquartered in Rochester, New York, is one of the world’s largest independent business process outsourcing companies.

Its Jamaica offices offer services in finance and accounting, human resource outsourcing, sales, technical support and customer care. This is delivered through voice, video, chat and email and back-office operations.